There’s a concept associated with being a newer mother that we “lose ourselves.” Not physically, unless we are locked in a closet by choice as a survival mechanism.
By the way, if you do not know of Kristina Kuzmic then you absolutely need to.
I am referring to our sense of identity as women beneath the piles of laundry, pasta thrown on the floor, endless bottles in the sink and chores associated with raising these demanding little people. We do swim classes, music sessions, park trips, play dates, art time, reading marathons, etc. We attempt to serve balanced meals, healthier than we would have ever made for ourselves with creative renditions of vegetables that almost never get eaten, and then curb our own appetites with the rejects left on the tray or *gasp* thrown assertively on the floor (not sure if the gasp is about the power-play behavior or the eating off the floor). We give our love and literally give ourselves in an effort to raise the healthiest, happiest, moral little people who are hopefully equipped to lead fulfilling lives.
I could go down a few paths here such as how social media supports an unrealistic standard of what parenting looks like. Thank you to Instagram and Pinterest toddler birthday parties just went from cake, candles and a paper hat to wedding planning for little people, minus the vows.
This is my birthday, circa late-1980s (notice those bangs, cut at home by mom with a piece of Scotch tape across the forehead):
I could also dive into how smelling your baby is basically akin to a hit of cocaine, and you can tap that baby anytime. Ah, There’s Nothing Like New Baby Smell
Instead allow me to muse about how wonderful seeing my little babes blossom into rad little people is. This journey has been so rewarding that I am going to preach about how your life isn’t complete until you have kids. I know we all adore These People.
Humor aside, You Do You. The world is a better place for uncles and aunts. We need, appreciate and love you, as do our (in the collective sense) children. Here are some awesome short reads about valuing Uncles and Aunts in today’s society:
Personally, when I realized how rewarding being a mom felt I also realized how my professional sphere paled in comparison. Before my twins I saw myself as a professional heavy hitter and had long allowed my career to be a defining factor in my sense of identity. It was enough then to be climbing a savvy startup or Forbes darling company, with a buzzword title and juicy salary. Before becoming mommy I had never asked myself, “For what purpose?” I have no criticism of these employers. In general they were great organizations full of great people, it’s just that other than experience, a paycheck and some wonderful relationships I didn’t feel a connection with them. What other passions did I associate with other than career and family? Honestly, I’m not sure and that’s something I’m not proud of.
Not only am I asking “Which direction do I take my career from here?” but I am also throwing “What am I really passionate about?” in for fun. I think the answer to fulfillment lies somewhere in between working for a paycheck and chasing passion and I know for sure you won’t get what you don’t ask for. My path has been the road I’ve taken so far but had never stopped to pull out the map, until now. I don’t think I am rediscovering myself at all, but intentionally asking “Who am I?” for the very first time.
In Mom Speak that translates to, What happened? I blacked out. Where am I and how did I get so many kids?
For the record, we just celebrated the twins turning two this weekend in old school throwback style. Happy birthday Knox and Camilla!