I've been thinking so much about this that I just want to get it out there, even inelegantly -- as this may well turn out to be.
I think when you have a job in addition to "parent," then something else does the work of holding some space open for you to maintain a connection with your sense of self. When "parent" is the whole way you have to describe what you're doing with your life (since typically no one answers the question, "what do you do?" with answers like "I notice the way the light changes with the seasons; try to journal as often as I can; read a lot of really great books; think a lot about God, both what "God" might be and about my relationship to it; alternately cherish and dread my daily existence, though more cherish than dread; and, keep trying to get better at being the mother, friend, and person I want to be"), it takes initiative to create and protect that kind of space, because parenting can eat up everything you are if you'll let it.
For the last several weeks, I've been trying to let a new thing grow up inside me: A conviction strong enough to act as a talisman against the fear otherwise, that while my children's needs are primary, one of their chief needs is for me to be (and to feel like) a whole person.
It's a good sign that I've got poems sprouting again. They may be very lightweight as Poems go, but they come straight out of my intact whole self --- even when they are about parenting.