My Struggle With Identity During My First Year of Motherhood
My first year of motherhood has been an identity crisis. From the day I found out I was pregnant, to the birth of my sweet boy, to now approaching his first birthday. My mind has been bouncing back and fourth on who I am and what I want to do with my life. The pressure to "have it all together" weighs heavy in motherhood.
Before I had Brody, I had another baby---a business I launched my senior year of college. For years I spent every waking moment on it. It grew from the spare bedroom of our home to a big, pretty, office space. It won awards and gained big features and brought with it some great opportunities.
And then I found out I was going to be a mom.
I grew up with a stay at home mom who baked cookies and did craft projects. Who volunteered for every school event and chauffeured the four of us around day in and day out. She rocked the role of mom and this is the motherhood I grew to know.
With our pregnancy, my heart wandered and I questioned whether I could be the mom I hoped to be with the expanding, time consuming business I was running. As we waited anxiously for Brody, I decided to put things on hold and focus on his birth. Brody came and I vowed to myself one year. One year of soul searching. One year of deep reflections. One year of listening to my heart. One of year of many, many prayers. One year of trying new things. One year of trying not to worry.
One year of finding what would light my fire.
The year has been full of awkward responses when strangers asked what I did. It has been full of self-exploration. It has been full of a lot of life and a lot of learning. Lots of yes's and lots of no's. I tried giving my heart fully to my business and my family. I tried being a stay-at-home mom. I considered a job offer that would have been my dream job just two years earlier. I explored a work-from-home opportunity. And I tried really figuring out who I was and what I wanted in life.
The thing that I kept going back to time and time again was motherhood itself. The beautiful transformation into motherhood and those first transformative roller coaster months that follow. It was the support and connection from one mom to another. It was you and your little ones. It was the Momma Society community and the world of all things baby. How could I do this on a deeper level? How could I reach more moms and give them the support and love you all have given me? How could I make their first months of motherhood a little smoother? I'm still working on the answers to these questions, but I'm making progress. Behind the scenes, I've started taking courses towards certification as a Childbirth Educator. I've put Brody to bed and buried my nose in book after book about pregnancy and postpartum. I've never felt so alive.
As my one year of soul searching is coming to an end, I finally feel at peace with who I am. Whether I choose to stay at home with Brody or I choose to run a busy business, I am so much more than "just a mom". Our little ones don't define who we are. It has taken me months to accept this. Our little ones are one very important piece of life's puzzle, but part of motherhood is digging deep into the soul to show our little ones how to find the spark that brings them joy. And the best way to do this? By sparking our own joy.