I don’t have children and this advice might not be worth anything, but to me, and presumably many others, you are and will remain much, much more than a mother of triplets. After they’re born you will still be “Chloe” and not only “Tina, Tanya and Tabitha’s Mom.” You will still like your music, you will still have your unique personal style, you will find a way to personalize your minivan, I will still be your friend. These new people are joining YOUR life, which is already in progress. Not everything is going to change.
When E. was deployed I think people had a tendency to view me as more of a “spouse of a deployed soldier” rather than “Zoe,” who has her own interests and projects. People would call me and ask how E. was without ever asking how I was doing. Lots of people wanted me to pass on their support to E., but they rarely offered any to me. I see now that part of this was my fault. I set up an Amazon wishlist for E. but didn’t set one up for myself. When people neglected to ask how I was doing, I didn’t correct them or tell them how hurt I was. When I was living by myself in Fort Hood, twitching with boredom, I could barely admit to myself that anything was wrong. I see now that I had been shoved into a roll where almost nothing was expected of me. All I had to do was 1.) not cheat on my husband, 2.) answer the phone when he called and 3.) mail the occasional care package. I didn’t know what else to do to retain myself. Is this making any sense? Do you see where I’m going with this? I think what I’m trying to say is that I had a choice and I chose to only define myself by what others expected of me in that very narrow role. I chose to be miserable even though I couldn’t see that at the time. If people only choose to see you as the mother of triplets then they are stupid and I feel very sorry for them. Fuck those guys.
And you know what? You’re an overachiever. You always have been. The things that have given pause and struggle to other (lesser) humans, phase you not at all. Maybe it’s time to invoke a little hubris, Oh Goddess of Mars. You can do this because you are awesome and you always succeed at the tasks you chose to take on. You’re driven and dedicated. I have no doubt that you’re going to be a great mother and you’re going to retain your personality while doing so. Furthermore, your children will benefit from having a mother who is sure of who she is rather than having a mother who attempts to build her personality so as to accommodate those of her children.
You and I are in a new phase right now. Instead of me watching you set your sights on some lofty goal and succeed wondering all the while how the hell you do that, I’m watching you struggle with your self-imposed limits. For the first since I’ve know you, you’re honestly worrying about what will happen in the future. I realized today that this has never happened before. I don’t like this as much. Can we go back to the way it was?
This is more longwinded that I wanted it to be. I really need to get to studying. (The Erie doctrine, hooray!) But I wanted to say that more than you think is within your control. You can do this, (really). I believe in you.