Having a baby is an incredible experience. The vast range of emotions are staggering, from pride and joy to fear and panic, all at the same time. And after all that pregnancy business is said and done, it's time to start figuring out where and how you fit into this new life of yours. You spend nine months as a vessel, with a body that is no longer your own, but what no one told me is that after your baby is born, you don't get to feel like yourself right away. At least, I didn't. Your body is no longer a vessel, but it's completely new and strange. At times it can be a breath of fresh air, almost a feeling of getting a new start, a freshly cleaned slate, and at other times it can be scary as hell. A completely new body with a completely new role. A stranger in a strange body.
I was fortunate that I wasn't sad. I wasn't depressed. But I felt like an outsider looking in on my life, like the me from nine months before was watching an alternate me from afar, and learning. I was blissfully happy (most of the time) with my new role as a mother, but I still didn't feel like, me. I wasn't practicing yoga. I wasn't cooking and baking. I wasn't gardening and obsessing over my fig trees. I wasn't creating. By the time we got to Oswin's half birthday I realized that these were the things that I was missing, and brought them up to Dan. We worked out a plan to slowly work these things back into our lives and schedules. He was so open, patient, and supportive of the things I needed, even well past the time that I felt he needed to be, and I'm so thankful for that. By slowly integrating the habits and passions of my pre-baby life into baby-life, I noticed an immediate difference in how I felt, about everything. I wasn't letting my identity slip away, and that was the greatest feeling of all.
Six months. It took me six months to feel like myself again, but more importantly, to know what I needed to feel like myself. And when I figured that out, everything else fell into place.
It took six months for me to feel comfortable enough in this role as a new mother to find my voice, and to realize that I could find time for the things that used to get me out of bed in the morning. I missed cooking, and yoga, and gardening, and reading...all things that once I expressed them to my husband, held a certain weight to them, giving them meaning, and allowing us to take steps to making it happen. Saying it out loud did so much to get the wheels in motion, it just took me six months to get there and realize what I wanted to do with my new and improved life.
I'm a mama, and a wife, and I'm me. You can be all that you want to be, once you figure out exactly what that is for you. In some cases, that's easier said than done. Be easy on yourself mamas, because if you give yourself the time and space to figure it out, you will.
A la prochaine friends...