November 17th, 2021
Things are getting easier. Maybe not "easier", but they are becoming more predictable. We have a routine and a schedule in place for Bowen, which means I finally get a few small windows per day for myself that I didn't before.
At first, when I started having more spare time during his naps, I found myself on the couch, with some kind of comfort food (hello Itchiban!) and I'd watch "Jane The Virgin" on my phone with the sound off and subtitles on. I felt exhausted and like I deserved to do absolutely nothing for 30-40 minutes. And I did.
But over the last couple of weeks, I've been craving more. More creativity, more spirituality, more purpose and loving space. I haven't felt this spark of light within myself in a long time. Since becoming a mother, all of my energy has been channeled into my son because it had to be. There were no leftovers.
Now, the windows are getting bigger and the stretches of night sleep are becoming longer. I'm finding pockets of time to squeeze in a 20 minute meditation or asana practice or to make a cup of tea and write a few pages in my journal. I feel creative when I'm moving on my mat and I feel closer to my heart when I slow down enough to listen to it. I feel that quiet, loving space when I write, where I can let it all out and feel held by the words on the pages.
So here we are. Becoming a mom has been the best and the most difficult experience of my life. It has been four and a half months since I've felt like I have had any room for myself. Nobody really warns you just how lost you can become. It's not something I have felt called to fully express, out of fear of seeming unhappy or ungrateful for the precious life that I brought into the world. It is joy and tiny clothes and baby snuggles, but it's also getting puked and shit on multiple times a day. It's not showering in a week or having time to make a real meal. It's sleep deprivation and arguing with your spouse in the middle of the night. It's scream crying and a baby who won't sleep or won't eat. It's swarms of information online and unsolicited advice and comments from those who don't know what you're feeling. Or they do, but they have forgotten how loud and overwhelming it can be.
It's not recognizing myself in the mirror with the bags under my eyes, the hair that's falling out and the new crease between my brows etched in from worry. It's stress and anxiety, rage and GUILT. Because I miss my old self. I miss feeling sexy. I miss feeling wild and carefree. I miss my friends and my social life. I miss feeling alive instead of just being in survival mode. The girl I was is gone, and in her place is a very exhausted woman barely keeping her head above the water. God, I feel like I've aged 10 years, and I'm pretty sure it shows.
And I feel like a terrible mom because becoming a mom has made me feel all of the above and it's supposed to just be blissful, isn't it?
The truth is (my truth), is that the bliss is there, but it's only half the story. And I didn't know that going in, so I've been afraid that I would feel like that forever.
They say that when a baby is born, so is a mother. So maybe that's what this is. Over the past four months, I felt like I couldn't be me anymore, but maybe I'm just being reborn. Maybe, I just need to let myself discover who I am now, instead of trying to go backwards. Because life will never be the same, so how could I be?
I will always remember her, and take her with me and what I've learned from her will help me to be the mother I strive to be.