The Motherhood-Womanhood Bridge
This is a phrase I hear over and over again, but it’s true. I have changed. Motherhood has made this change necessary. But to be perfectly honest, I have always been this person; just a little hidden and a little suppressed. The change that occurred, though, was less of an 180 and more of an explosion. In an explosion, whatever materials there are contained on the inside, transmit outwardly. This is how I describe finding the person I am now.
Many moms have a shared experience of becoming “lost” in motherhood. This happens primarily because we are absorbed by taking care of this new life that we helped to create. Many times, moms are the primary caretakers, and our every waking minute is spent looking after our baby or obsessing over how they are. This gets better over time, but it never completely goes away. When you have a human, whose needs must be met by you, life tends to be a little preoccupied with ensuring that happens. But becoming a mom to a second child, birthed ME into a new phase of womanhood.
I believe that getting lost in motherhood is how you find new, different, sometimes even better versions of yourself. Now, I am not saying that a woman cannot become different or better without becoming a mom, because you can. But a woman that has experienced the weariness, the pressure, the overwhelm, the satisfaction, the love, the joy that comes with motherhood, gives birth to someone who understands life just a bit differently. A woman who has wandered around the same motherhood mountain day after day, finds herself learning valuable lessons and new things about herself that lead her into a new, strange, promised land. We need them all.
With my daughter (our firstborn), I became totally immersed in the day to day of caring for her and making sure she had what she needed. Understandably so. I was a mother for the first time, and I had to figure out how to be a good mom to her. I was so concerned about messing up and I wanted to get it right. I didn’t want to pass on any bad habits that would inhibit her in any way. I wanted to set her up for success and I wanted her to turn out better than I did. In the newborn days, it is nearly impossible to get around the pull of motherhood. The pull that makes you want to be around your baby every waking moment as your days and nights are consumed with figuring out feeding, diapering, and sleeping. Moreover, if you are anything like me, you will likely spend lots of time watching your baby’s chest rise and fall to ensure they are breathing okay. This second time around, there were things that remained the same, but I now know there is no such thing as “getting it right” and you will always feel like you can do things better. I have learned to give myself grace when I don’t “get it right” and even then, my kids rarely notice.
One thing is for certain though, in this season of motherhood, I am fiercely fighting to evolve. I think all women are meant to change and evolve as we live. It’s necessary in order to keep up with an everchanging world. This can be easier or more difficult depending on your personality or your situation. For me, it has been one hell of a journey to wholeness, clarity, and purpose. Motherhood can break you, especially if you believe that everything is supposed to be perfect all the time or if you believe you can control every aspect of it. You will lose it trying to keep up that appearance of perfection and trying to maintain that level of control. Nothing about motherhood is straightforward or even close to perfect. The most perfect thing is your child, in YOUR mind…but only when they are newborns. After that, meh. But to be clear, even if you let go of control and ideals of perfection, you will still likely go through a breaking period and that’s okay. Don’t lose heart! I think the breaking that happens as a part of being ushered into motherhood for the very first time, is meant to push you more into the person you are meant to become.
As a mom, I have never been clearer on what I want for my children and what I absolutely do NOT want. I know the type of people I want around them and I know the type of humans I want them to become. I have NEVER. BEEN. CLEARER. Obtaining this level of clarity bled into every aspect of my life, and as I live, I become more and more clear on what I want for myself, what I need, and what I will and will not allow. Let’s just say, my boundary-setting game is tight!
At this level of evolution in womanhood, I have come to grips with so many things that I had not dealt with in the past: my need to please people, my lack of boundaries, my fear of rejection. Dealing with these wounds, gave me the fuel I needed to live more purposefully. Having already been a mother for five years, I felt so ready to embrace more of who I was and who I was becoming. By the time my son was born, I knew the path I wanted my life to take, and I knew what I needed to get there. Living each day with that purpose in mind, was like waking at the feet of God with every breath I took.
Every day isn’t glorious just because I have birthed this new person who is more whole, clearer, and more purposeful. Many days are damn hard, but the woman that is alive today knows that “hard” is a part of the package deal. This woman knows that hard does not mean give up.
Evolution is going to keep happening for me (and for YOU too), so the person you know now may be a distant memory in a few years. Life will keep happening and I will keep adjusting. So, shout out to all the moms who are in the thick of motherhood. Keep going, keep breathing, keep living until you are waking each day at the feet of God. You are going to fall in love over and over again with the woman you are becoming. Every version of you will reveal strength and your truer self.
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