Occasionally in conversations with other moms I am asked, “Was adding one child, two or number three to the family most difficult? For me, the answer is always the same. The first one.
She is how I became lost in motherhood.
Sometimes the most difficult times are the ones we are most grateful for in retrospect because they push us and change us.
If I am honest, for months after my first baby was born, I mourned the loss of my “old”, easy, independent life. I wanted to be everything I was before being a mom, but the reality was-everything had changed. I had changed.
Before babies I was confident my life would not change for a baby. “The baby will fit into my life,” I famously declared when I was pregnant. But then she was here. And everything was different. My compass pointed in all the directions I said I would never go- sacrificing myself for the joy of this precious baby girl. My path of plans so clearly defined before becoming a mother- climb the corporate ladder to be a managing editor, continue to travel the world, win my age bracket in a triathlon, and basically be a self-absorbed, self-serving human (wow, that does not feel good to write)-but that was no longer the road I wanted to follow.
I traded in drinks for marathon nursing sessions, early morning spin for 5am baby snuggles, Good Morning America for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, lounging on the couch on a Saturday afternoon for the floor filled with Legos and Candyland, pedicures for doctor appointments. Pencil skirts and pumps for yoga pants and messy buns. Margaritas and appetizers for strong coffee and Cheerios.
Motherhood is humbling, isn’t it?
Some days, I am so lost in this season of life, so deep in the trenches with my littles, caring, teaching, shaping these little humans into who they’re meant to be that I don’t even know which way is up. How did I get here? I wonder. I am so lost in this life.
I spend my days smashing peas, playing Duck, Duck, Goose, reading Go Dog Go, singing the ABC’s for the millionth time, wiping floors, washing sippy cups, kissing faces and matching socks. This is motherhood, and it is beautiful, isn’t it?
Somewhere under the spit up, swaddle blankets, 3am feedings, toddler tantrums, spilled milk, lullabies, and sleep deprivation; I am still me, I think to myself.
Some days, I catch a glimpse of my former self from a song on the radio, a drive by of a familiar restaurant, a peek at a sundress tucked in the back of my closet, an old pair of running shoes.
I am the same but also different. All the selfish and self-absorbed parts are gone-motherhood takes that from you, and isn’t that a blessing? Motherhood has made me a better person, but in some ways worse because patience. The struggle is real, ya’ll! But really, my capacity to love exceeds my wildest dreams, my ability to forgive is more than I thought possible, my desire to give grace to them and my husband is paramount, and my protective instinct is fierce when it comes to my children.
You see, I had to get lost in order to find all of this.
Are you lost in motherhood too, Momma? I am telling you, it is okay, to be lost in this place. One day, you will run again, you will attend yoga classes, go out for a girls night sans baby, enjoy a date night out with your husband, finish that novel on your nightstand. I promise, you will come up for air, sooner than you realize.
But for now, be lost. I cannot think of a more beautiful thing to loose yourself in than in motherhood.