Have You Lost Yourself in Your Kids?

By Jen Piwtpitt - 5:22 AM

This was a comment left on the I Just Want to Pee Alone Facebook page. As soon as I read it, I knew I had to share it with everyone. Dede Sylvester put into words exactly how I feel every single day. I bet you'll feel the same way.

A friend with no children asked me the other day if I ever feel like I've lost myself in my kids. I really had to stop and think about how to answer. 

I guess I've given up a lot. I've given up late night parties, sleeping in, naps, going to bed early, hell, sleeping in general. I've given up massages, regular haircuts, new clothes, a clean house, cooking big, elaborate meals, and going to the bathroom by myself. I can no longer read more than a few pages of anything at a time,watch non-animated movies or walk through a room without stepping on a Matchbox car or a monster truck. My body is no longer my own, I am a human jungle gym and the idea of "personal space" is completely foreign to both my boys.

But I can't say that I've lost anything. Quite the opposite in fact. I've found things. 

I've found kindness in the stranger who opens the door for me when I'm balancing a baby, a toddler, and two bags of groceries or from the man next door, who out of the blue one day says to me "I want you to know that I can hear you outside playing with your boys and I think you're doing a great job." 

I've found compassion every time I see a sick infant or read an article about an injustice done to a child. YES, I will donate to your cause. YES, I will sign your petition. YES, I will share your post in hopes that your child's voice will be heard. 

I've found hope that one day my child might make a difference in someone's life. I've found the strength to stand up to bullies, both large and small. To send my kids out into the world even though I know how terrifying it is. 

I've found the courage to be silly in public. To pretend to be a monster truck and jump in puddles in the grocery store parking lot. To dance like an idiot in front of 200 people I will (hopefully) never see again. I found my inner child. The one that I thought was long gone, crushed by overdue bills and laundry and the hum-drumity of every day life. 

I've found the patience to sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" 5, 10, 20 times in a row. To watch the truck episode of Bubble Guppies until I know all the songs by heart. To get out of my warm bed again and again and again to rock a sick child. I found love like I never knew existed and I find joy every time they laugh. Every. Single. Time. 

But mostly, I found my future. I found a reason to get out of bed every day, to go to work, to take care of myself, to reduce, reuse, recycle, to share my bacon and make Halloween costumes and hide Santa presents in the suitcase in my closet. 

So no, I didn't lose myself, I found myself in these two little people that I'm building.

Dede Sylvester is a 43-year-old working mom with two boys under the age of five. She enjoys being a mom and writing.

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