The life changing journey from resisting Motherhood to embracing it.
When you think of who you were before you became a mother, and who you are now, do you feel like they are two completely different people? Do you feel like you are resisting this new identity — trying desperately to hold onto the person that you were before you blessed this earth with a little person? If you answered “yes” to the above, then I hope you find some solace in the fact that you stand together with so many women. Women that don’t recognize who they are anymore. So who are we now that we are Mothers?
You had a kick ass job, awesome friends that you shared drinks with whenever you pleased, a committed relationship in which you nurtured with all of your energy. You went out to eat at chic little restaurants that served warm olives and flights of wine. Weekend getaways that were put together last minute were the norm, and you always looked forward to catching up on sleep on the weekend.
Fast forward to bringing home baby and being thrown into the 24/7 around the clock task of taking care of a little human. A human. Not a plant, or even a dog, that you can at least crate up when you want to go out for a last minute pedicure. A real living person that needs you — like really needs you — to like, survive. No biggy right? I mean, you always knew you wanted to be a mom, and having this baby was going to make your life finally feel complete. This baby was just going to fit right in and adapt to your awesome lifestyle, and it was all going to be a magical journey from here on out.
Then, motherhood hit you like a freight train. I was a victim of this freight train.
I couldn’t wait to be a mom and the thought of staying home and not going back to work was exciting. What a treat! But, around six months postpartum, the identity crisis began. The questions, “So, what do I do now? Who am I now?” were on an endless loop. I began brainstorming all of the different avenues I could go down. Did we want to try for another baby this early? (spoiler alert: yep!) Did I want to go back to my old job even though I swore I was done there? What about a new career? Was that even an option? Or, do I want to stay home and be “just a mom?”
Looking back, I feel lucky that I had so many options. But, based on many conversations I have had recently, I am learning that even women that always planned on going back to work after their maternity leave, struggle with their identity. How come? Well. Because here’s the thing… when you become a mother, you are forever changed. There is no going back to who you were before. You can fight it — resist it until you are blue in the face. But eventually, you will have to confront it. So, what if instead of resisting, we could embrace this new person we have become with open arms and an open heart? What if we could find strength and empowerment in Motherhood, instead of uncertainty.
This can be a big mountain to begin to make your way up, and so many things play a role. Your family, friends, peers, workplace, and the support you may (or may not) have around you. As a society, we expect women to be able to do it all. To be a kick ass mom that is attentive and meets all of our child’s physical and emotional needs, to have a career, to maintain friendships and relationships, to endure endless opinions, judgement and pressure. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the house up to snuff, AND find time for self care — all while not going insane!
So, what can we start doing to begin this journey to empowerment?
Numero uno. Embrace the new you. Because, it is in fact, a metamorphosis. Challenge yourself to grow into this new identity with each passing day and I assure you, you will begin to embark on a very different journey.
Listen (or don’t) to the endless “advice” and take what you want from it. Perhaps it’s something enlightening, or maybe it’s about as helpful as telling you to crawl into a hole until your baby is old enough to make himself a sandwich. Remind yourself that regardless of what anyone has to say, that you know best — never underestimate the power of your intuition.
Do not allow anyone to downplay motherhood, or your decision to stay at home OR go back to work. Own it. Stand tall and find a way to respond respectfully and powerfully that you are proud. Decided to stay home? Amazing. Decided to go back to work? Also amazing.
Be unapologetic for being present. Sometimes it may take some time to return that phone call. Guess what? This is your life now and you should never apologize for giving your child every ounce of you, if you so please.
Rock that ergo carrier — pretend it is the newest Versace accessory. Strut your leggings 24/7 derrière down the sidewalk with that monstrosity that is the double Bob stroller. You are basically Beyonce, and who doesn’t want to be Queen B?
Lastly, remind yourself you are doing your absolute best. Be compassionate to yourself for what you are doing every moment of every day because, Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. You are everything that baby needs. No matter how tired, frustrated or confused you may feel. You are it. You are enough. You, are a Mother.