I’ve spent some time over the past week looking back at who I was before I was a Mom. I’m not sure that I really like that person. Nor am I sure that she is someone I would want to be friends with. She was insecure, quick to anger, and horribly apt to cry. She constantly struggled at maintaining her relationship with her husband and the rest of her family. She made excuses for everything. She let life happen to her. She looked a little something like the lady pictured on the right…
And then I think about the person I’ve become over the past eighteen months. I make decisions for another person. I am in charge of making sure that he becomes the best person he can be. I am responsible for molding him into “a contributing member of society” (a quote from my sage mother).
I wipe up messes, change diapers, fix food that will be thrown on the floor, create ways to make hair washing more fun and less torture. I read stories to a little boy who just wants “down.” I discipline him when he is bad and comfort him when he falls. I spend hours trying to teach phrases like, “Holy cow!” (hasn’t caught on) and “Good boy!” (a favorite when petting the dog).
Despite all the trial and error associated with motherhood, I found myself. I’m not entirely sure where I was hiding, nor am I sure it’s important that I know. Instead, I’ll focus on loving this new life of mine and keep trying to look a little more like the lady pictured here:
It’s a little hard for me to look at the first picture. I weighed 70 pounds more than I do now there, and it reminds me of all the time I wasted. All the time I abused my body and made excuses for it. All the times I let it dictate my life. But I’m glad to have the picture, glad to have a reminder of who I was and why it’s so important that I continue taking the time to find me.
Do me a favor. Make some time for yourself. Head to the gym. Even if you’re tired. Especially if you’re tired. Get up fifteen minutes early and just enjoy the quiet. Send the kids to bed early. Make them play in their room. Take a break from being someone’s mom/wife/whatever-you-are-that-usually-defines-you. Just be you. Everyone around you will appreciate it. And so will you.