‘Motherhood is the only job you can’t quit from’.
It didn’t take me long to truly understand this phrase and realize how difficult motherhood is. And will be. FOREVER.
If I’m being honest, sticking with something for the rest of my life is a totally new feeling. I’ve always been the person who isn’t afraid to make changes and quit a job if it doesn’t fit me or make me happy. Or change the city or country I live in, if I feel there’s somewhere better for me. I love change and making constant adjustments to my life so it is closer to what I’d like it to be.
It seems that I need to slow down, now that I have a constant in my life.
Soon enough, I also realized that this would be the most difficult job I will ever have in my life. I’d always take pride in my ability to adjust and succeed at any job I held in my career. You could put me in any work environment and I would find a way to thrive and tackle the challenges. But this… motherhood… it was so… NEW. So much to learn, so difficult and so emotional. I swear it could be a whole new profession.
‘The art of motherhood.’
Before you read on, I just want to note that this post isn’t to complain or whine about motherhood. Becoming a mother has been the best and most rewarding experience of my life and I enjoy every second of it immensely. It was my best decision ever but I do have a lot of thoughts around it. 🙂
A Huge Shift After Becoming a Mom
Since May 2019, my life has shifted 180 degrees and it looks nothing like it used to before Ada. I literally have a new full-time job for which I had no preparation or knowledge for. The ‘what to expect’ resources prepared me for pregnancy and birth, while the Instagram and Pinterest posts by moms I followed prepared me for how to setup the nursery and where to get matching mother-daughter outfits.
Nowhere did I read about the amount of laundry I’d have to do, or the amount of research I’d need to do on solids, or sleep training, or the childcare industry which is a huge topic on its own. Just naming a few.
I have to give credit for the material you come across on postpartum depression and anxiety, but nothing focuses on the non-baby side. How weird your life will feel as you adjust to the social aspects of motherhood and how lonely it is at times. Noone talks about the emptiness you’ll feel from no longer going to a job (if you’ve worked for many years, you’ll realize this feels super strange), how lonely you may feel because you don’t have adult conversations anymore in your day-to-day life, how everyone will immediately ask you about your baby and not how YOU feel (this is the opposite during pregnancy) or how to make new mom friends so you, but most importantly your child doesn’t feel lonely.
For me, the social aspect of motherhood has been the part that I was least prepared for. Everything in my life changed. My daily habits, social activities, my conversations. And it is all so new that I needed to learn how to handle life in this new form.
Above Everything, You’re a Mom.
You might have had many different roles and names in your career and life – entrepreneur, singer, painter, yogi, adventurer, marketer, influencer – but now you have a new and bigger one: MOM. This supercedes every other title you’ve held before and as wonderful as it is, it does feel very emotional and somewhat heartbreaking to say farewell to your previous titles or put them away for a while. And I’m not saying that we only do this to ourselves as moms, but this is also how everyone else views us.
We are mothers, but we are also the woman that we were once before our baby joined us. I feel it is so easy for people to forget that we had a different life before our baby and we had dreams, habits, skills, likes and dislikes in life. Just like everyone else. We are perhaps now seen as the ‘lady with the stroller on 5th floor’ while it may have been something completely different before. Our persona is now shaped by motherhood and baby items.
Life on Repeat: ‘The 50 First Dates Life’
I like to call motherhood “the 50 first dates life” (have you watched that movie? If not, it’s great, go watch it) – your life becomes all about repetition and feels like you’re stuck in a cycle of naps, feeds, play times, poops and sleep routines.
You give all your energy day in and day out, try to learn as much as you can so you can contribute to your child’s development and raise them to become a strong, beautiful individual that will make this world a better place.
But in the end, noone gives you a crown for being a mom or throws flowers your way. You’re a mom now, this is what you have to do. And on top of that, you need to find your new place in society as a mom.
You out, baby in.
As soon as your baby naps, your mind runs through the list of things you want (or need) to do – should you take a pee? a shower? get dressed? cook a meal? put away the dishes? wash the poop covered sheets? make a coffee? arrange play dates? search for baby time events happening nearby? find out if that cafe is stroller-friendly? order the sleeved bib your baby needs from Amazon? fix the diaper bag so it’s ready when you need to go out? All of them, yes please! Read a book? Do some work? Watch a show? Nah, not really. It’s all about priorities. Who has time for those?
I never knew I could fit in so much in a time span of 60 minutes. When your baby finally goes down for a nap, you bring out the superwoman in you to tick off everything on your to-do list. (I swear this would’ve come in so handy in my past life too!)
Before you know it… Your 60 minutes (if you’re lucky that is) is up and your bundle of joy is calling for you.
As strange as it makes me feel at times, I do love my new title – I absolutely love being a mom and it is the most life changing title I will ever hold. However, I guess I’m trying to highlight that I’m not just a mom. I’m also the woman I was before becoming a mom and so are all the other moms around us. I’m realizing that this isn’t acknowledged enough and it’s very important to see women as individuals – and not only within their ‘Mom’ title.