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Will I Forget Who I Am After Baby?

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Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I’m chronicling my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 15

This past weekend, my niece turned four. My husband and I went to her birthday party, which was the first she’s had that combined both family and her teeny little preschool friends. While her buddies arrived, we watched as they each in turn bashfully handed her a present and bolted off toward the bouncy castle, which my sister was genius to have rented for the day. And suddenly I realized I was looking at my future.

At 15 weeks, I still look just kind of squishy around the middle, and not super pregnant. But the news is out and I was chatting with a few of the other kids’ moms about mom-type stuff. And I have to say, it was kind of bizarre. It was weird to be able to say that we are expecting when one of them asked if we had thought about starting a family. And even more weird to be considered one of the parents now (albeit future). I sat and had conversations with moms and dads about when their kids started walking, how they teach manners, and whether their children were good at blowing bubbles. Ya know, the important stuff.

But admittedly, the whole time I was chatting I kept trying to find things to ask the parents that had nothing to do with their children. Because while I know that having a little one changes your entire world, these people were once just people, not identified first as parents. And I’m kind of interested to find out if that really just goes away once you have kids. Or maybe it’s possible to have it both ways? Moms? Help me out here.

Sometimes I feel like there’s a fear of being seen as selfish if you don’t invest your every waking moment and thought to your sweet child. And don’t get me wrong – I’m not planning on being the mom who’s lounging by the pool with a mojito while my baby is sticking his fingers in a light socket somewhere. But is it too lofty a goal to want to maintain some of who I am before I become a parent?

Moms out there, I hear you snickering at me. I do. I get it. I see all of the work that you do to turn your tiny people into good big people and I don’t discount one second of it. I’m just beginning to wonder (now that the pregnancy feels a little more real) about what that’s going to feel like from the inside, and if at my future kiddo’s birthday party I’ll be talking about diapers or maybe something a little different. I’d love to know your take on it, moms and dads!