I'm learning more and more that change is inevitable. I'm finding that to be particularly true as I navigate through motherhood while fighting not to lose grip of my pre-mom self. For the past 6 months I've been holding on for dear life to a piece of me that existed before Harper was born.
The truth is, I'm fighting a losing battle.
And it's exciting and sad at the same time.
This is my book and these are my stories, but when I had a baby, I entered a new chapter. It's beautifully written, full of content that keeps you on your toes, it's exciting and fun, and you never seem to know what's coming next. Each page gets better and better. But it's different. I was trying so desperately to grasp onto my character from previous chapters, but this chapter has changed my identity.
...And after 6 months of fighting and trying to hold onto my previous self, I'm ready to embrace and accept who I am as Mom.
This was all brought to fruition as I traveled to Sedona for a good friend's bachelorette party with 4 girls, non of which are moms. I observed and appreciated their spontaneity, go-with-the-flow, drinking without worry and overall care free attitudes. And part of me felt like I could fit right in. Pre-mom never turned down a drink, slept in cars on the side of the road in Australia, Honey-mooned with no itinerary, took random day trips to California, headed to the cabin on a whim, etc. All weekend I was waiting for the fun, spontaneous, party girl, old-me-pre-motherhood to emerge. But she never did. Instead, I was reserved, careful, responsible. I had fun but it was a different kind of fun. It was the fun that REALLY enjoyed the relaxing facial and quiet massage. It was the fun that loved feeling lost in nature and appreciating the beauty. It was the kinda fun that enjoyed those 2 adult beverages at lunch... but really, 2 was enough. For a brief moment, I tried to recreate my old self. My self before mom. But what I found was:
That girl, she doesn't exist anymore. In her place resides someone new, someone different. Someone who appreciates the TASTE of a good wine instead of drinking to get wasted. Someone who won't take advantage of a massage even if it's not deep enough because peace and quiet is hard to come by anymore. Someone who enjoys the beauty of nature and being able to emerge herself in it for any length of time. Someone with a body in one place and a mind in another. Someone who would rather remain in total control. Someone who found it more important to pump milk for her baby than fit in with the party. Someone who was amused by people watching at the bar instead of being watched by people. Someone who loved a weekend with the girls but couldn't wait to come home to her baby. Someone who's definition of fun... has completely changed.
It's really kind of funny. My pre-mom self had it all figured out. She was going to remain living the life she always lived but just with a baby. My pre-baby self didn't realize one key factor: when you have a baby, you become a MOM. And being a mom, it changes you.
So, while I'll always appreciate the person I was before, I'm ready to unapologetically accept the person that I am now.
Here's to trading in...
- pool parties for swim lessons
- trail running for stroller running
- oversees vacations for disney trips
- dinners out for dinners at home
- wine for kombucha
- adult parties for kids birthday parties
- stoney's country dancing for daddy daughter dances
- dinner parties for bedtime routines
- sleeping in for morning snuggles
Because the definition of fun has changed now. Fun is watching your baby bounce with pure excitement in her bouncer. Fun is watching your baby learn to crawl. Fun is introducing solids. Fun is night time routines as a family. Fun is creating traditions. Fun is making memories as a family of 3.
There's a few things I'll always hold on to; date nights, the taste of aged wine and girls night out. All with a little less alcohol and a lot more appreciation for adult conversation.
The other night my husband casually asked, "So, when are we going to start trying for number 2?". When I asked him, "Why?" he responded, "Harper is just such a joy". I couldn't help but smile. Not because I'm 100% ready or that the time is now, but because we made it. We've adjusted to this new life and we've learned to love and appreciate each other as parents. We've transitioned from our prior life, into parenthood and are overwhelmed with the fun, joy and happiness Harper has brought into our lives.
Having a baby changes your life. It changes you. It changes your roles as husband and wife. It changes the way you experience day to day tasks. It changes EVERYTHING. But becoming a parent, being a mom, is EVERYTHING I've ever dreamed of and more. My pre-mom self was pretty cool, but this mom life was what I was REALLY meant to do.
All change is hard and it's especially hard to leg go of the life you've been living for years but it is extremely rewarding to immerse yourself in the life you've built. And this life we've built, boy is it beautiful.