When I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter, Rigby, the first advice I received was “Don’t lose yourself in motherhood”. Four years later, after the arrival of my second child, my son, Ryder, I realize that I am so completely lost in motherhood that I may not ever find my way back.
In that very complicated place of motherhood, I have found the best, most supportive, honest and true friends I have ever had in my life. These women are of all ages, all backgrounds and while we may have different tastes in music, clothing, movies, etc. (all the superficial things), we have something deeply in common in our love for our kids which encompasses so much.
I have found an honest, loving, trusting, committed partnership with my husband strengthened solid, I believe, because we had children. Our love for our children gave us such an intense common goal, that we moved mountains to see each other eye to eye and in the end, realized even more how much we were meant for one another.
I have found a new understanding and appreciation for my mother. Words cannot express the gratitude and respect I feel for her. The relationship we have as mother to mother is more than I could have hoped for and would not exist if not for my children.
The love a mother can feel for her child is indescribable. Having found that love is all at once overwhelming, fulfilling, terrifying, and humbling. After the birth of my daughter, in those intense hormonal days post birth, I could only describe my love for her as painful. I love my children so much that it hurts sometimes. The joy, fun, and laughter that I see in their faces are more fun than any night out I have ever had. And even though the rough days are a million times rougher than any rough morning after the fun night, I have learned that even when I can’t take it anymore….I can. This realization teaches me that I am a stronger than I ever thought.
Most importantly, I think I understand myself more than I ever could have, because of my children. My time is so limited and therefore, so important that I have truly honed down what is important and where my priorities lie and how I want to spend that precious time. I have examined how I want my children to view me which only leads to how I want to view myself and how to achieve that. Sometimes our children motivate us to change for more than we motivate ourselves. The way we parent and our “style”, I believe, in many ways come to define us. I have learned more about myself, the good, the bad and the ugly, by being a mother. While I don’t always like what I find, I do feel more whole having found it.
The next time I am talking to a woman pregnant with her first child, if she asks for a piece of advice, I will likely tell her “Lose yourself in motherhood…. you may just truly find yourself”. I did.