All at once, everything crashed. My adrenaline wore off, the baby was here to stay, nobody in the house slept through the night in weeks, I hadn’t showered in an unacceptable amount of time, my eyes had permanent bags, my husband worked the night shift, and I was alone. Even with a baby tethered to my body, I felt so alone. Never had I ever anticipated the feeling of such joy and sadness all at once. How was that possible?
Two weeks after my first child came into this world, I knew I’d never be the same again. Now, don’t get me wrong…I loved my child. And he was healthy. I just didn’t know how to articulate my feelings without feeling guilty and confused.
I wanted someone to save me. I felt like I gave 100% of myself to my husband and my child, but no one tried to be anything to me. I had tons of friends, but I struggled with help. #firsttimemomprobz. I focused on the fact that I was alone instead of looking up to the Lord for rest. I felt like I was on fire, but thrown into a pool. Drowning, yet still on fire.
You guys, I had no idea what to do.
I mourned my former life. Oh, how I missed being able to sleep. I missed eating or drinking whatever I wanted without worrying about pumping. I missed being spontaneous and going on a surprise date with my husband or a long overdue happy hour with my girlfriends. I missed the simplicity of my former life. Did I mention I missed sleeping?! I didn’t know where to categorize these emotions that were so daunting. Guilt overtook me. So many women struggle with infertility. And, since I had a miscarriage 5 months before I conceived, this was all I’d ever wanted.
Now, please don’t mistake my raw feelings for lack of appreciation for this phase of life.
IT WAS JUST HARD.
Harder than I expected. My reality may be different from yours. But if it’s not, know that you’re not alone.
You see, I now have three children–a two year old and nine month old twins. Having three kids in two years will not only instill a fear inside you that only God can calm, but it will change you. It will force you to become acquainted with your body, its needs, and your every breath will forever be deemed critical to the survival of your children. THAT’S serious stuff, mommas!
Finding myself again was not necessarily on the forefront in my mind!
If I’m really honest, it has been hard for me. It’s like the most messed up game of hide-and-seek there ever was. Just as soon as I think I’ve found the me that once was, I am reminded that I no longer want to be her. I am a new and improved version of myself. One that has broken parts–a broken body, a broken spirit from physical exhaustion and loving a tiny human so much it hurts. But the beauty from those broken places is redeemed by every single smile from a squishy baby’s face.
Does anyone truly know how to “find themselves again” after becoming a mother? I mean, something unimaginative happens to you when you conceive achild. A miraculous living soul forms inside of you. One that you are responsible for. Forever. Like, WHAAAAT does that even mean?! As soon as someone figures THAT out, let me know.
Because I didn’t know. I still don’t.
I’m just like you–trying to figure it all out while simultaneously having my life radically changed from the inside out. I’ll NEVER be the same. And I’m okay with that.
I’m kinder to myself. I give myself more grace. I find more reasons to laugh and not take myself seriously. I put the twins on a schedule so that I could find sanity. I chose NOT to breastfeed my twins.
I find courage in the hard times. I pray. A lot. I write. I exercise…because those 30 minutes help make me into a better version of myself. I go for walks. I read. I cry…I let it out, y’all!
I reach out to momma friends who get it. I try hard to be vulnerable with my husband–to let him know when I need a freaking minute to myself.
I plan coffee dates, lunch dates, date nights and Bunco nights. I hire a babysitter even though I feel guilty sometimes. I am lucky enough to have a mom and mother-in-law to help at a moment’s notice. I run to Target and roam the aisles… anyone else?!
I HAVE to do these things in order to feel like I’m a functioning member of my own life.
To be known and needed by my babies is everything to me. I try to connect as much as possible to avoid the ultimate disconnect that I can so easily fall into if I’m not intentional with my time.
Have I really found myself again? I’m not really sure I can answer that. Because who I once was is not who I am now. The former me–she’s not who I want to be. The girl that once dreamed of her future with a career, marriage and babies has grown into a woman who is that.
Even though I’m no longer a ‘free’ woman, there is freedom in motherhood. Even though my body has changed and I now carry stretch marks and wider hips, I also carry the most immense, undeniable love inside my soul.
I’d like to argue that mothers are superheroes. After all, we drive out monsters, kiss away tears and wipe up spilled milk with our dirty, two day old t-shirts … no?! Just me?! I like to think that I’m still learning how to enjoy the journey. Tell me I’m not alone!
How did you find yourself again?