It's crazy to think a woman can grow a person for 9+ months, that this person will make his/her way out of you in 12+ hours and then BOOM you are considered a mother. All of the sudden you have been inducted into the most prestigious club there is on earth with one ear splitting cry of a tiny needy person... when just the day before you were fully wrapped up in yourself and who you had been becoming for the past 25+ years.
Sure books were read, newborn prep classes taken and advice was given, but there really is no amount of preparation that can truly equip you for the life altering change you go through as a person. Learning to take care of a tiny person is one thing... learning to understand the new you is a whole other. Can this change happen so rapidly? So quickly? So overnight? I believe we are meant to believe it does, however I have learned for me that it has taken time.
Becoming a mother-person is a process... a process that is constantly evolving. The wisdom that I have ascertained over these past six years have been invaluable. Looking forward to the upcoming birth of my third child has filled me with a certain excitement that I finally understand what being a mother means to me. I am not talking about being an expert in newborn care 101, preschool tantrums or navigating the total crazy random things your 6 year old does... heck no... I will constantly be surprised by these things, unknowing how to handle them and also floundering on a daily basis. Rather, I am talking about who I am!
I unknowingly fought the idea of being a mother-person for many years. My internal argument... I was still me wasn’t I? I wasn’t a 100% selfless being who went with every whim of her children and moved heaven and earth just for them. I had to reserve some identity for myself... I had to be ME!! But I didn’t know who me was and instead of one identity, I had taken on many AND I had made them unattainable. I strove to be a fully unique, dedicated, driven, dare I say perfect and separate person as an employee, wife, friend, musician, thinker, follower of God, woman, daughter, sister, mother.
The thing was I had the idea of who a mother was supposed to be all wrong. I felt I was lowering myself to think of my role as a mother to be my calling at present. I rejected that God had called me to this very precise position in order to shape and mold me into a new identity. One He had predestined for me, one He knew would make me a whole rounded person. Being a mother doesn’t mean being selfless and living for your children 100% of the time. To me, it is an intricate weaving of past, present and future self into someone who is fully unique, imperfect, learning and growing. I had been battling that true identity for 4 years and it was getting exhausting. Exhausting to not be able to fully measure up to who I thought I was supposed to be and exhausting to not be able to accept my true identity.
Something finally clicked about a year ago. Maybe it was my depression and the process of having to put myself back together again from the nothingness I had become. Maybe it was the amount of time I spent being a mother. Maybe it was the hundreds of hours of therapy I had done learning to be more self aware, learning to love my imperfect self. Maybe it was because I was finally letting myself let God lead. Maybe it was all of the above... but I have now fully embraced being a mom, being content and also being me... they are all the same thing! It’s hard to describe but as I birth this baby I will not be re-birthing myself this time. I am no longer a reflection of who I want to be... I am now who God means for me to be right now and that is empowering, encouraging and exciting! I am whole.