I think the hardest part of parenting, at least thus far, is finding a balance between me as parent and me as individual.
I spend the majority of Hedgehog's waking hours within about 10 feet of him, and the majority of his sleeping hours within 30-40 feet of him. If I venture outside of that radius the cell phone is generally at the ready the entire time I am gone, waiting for the call that he needs me. I have to schedule my sleeping, eating, showering and using the restroom around his needs. It is truly an all-consuming job.
But I want to make sure it doesn't consume all of me. I know that to be the best mom I can be I need to still be my own person and do my own things. It will do Hedgehog well to see the diverse interests his parents pursue as he gets older - so that we might encourage him to pursue his own interests. It will allow me many more opportunities to interact and teach him on so many different levels. Cooking and knitting and gardening and travel and sports and reading and music and debate - these are all great things for a kid to learn about, and as the little guy gets to the age of formal schooling they can offer opportunities to help him learn math and science and language and history that will help bring it alive outside of the classroom.
Finding the balance is tough. Made even tougher by the needs to sleep and eat and wear clean clothes. It would be very, very easy to allow my identity to be nothing other than "mother" - but I must fight the urge.
I've found that I use Facebook as my barometer. It's tempting to make every status update related to the Hedgehog. Especially as he is changing and developing at such a rapid pace. But I try to make sure I talk about other things as well. Because then that insures the other things are there and, if they aren't there, it helps reinforce the idea that I need to make time for myself, to do the things that I want to do.
That's a large part of why I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo this year. For one, it means I'm going to be writing something every day for a month (and hopefully beyond) so already that's score one for me. Secondly, if I try to write a blog post about the Hedgehog every day things are going to get awfully boring awfully fast. "Oh look, today he almost crawled again, but not quite." So it's going to help keep that balance in place.
Motherhood, it certainly is a juggling act.