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Becoming a parent has been one of the most amazing things to happen to me. From the minute my baby was born, the love I felt for her was indescribable and I just knew I was going to move mountains for this little girl. When I was prepping to become a mom, I read several books, took an all day baby class, watched some online tutorials and started following a few recommended mom influencers on social media. I knew my life was going to change and boy did everyone let me know that. But I thought I was different. I thought I was emotionally capable of not losing myself and my hard-earned independence to motherhood. I was wrong.
I remember telling friends and co-workers we would still get together for happy hours and dinners but that I would have my baby in tow, or she would be at home with her dad. Every mom, deserves her much needed “me” time, and I was certain I was going to get that. Some would laugh and tell me those days are long gone, that becoming a parent sucks the life out of you and they would see me more when she was five and starting school. I would smile and laugh and brush it off, because I was hell-bent on keeping my identity and crushing the mom game. Could having a baby really change your life that much?
For me, it absolutely did. After my daughter was born, I was completely content staring at her for hours on end being amazed at what a perfect human we had created. I don’t think I left the house for weeks and once I did I would rush around everywhere to not be gone longer than an hour, maybe an hour and a half max. I was also pumping every two hours at first and I hated pumping on the go unless I had to. My anxiety from being away from her was through the roof and it took me months to realize it, but I was definitely struggling with Postpartum Anxiety.
Due to the lack of space in daycare, and with waiting lists being 20-22 months out, we decided it would be best for me to stay home with our little girl. I was excited and nervous because I always thought of myself as a working mom and never thought I would be in a position to be able to stay home. But this was a new chapter and new adventure for us and I just envisioned all the fun we would have, and memories we would make.
Becoming a parent for me always came with the want and need to give my child an amazing life filled with love, adventures, culture and a space to grow up and be herself. The pressure to be super mom was always heavy on my shoulders and from nothing more than just pressure I have always put on myself as an individual. Being in this new role, I treated it as my full time job and put as much effort, if not more, into being a mom as I did for any previous employers.
Becoming A Parent Changes Your Life
This, for me, is where my life started to look different and I felt different. The hard part about staying home was learning the work-life balance. Becoming a parent and being a stay at home mom had no days off, no time away from your little one and no weekends to just relax. I would feel bad asking my husband to help or even that I needed a break because he was working just as hard with long hours and even longer weeks. The guilt hit me really hard. There were days I would just cry because I missed my old life, pre-motherhood and that made me feel so bad.
How could I ever feel this way? I had such an amazing life with so much to be grateful for. I kept telling myself that I was so lucky to be able to stay home with my sweet little girl and there are other moms that would die to take my place. How could I need a break from own child, from the life that women idolized because it is so great. I mean what could be better than long walks with your little, coffee dates with friends, play dates and mom groups. So I kept pushing through until I couldn’t push anymore.
Losing yourself almost seems to be a rite of passage when becoming a parent, but it can take many forms and lengths of time in your life. There may not be a specific point in your motherhood journey where you stop and say “I am losing myself and my independence” but at some point or another most moms feel it. There are endless piles of laundry, school obligations, lunches and dinners, carpooling, diaper changes, errands, cleaning, and oh you may have a full-time job on top of being a rock star mom.
I wanted to be good at my job, I wanted to be successful. I was constantly striving to be a better version of myself before I became a parent and give my little girl an even better life than the amazing life my parents gave me. But all that pressure to not lose my identity was really just hurting the honest potential I had to just be a good mom. I didn’t need to be great, I just needed to be good. Once I got to that realization it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I have a new identity and adapting to this new season has been a beautiful thing.
Becoming a parent has given me a new identity that I thought I didn’t want. I didn’t want to lose my old life just because I was having a baby, I wanted this tiny human to just fit into my life instead of me fitting into hers. Once I stopped trying to hold onto the “old me” and changed my mindset to the “new me” life just seemed easier. Our days are not perfect and I still have moments where I find myself daydreaming of what used to be, but then I hear those tiny feet running through the house and I realize I am right where I am supposed to be.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Stop Mom Shaming- Motherhood Is Not A Competition.
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