“To find yourself in motherhood, you have to lose a little of yourself first.”
— Josephine: a Creative Life
When I first became a mom I was so worried about losing who I was, that somehow my old self would get lost amidst diapers and daydreams. And I know now, after connecting with so many creative mothers, that I was not alone when I worried about this. The funny thing is that motherhood has actually ignited a creative fire in me that’s never burned so bright, never been so inspired and while a little of my old self got lost along the way (especially the fearful parts of me, the parts that were afraid to start because it wasn’t time and the parts of me that put things off for later), some new parts of me were found and I’m so happy they are finally here!
Motherhood is one of those life changing, life altering things that can’t really be given a momentary explanation because it’s a new state of being that is ever-evolving and always changing; it’s literally a new life and with that comes a letting go of elements of your old one. You aren’t a mother for a little while and then you can look back on it and think ‘well that was fun’ as you contemplate the times passed; you’re forever a mother and with that comes a new way of thinking about your whole life. Pieces of your heart are out in the world (some of them walking around) and you will forever be their mommy. You will be their mommy long after your lessons in sleep-training are over, long after you’ve debated if cloth diapers are better than disposables, long after your “twonager” has outgrown their “no” stage and long after your unending debates over “parenting methods/styles” have been hashed out between your partner, friends or online. So when I think about motherhood and what it all means I think about the bigger picture now. I think about what I want my children remember about their childhood, how I make them feel and what I can teach them about the world; kindness, love and finding joy!
In the early stages (lol … I’m calling it the early stages like it’s been so long) my little ones are only two and eight months, who am I kidding …we are actually just getting started. Anyways, at the very beginning when I first became a mother, I was so aware of these changes that were happening and it really was a series of letting go, something that I think will continue to happen as the years go on. I saw motherhood as something I had to understand or learn about, even figure out. Like it was some gigantic puzzle I just needed to find all the pieces to and carefully put it together (… little giggle at my old self). Who knows what motherhood will feel like in five, 10 or even 15 years from now (honestly can’t even imagine these babies as teenagers, well maybe my two-year old), but I do know that those puzzle pieces are never going to fit perfectly together and “figuring it out” means there has to be some kind of answer. I know now that there isn’t an answer or a way of doing it and I’m so happy that I’ve learned that. Motherhood isn’t a job in the traditional sense, or a complicated equation that you might solve; there isn’t a way of doing it that is more effective or more efficient because it’s a part of life and motherhood, like life, doesn’t have a road map or a set of instructions – it just is. Of course there are tried and true methods for elements of motherhood that have worked since the dawn of time, yup mamas having been mommying since the dawn of time, so we do have years of experience to look back on, but there’s no right way of mommying, you kind of just have to keep finding your own way.
I don’t know if I wasn’t sure of myself before motherhood or if motherhood forced me to take action so often that I had to learn to trust myself. The idea that I couldn’t do something or the fear associated with trying something new seems to have dissipated after having children and I’m not sure why this is, but I do know that I have very little time to think about things for as long as I did before. Yes, I still try to make decisions as carefully as I can, but let’s be serious here, if I get a moment in the day to think … I mean really think (like hold my warm tea, take a deep breath, clear- my-scattered-brain-for-a-second kind of think), it’s a good day. And since this happens only once in a while, I’ve learned to take action a lot more! And I truly know a lot more about me because of motherhood than I ever did before. I think because in motherhood there’s rarely any time for nonsense so you learn really quickly to do and pick what you like.
This is true of a lot of elements of my life, such as fashion, food or even fun. I know what I like now when it comes to clothes and my own personal style because I have to know. When I’m getting dressed I have 3-5minutes to decide on something that works and that means I can only have those pieces in my closet because there’s just no time for messing around. This means that when I go to choose something it’s from a small selection of items I truly love. I’ve also started to mix in some fun baby friendly items, like this teething necklace from Bauble Baby ; it’s so pretty and incredibly practical when you have a teething baby.
The same is true for how I spend my time. Motherhood has taught me a lot about time, how fast it moves and how precious it really is. Honestly, the most valuable thing someone can give you is their time, and well I’ve become a lot more aware of how I spend that time. If my little one wants me to play with him, I try to stop what I’m doing and play, if my baby wants to be held for a bit longer that day, I hold him, because one day they will be to busy to play and too big to hold.
Motherhood is messy; hands down it’s rocked my boat way more than any job, academic pursuit or life-changing event I’ve ever experienced. You can’t make any of it happen the way you want it to, because babies and kids are always growing and always changing so you don’t really ever “figure them out.” Once in a while you kind of get it, you feel like you understand your little one and the days are smooth (you get into a bit of a groove) but now that I have a second child, I know that I’m never really home free at any stage, they don’t stay the same and to be honest that’s the best part. Motherhood is a continuously changing state of being, you grow as your children grow and you try your best to teach them what’s important along the way; kindness, love and finding joy. The rest, the nitty gritty details (the how-to’s that seem to creep into our lives on a daily basis) those come and go, but the big stuff stays and that’s what matters more than anything to me. Motherhood has given me the gift of presence, the ability to look at my little ones and love them, right here, right now, forever!
I’m so in love with this teething necklace and have been wearing it with as many outfits as possible! Neeti ( also a new mom) created Bauble Baby as a way to help herself heal after experiencing PPD. Creating Bauble Baby began Neeti’s journey of overcoming her anxiety and finding herself again as a mom. I’m so excited to be partnering with Bauble Baby to offer you a discount code on one of their teething necklaces. Just use code: JCL15 to receive 15% off of a necklace of your choice. Head on over to the Bauble Baby and use that code at the checkout!
*Disclosure: Companies featured often sponsor my posts. If I love the company or products I am more than happy to share them with you!
One thought on “Finding “Me” in Motherhood”
Beautiful post. It’s true, when you become a mother, you lose a little bit of yourself- not in a bad way but in a good one. You have to lose the idea of putting “me” first. You have to lose the idea of doing whatever “I” want all the time. You lose a little bit of independence. But what you lose doesn’t compare at all to what you gain: unconditional adoring love, happiness like you never imagined, and the honor to form and raise little beings. It’s pretty awesome and challenging at the same time. PS I loooooove the necklace!