When I first had Mary Clare I was constantly wondering, “when will I feel like myself again?” At first, it feels like you’ll never do the things you did before, ever again. Like you’ll never go out to dinner or shopping or to the gym again or like I don’t know, ever get drunk again? It seems impossible to leave your tiny human. It takes time to adjust to motherhood, for some more than others.
So here's some good news, I do go out to dinner and to the gym and shopping and yes once in a while I have that extra cocktail!
I also realized over the past few months, that I’m not the same me I used to be. I mean, of course I’m still me but after having a baby I am not the same. I read the perfect metaphor for this. It’s like an egg...I was a raw egg before but now I’m scrambled. I’m still an egg but I’m not the same at all. It made me smile because things get scrambled in every sense when you have a baby. But seriously when I read it I was like, “yup that’s right!”
So, as Derek Zoolander said... "Who am I?"
I've gone through lots of iterations of myself, as most people do. We go through experiences to figure out who we are. The big ones - like going off to college, having knee surgery, getting married (those are my big ones but not everyone’s). And the little ones - like showing the principal in front of your whole class that you learned to tie your sneakers or quitting swim team because you want to play field hockey like everyone else even though you are really good at swimming or being 15 and getting into a screaming match with your photo teacher (my HS friends remember that one). All of it - the big and small, the good and the bad - shape who we become.
As a 31 year old woman, I really thought I knew who I was. After years of therapy and my own life experiences, I was sure I had it figured out. Ha! Then something big happened, for me it was giving birth. I changed again.
I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I experienced love like never before. I learned what it means to put someone else ahead of myself. To truly sacrifice my needs for another’s. This isn’t any shiny, new discovery, every parent has experienced it. I’d heard it all before but I really didn’t get it until it happened to me.
I’ve also found that taking care of my daughter requires that I also take care of myself. If I’m putting myself last, I can’t do anything for anyone. I also have become so much more efficient with my time than ever before. You’ve gotta be efficient when taking care of a baby and still finding ways to take good care of yourself! My most important role right now is Mom but I’m determined not to let that be the only thing I am.
So for now, this is who I am. I’ll always be me but with each experience I’ll change and be different too. This is not a novel idea but I think I’ll just try to roll with the punches and work on being the best version of myself. I’ll always be an egg but there are lots of different ways to make an egg, right?