It’s not a loss of who you were, but an addition.
Before I became a mom, I always thought that becoming a mother meant I would have to change who I am to fit that identity. I thought I would have to be okay with giving up a lot of what made me myself. I was prepared to say goodbye my dark sense of humour and my love for junk food. I was was prepared to stop camping so often and become a dog owner instead of a dog mom. I was basically trying to be okay with saying goodbye to the woman I was, and welcoming this new woman I had to be.
I constantly hear women saying things like “Oh, I used to be fun before I had kids,” or “I have no life, I have kids.” It seems to be a really common belief that once you become a mother, you can’t be anything else. Or that the person you were before your children came along is lost in some black hole. Well, I am here to say that just because you became a mother does not mean you threw the “old you” in the trash. It simply means you got an upgrade.
It took me a while to figure out that I could still enjoy the things I had before I gave birth to my daughter. I was shocked to find that my interests hadn’t suddenly changed from video games and alien documentaries to meal planning and Paw Patrol. I still had the same friends, I still watched horror movies, and on occasion, I still liked to have a few drinks. Having a baby didn’t take away any part of my personality. If anything, my personality grew. Along with Harry Potter nerd, garden enthusiast, and comic book lover, I now have the title of Mom.
On top of all the things I used to be, I am also much more. I love snuggles with my baby, trying to make her laugh, and changing her outfit three times a day. I’m interested in parenting blogs, I read articles about sleep training, and now whenever I go shopping, it’s for baby clothes. I was a serious book worm before my daughter came along. I still am – now I just read aloud to her. My interests and my hobbies grew a lot when I had Sophia. Again, I didn’t leave anything behind.
It’s only been four months since my daughter was born. I still have so many upgrades coming my way. Soon, I will be able to add toddler wrangler, expert lunch-packer, and official homework assistant to my name. Motherhood will continue to add layers upon layers to who I am, was, and will be.
All the things that made me myself before I had my daughter are still there. Some parts of me are the same, while some parts have changed and adapted to life with a baby. I never lost myself, I never said goodbye to the “old me.” I’m still here, and I’ve received an awesome upgrade as a mother. I’m now really good at laundry, and the site of vomit no longer makes me vomit. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is. Please don’t think that you’re losing yourself to motherhood, Mama’s. You were an awesome woman before your baby, and you’re an even better one now.