WHO AM I NOW?
It’s 1 am and I’m crying in my king size bed. The husband is snoring next to me. And I can’t sleep. I’m going through iPhotos. Sob. Sob. Sob.
I’m a bit overwhelmed. Or maybe a lot.
I feel like I can’t get a hold of this pit in my stomach. What is it? My mind is racing, I have too much for my brain to process. And for what?
Why am I so panicked all of a sudden? I hear someone cough upstairs and I immediately think out loud something horrible is about to happen.
This is a mother’s life.
I’m supposed to be backing up my computer to a hard drive but I’m having an extremely hard time with it. I know. I should get over it and do the deed. What is happening?
Here’s the deal. I’m a mom. Of three. And I was willed this life by God 7 years ago. He said, "go ahead, this one is yours. It will be spectacular, vibrant, beautiful, difficult, tremendous, mysterious and all things glorious. And it’s yours." Yikes. Ok. Thanks dude.
Somehow along the path of life I became this person. This woman. This mother.
A ready made woman ready to go. And mother.
I had no clue.
No real frame of reference. I read the books, saw the videos. But really, becoming a mother is like being born again into the universe with nothing but mother’s milk, a sore lower area and a blanket.
And there I was. Me and this little alien baby from my womb staring at me like I knew morse code. Her stunning brown eyes gazed into my heart. But I knew nothing. Literally. Nothing. Except, her heartbeat. And somehow that made me the fiercest woman I’d ever known.
This child of mine was the earth. The moon. The light. And my only job was to love and protect her.
And off I went.
OFF. I. WENT.
Many women could say this might be the rabbit hole of motherhood. Off she goes. Into the motherhood ravine. The wild wild jungle. And that I did.
And here we are. I'm almost out of the diaper stage and who am I now?
Some women, like genius comedian Ali Wong might say “A lot of people like to ask me how on earth do you balance family and career?” …....You’re a mom, you need sparkle to compensate for the light inside of you that has died.”
Umm, yep. I might concur. She might be on to something.
It’s a lot. Motherhood. is. a lot.
On the contrary, some women might utter the joyful “motherhood is perfection. I’d have 4 more if my husband would let me.”
All of this would be true.
And yet, in the blink of an eye, life runs away from you full speed. No warning. Like, these photographs on my laptop are currently melting away like in the Back to the Future movie.
All of a sudden, that summer day in the hospital nursing my twin boys is months ago. Years. And contrary to being ready to fly into their 3rd birthday earlier this week and soar forward into new exciting things post toddlerhood, I’m pondering the notion that maybe I am exactly who I am right now. I’m me. And I’m stuck in the middle.
A mother to 3, sobbing to my beautiful past, but yearning for that sparkle.
Am I alone in this? Do you ever feel that pull? Like, who the hell am I now?
Who are we once we become the sandwich makers and the laundry doer’s? The nursers, the bandaid putting on’ers. We’re A, B and C to every alphabet song in the google search. Yet some of us find the journey back to self to be quite road blocked. A little strenuous.
I find myself amongst my closest mom friends and they ponder the very same thoughts.
So what is the happy balance and how the f*ck do we navigate?
A mother so drawn to her children and the rights of passage that comes with them, she wanders into soccer mom status without even batting an eye. Well, no apology here sister.
We get you.
Soccer mom, working boss mom, stay at home mom, home schooling mom (major kudos to you I would die). We are all the warriors of the arduous motherhood path.
Maybe it’s ok to not know all the answers. Because who we are is not determined by the answers, the success ladder, the corner office, or the 7 figures, but rather, the years, the tears, the baby voices and the ever changing women that we are.
Who I am is going to change tomorrow. Because she will. Because she always does. Evolving is evolution. We won’t be here forever. We will find a way to create new pathways to creative freedom and non toddler perks. And perhaps that’s not good enough for you. You might need to hang up the diapers and the cooking and go to law school. Listen sister, go do it. I support you. There is no right or wrong way. Whether it’s now, or tomorrow or when they’re in high school. Be you, through and through. And let’s follow the path that our hearts take us to.
Here’s a few tidbits on how we think we might navigate:
What’s wrong with a little research? Experimentation? Go with it. Walk downtown. Or into an office. Or onto a campus. Offer your name as a consult to a dream job. Explore the great outdoors and by that I mean, make a plan to exit your household and your family. (Just for a few hours). It may seem terrifying, but go. See the terrain and test it out. Take a class. Say yes to a project even if you think you’ll suck. Sucking is better than staying home if you’re dying to get out.
Not ready to go back to school full time? Not ready to go to law school? Not anxious to go back to the wild wild west of the Entertainment world? It’s ok. Research. Find something worthy of your time away from home. Find what makes your heart sing. Use that time, let your heart sing and create a side hustle. Who knows, it might become your next baby. And I’m not talking diapers.
Hire someone. If it’s possible, do it. Or if you can’t, designate some new house rules. You’re the CEO of that house. So name it. Mom is requiring quiet time during these hours. No excuses. Remember, you’re the boss and nobody can tell you different (even if they throw a tantrum). If you can give birth to these children or raise them at all, you have the power. Period.
I’m a firm believer that if something is meant to happen, it will happen. I’m also a believer of hard work. And finishing something. And to be honest, sometimes hard work is too hard on top of the hard work load of motherhood. It’s ok to not get it done. No one is going to die. If you’re not ready, relax. Everything will come around in due time.
The only thing I know for sure in my life and that is backed up by research, is that loving my family and myself is the clear pathway to a state of happiness. It’s not perfect. Or always happy. But it’s in the bag. The joy is palpable. Loving your kids is easy. Loving yourself requires work. And rules. And is a surefire way to find out who the hell you are.
I feel better. Just saying it makes me feel better.
And ding. Just like that, one of my babies is screaming. And so I walk upstairs, hold him in my arms, tell him everything is ok, and lay him down to sleep. (edit, I went upstairs 9 times while editing this piece and also gave him benadryl).
That’s right. You know who the hell I am? I am mother. MOTHER. EARTH.
Any other crown on top of this one is gravy.
Still making my vision board tomorrow though.
K, bye mommas. Love you.