What Brings Me Here
Becoming a mother has given me many things, one of which is that I am here writing to all of you.
“Becoming a mother.”
What a powerful statement. What a powerful thing. When you become a mother, and this story starts nine months before you birth a human, you are awarded many hats. So, so many hats. Before becoming a mother I felt like I wore one hat at a time. Maybe two if I were lucky or even overwhelmed. Student. Daughter. Friend. Soccer player. Girlfriend. Sister. Life felt like it had this clean, white rhythm.
And then you become a mother. You wear so many hats at once you don’t even feel like your head is on straight. Suddenly you are a mother. A wife. A cook. A maid. An empath. A nurse. A therapist. A blanket. A food supply. An errand runner. A diaper changer. A bath giver. A schedule maker. A how do we have this much laundry do-er.
You are all of these things and you are all of those things you were before.
A sister with less time. A daughter with more on her plate. A wife that is too tired. A friend that never calls. Lonely. Worn down. Tired. Haven't showered. Haven't eaten. My boobs are no longer boobs, they are a food source. My body is no longer a body of my own; it is one I shared for nine months with another human that now has scars and marks and doesn't sit as tight as it used to. I leak milk. I cry over everything. I bleed. My emotions have emotions and their emotions have emotions.
Becoming a mother simply cannot happen without all of these things. You can try to balance them healthier than I did. You can try to be preventative. Talk. Read. Research. But when it comes down to it I think it’s all just a twisted right of passage. I think I was sleep walking through my son’s entire first year. I lost all of my friends. I was angry at family. I was resentful towards my husband for not lactating. I was healing because becoming a mother broke me and I had no idea how to fix myself.
I was so upset because it seemed like no one noticed how hard it was for me and even more upset because all of you other mothers seem like you have your shit together and your heads on so tight that I felt like I was the only one who couldn't fix myself in those six weeks the doctors allow you to heal after your baby is born. When six weeks came I was still bleeding. I wasn't even physically healed let alone mentally healed. That part didn’t come for a long time.
It wasn’t until Slade neared turning two that I started to feel my other (old) hats sneak up on me. I started feeling creative, empowered, loved, and energetic. I was feeling all of this on top of still being a mother. That idea alone made me feel untouchable and powerful. I wondered if every woman has felt the feeling of, “I have grown a life inside of me and then delivered that life into a world you cannot tell me anything. I am woman.” I sure did and it was unlike anything I had ever felt before.
In truth it was my son and my husband who have brought me this far. It was a lot of eating out. A lot of foot rubs. A lot of movie nights with my family. A lot of time to drink coffee alone in the mornings. A lot of forcing myself to leave my house even when I didn't want to.
When you have a newborn really all you care about is surviving one day at a time. It took me a long time to realize how you actually survive motherhood is by making sure that you still have your “you” hat.
I started writing again because when I became a mom I became quiet. I didn't want anyone to hear me. I just wanted to blend in so everybody thought I was doing a great job. I stopped speaking up for people who needed spoken up for. I stopped talking about politics and laws even though it’s what my degree is in. I stopped sharing things that mattered to me in fear that it would upset someone who felt differently. I'm here because I'm sick of sharing blog posts to my Facebook wall about how glamorous being a mom is. How easy being a wife is. 10 minute recipes. So on and so on. I wasn't reading anything that made me feel less alone.
So that’s what I'm here for now. To be loud. To be heard. To speak up. To speak my truth. To be raw. To be honest. To laugh. To be here for anybody that needs somebody to just be there. You might not feel comfortable sharing to Facebook some of what I might write, but if you find yourself up at night unable to sleep and my words can offer you some sort of peace and reassurance that it’s all going to be ok, then that’s exactly why I want to be here. Let’s talk about the hard stuff.