Find yourself in the middle of motherhood.
BY KATIE DrobiNA
No amount of preparation can truly ready you for motherhood. It is a life event that shakes the ground beneath you. I will never forget the first time I saw those double pink lines and the realization of the uncharted territory that lies ahead. In an instant, everything you think you know suddenly becomes nullified as your body and brain take in a constant stream of newness. Motherhood is a high calling, indeed.
After the birth of my first child, I threw myself into loving, caring, and raising him with all that I was. I wouldn’t call myself a “helicopter parent,” but I certainly found myself happily placing all that he was becoming above all that I used to be. It’s a slow fade, the giving of self to labor love and life into the future generation. We don’t see the losing of self, most of the time, because the immensity of caring for a child is only natural, instinctive, and necessary.
We begin to find pride and worth in what they are accomplishing and not in our own personal successes. None of this is inherently wrong or bad, but if we’re not careful, we may get eighteen years down the road and not remember our given names before we were gifted with the title of “Mama.” We may easily become lost in motherhood.
The birth of my second child, and my husband’s job taking him halfway across the world were the defining moments for me. These events snapped me out of my “Mrs. Cleaver trance,” as I was forced to hearken back to my social work days of using grit, creativity, and intelligence to get all of the things accomplished without my soulmate and partner right by my side.
I also began to observe my life and those of my family using my writer’s soul, and rediscovered my love for poetry, creative writing, and story-telling. Slowly, I regained my footing in self-discovery, but I realized I would never really find the old me. Instead, I was blazing a new and powerful trail of discovery. Dare I say, a truer version of “Katie” was found!
Maybe you are that mom who is now realizing you have been in a constant state of giving, forgetting, and losing. Maybe you need to know that it’s ok to be “Mom” AND insert your name here. Maybe you’ve forgotten the gifts given to you that can impact the world. You see, motherhood has the potential to transform each of us into deeper, more insightful, more humble, more aware versions of ourselves.
If we let it, motherhood can unlock a secret door to the humans we were meant to be. You will never find me claiming to be an expert in the field of motherhood. (It would be foolish to do so when each day presents a new opportunity for growth.) But, if you feel that a part of you has been lost in motherhood, take some time to consider just a few ways into the path of finding!
01:: Alone Time
“Solitude gives birth to the original in us…” –Thomas Mann
Motherhood entails so much “noise.” Whether it’s the auditory noise of your littles or the technological noise of social media’s constant influence, I’ve found it’s hard for many mothers to just sit still in the quiet. May I challenge you to sit in a calm and quiet place at least once a week. Use this time to consider who you were before motherhood. How this version of you is still present but changed? As you adopt this practice, consider meditating on who you wish to become through your motherhood journey.
02:: Find Cheerleaders
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” –Unknown
Surround yourself with people who truly want the best for you. These are the individuals who know you well, aren’t afraid to be honest with you, and genuinely want you to succeed in your endeavors. They will be the ones to tell you to “keep going” when it feels like you have nothing left, while also keeping you grounded.
“…We are a tribe of future makers. So let’s support each other.” –Marissa Hermer
Motherhood has the potential to be a lonely season (especially in those early years) if we let it. Take some time to canvas the mom groups in your area or seek out playdates with local moms. Sometimes this can feel a bit uncomfortable, but you’d be amazed how building a village of moms around you impacts your motherhood journey for the better. You may just be what the group has been missing!
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” –Anthony Brandt
When you start to discover your passions outside of motherhood, bring your family back into them! Maybe you enjoy hiking and soaking in the great outdoors: start doing family hikes and adventures. Perhaps you enjoy spending some time tapping into your artistic skills: I haven’t met a kid who didn’t enjoy craft time. You may appreciate reconnecting with your love for science and technology. What an excellent passion and skill to pass on to your children. Or, you may enjoy serving others in your community: seek out family-friendly volunteer opportunities in your area. Allow who you are as a mother to marry up to who you are as “Insert Name Here.” Don’t be surprised if your whole family seems a bit happier!