I ventured out on two quick trips yesterday. In the morning, I ran out to our local thrift store to look for some pants (I'm in the lovely phase where you're too small for maternity pants and too big for pre-prego pants, so you're drowning in one or cutting off blood flow to the legs in the other. The trip was a success.) In the afternoon, I made a quick trip to our local library in search of books and videos for the kids, books with home decor ideas, and Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. And my goal was to leave the library within 20 minutes.
Books and videos for kids- check.
Home decor books- check.
Count of Monte Cristo- negative. This meant I needed to find something else to check out for personal reading. So I perused the shelves in search of something new.
I have had the thought before that reading certain books is like chatting with friends (mainly Austen's P & P). For some reason yesterday, browsing through the familiar authors and titles kind of felt like a little reunion. Alcott, Austen, Bronte, Dreiser, Dumas...I waded through the old stand-byes and had two realizations. 1- when you're into classics, you eventually exhaust your options for your fav authors. I mean, did I really think that Louisa May Alcott had put out something new since I last read a year ago? and 2- has it really been a year since I read something? This thought was puzzling, even horrifying, as I used to be such a voracious reader. I thought about it and realized that it had been over a year since I completed any novel of substance. I was shocked. Disappointed. Freaked out.
What have I become? I wondered.
I guess when you think of that growing list titled "Things I did before being a mom"- I never expected "Read fiction" to make the list. But now it's right up there among "Wear a size 8", "Sleep in past 7:30", and "Drink Dr. Pepper"- all things that crept away while I was changing diapers or chasing toddlers.
Motherhood is a tricky thing because it truly forces you to redefine yourself not by what you do- cause let's face it, you don't do many of the same things like you used to- (heck, you don't even sleep any more!) Instead you have to consider who you really are and what that looks like now. And the really brutal part about it is that this inner change, this metamorphosis of your life, is happening at a time when quiet hours of introspection are hard to come by.
I think some moms get lost in the shuffle. Maybe that's why some women prefer to continue working, because they still have some identity outside of being a mom and a lifeline to their life before.
But you know what? As I consider it, I think I'm OK with the disappearance of Becky as we know her. I'm OK with the reality that my hobbies are dwindling. That I google things like "toddler crafts" or read websites with tips for travelling with multiple kids. That there's spit up on my shoulder, cars in my purse, baby gear cluttering the entry way. Some day I hope to look at my grown children and see them following Christ. And as I ponder the new me, the Becky that has been sanctified by motherhood and is so much more than I was before, I hope I can honestly look at my kids and say, "I gave everything I could to help you fear God and love men."
I think a few hobbies lost and a few pounds gained is a pretty small sacrifice in comparison.
And then I'll take a few years to read some good books and sip Dr. Pepper.