Before becoming a mom, we were a woman. Strong, independent, fun, and fierce.
Before becoming a mom, we probably had a girl squad and hobbies and looked for adventure on every corner. Or maybe could spend weekends cuddling up in an oversized fuzzy blanket and binge watching One Tree Hill in silence. We didn’t think twice about getting our nails done and grocery-shopped for fun. Our bucket list was long and our responsibilities were an afterthought.
Now, we are Moms. Just as strong, as fun, and as fierce, but with a significant amount of responsibility.
We have a whole person, or people, who depend on us for everything. The weight is heavy and our brain is constantly in overdrive. We calculate hours of overnight sleep and convert that into how much nap-time sleep our babies need. We analyze poop color and eating habits and cry tones. As moms, we obsess over milestones and if we can do anything better to make sure our baby hits those milestones early.
There is nothing we won’t do to give our baby the best that life has to offer. Even with the sometimes crushing feelings of responsibility, we love knowing that our baby depends on us and that we have the ability to help him thrive. Our heart grew seven sizes the moment our baby was placed on our chest and we wouldn’t change this life for the world.
However, somewhere along the way we start to miss our old self. The carefree adventures and rooting for Lucas and Peyton in silence.
We miss the woman we used to be before our title included “mom”. Our lives have so drastically shifted that it is unclear if we are even the same person.
Spoiler alert: we are not the same person.
But there is good news! This new mom version of ourselves is so much better. She is stronger and more adaptable. She is an overcomer. She has learned to savor each moment.
It is more than okay to miss pieces of your pre-motherhood life. But life on this side can be so much sweeter. You don’t have to try and claw yourself back to your old identity. You also don’t have to create a brand new identity in order to feel like yourself again. You can take your old hobbies and interests, include your new wisdom and values, and become a beautiful new version of yourself.
Carving out physical and emotional space to blossom into this new stage of womanhood.
Being a mom doesn’t mean you stop living. It means that you adapt to a new, and beautiful, life. A life that can be full of adventure and bucket lists. Full of binge-watching and girls nights out. You can create a beautiful life for yourself as a woman and mother.
Join a gym with childcare.
Organize a play date with other moms who love the zoo.
Go back to work part-time or full-time and have your own culture outside of the home.
Invest in good headphones and listen to audiobooks.
Research family-friendly adventures and take your baby hiking with you.
When you feel yourself getting bogged down by the weight of the motherhood responsibility, challenge yourself to do something for you. You are the best mom you can be when your cup is full! Consider this a challenge: do not be discouraged that you’ve left your former self behind. Be excited about the women you are becoming.