When I read articles like this, and the subsequent comments, I'm always struck by how ridiculously inadequate & selfish I must be. I can identify with it all, but the hardest thing for me about parenting is the way I just sort of disappeared. To use the author's analogy, it's like one of my limbs developed a mind of its own, and people began to regard the rest of my body as meaningless filler. It was never the lifestyle change that bothered me, nor the financial concerns, nor the physical challenges or practical sacrifices. It's all the energy that I have to put into convincing myself that I am an actual person behind the mother, and that this person has thoughts and feelings and fears that are valid, even if they are not directly related to the child. I have to wonder, though, is that natural? Is there something wrong with me that this is hard? I thought a mother's whole world was supposed to be her child- a view that is shared by my mother and husband and even by most of my childless friends (who make sure that I hear them say the phrase 'child-free' at least once every time we're together.)