Being a new mother you receive tons of unsolicited advice, some helpful words of wisdom and plenty of cliché guidance. Things like, “ it goes by so fast”, “You will never love someone like you love your child”. Even comical warnings, such as “say good bye to your intimate life”, “Be prepared to be peed on” and “ You will never sleep again”. All of these things are true at some point during your time of being a parent. But it is what people don’t tell you, what none of us talk about, that really should be shared among new parents.
The rewards of being a parent are endless, from each pound our baby gains, to every milestone achievement and success our child has. We share their joy and celebrate each accomplishment with pride. But this is not about the joys of parenting. This is about being a woman, who is a mother. How do you turn ‘Mom’ off and enjoy the absolute beauty of being a woman or the fun of being ‘You’.
No one tells you how hard it is to deal with the guilt of pouring a glass of wine at the end of a day and wanting a second. We don’t talk about the struggle of wanting a night off from life, to throw on the little black dress (if we can actually find one that covers our new wobbling bits and shows off our hips in just the right way) and dance the night away with our girlfriends knowing that each minute that passes is a minute of exhaustion the next day. We long for the opportunity to have a night away with our partner or friends, but when the opportunity comes we decide to lounge in our pajamas and catch up on our favorite Netflix shows, simply because relaxing seems so luxurious in that moment. Or worse, we win the fight against relaxing, spend hours tearing through the closet looking for an outfit that finally reveals you are no longer pregnant, taking every last bit of energy you have to prepare for an evening out. Everything is ready, sitter is booked, hair is washed and for once your fuzzy legs are now the smoothest they ever been.. And your plans cancel. And you feel relived! The old you would have been filled with disappointment. We don’t talk about how often we watch the clock, or how our thoughts are filled with constant list and to-do items, even at the least opportune times. We forget to let go and enjoy the moment that we are in. Things we once enjoyed, now feel like obligations. We definitely don’t talk about how alone, or lost we feel some days. Some of us may even question, “Was I meant to be a Mom?” and not because we don’t love our child, or adore every part of who they are, but the constant demand of being a parent is overwhelming, you may feel in morning for whom you once were and are struggling with this new life.
How do you turn ‘Mom’ off? You cant. In my short time thus far of being a Mom, I have heard all of the classic advice, but what I have learned is that our friends will change. Your relationship will be stretched thin at times, you will feel lost, alone and guilt in any decision you make for yourself. You may not see yourself as a woman, a friend or a girlfriend but only a Mother. And if you are like me, and suffered with PPD the answer is the same to all these feelings, is it is normal, no one is alone in them. We all share these battles as new parents.
“Being a parent is the most wonderful experience one can ever have” is an absolute truth.
-Jessica Lanois “Once a globe-trotter now an entrepreneur and full time Mom”.