Until recently, I’ve felt that I’m losing the essence of “me.” Have you ever felt that way? I’m tired all the time, I’m on edge, and just plain grouchy. Tasks that didn’t require much thought, like folding and putting away laundry, now seem insurmountable. I’m not saying I’m not happy much of the time, but there is an undercurrent of exhaustion that is ever-present.
I first started feeling like I was losing myself about a month before my first baby was born. That was when I officially stopped working as a nurse. My body didn’t want to do anything but ache and be tired. Sleep. All the sleep. This feeling only intensified after my baby girl was born. During this time I’ve done what is needed to take care of her. My entire world revolves around her. It’s not even a conscious choice anymore.
It’s taken me 13.5 months to realize that I’m actually not losing myself. Well, I kind of am, but I’m mostly not. I’m finding myself.
A new self.
There are different seasons for each of our lives and I’m entering into a new one: Mom Season. Where my needs are secondary to hers.
It seems right now that moms are being bombarded with the message that it’s not healthy to think about your kids all the time, but I don’t agree with that completely. I think it is very healthy to think of them. It’s nearly impossible to turn that little screen in our heads off that is always focused on each child. What we can do is turn the volume down so that it’s not overpowering us. So it’s not crippling our very cores. Our babies have the most wondrous and yet terrible power over us mamas. They can break us in a second and also build us up in the next.
I’m still trying to figure out this new me that is emerging. I keep thinking to myself that I should already be getting it since it’s been over a year, but you know what? I’ve got to start giving myself a little grace. Slow down. Let these changes happen. I’m growing. Growing brings growing pains. As a kid, I would get growing pains in my big toe (go figure). My mom would put a band-aid on it and that would make it better. Now I’m an adult and these types of growing pains do not come with a band-aid that can be just stuck on. I’ve got to be patient. I’ve got to trust that what is happening is good.
It’s a slow process. Agonizingly slow. But that’s what good things are made of. A slow, deliberate, graceful pace that in the end makes something gorgeous to behold. At least, that’s what I’m choosing to believe.