The funny thing about becoming a parent is that you never really know how it will affect you. Some people remain fundamentally the same person they were prior to having children, but others are changed and different. I can’t even really remember when or why I decided I wanted to be a mom so badly. I was never the type that fawned all over babies, and they actually made me really nervous when I was younger. Hold your baby? I don’t think so! At some point, though, especially after Josh and I married, this strange primal need to become a mom took over my every thought. I would be incomplete without children, and so when it took longer than we had hoped to actually have Enzo, I became all consumed with the horrible idea that I might never have a baby to call my own. After months of supplements and whatnot and the heartbreaking realization we’d have to keep trying, I finally took a breath and came to terms with the idea of potentially not having children. I envisioned what that would look like and recognized that another life wouldn’t be as awful as it seemed. We’d fill the void, as it were. Within a few days I was pregnant and those alternative plans never needed to be visited.
The plan, however, was that we would travel and distract ourselves and do everything we could think of that would be easier with just two. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t have maybe postponed having kids just a couple of years so we could have gotten some traveling under our belts, but c’est la vie. I really wanted to have at least one kid before I turned 30… the idea of being “old” when my kids graduated was not a pleasant one. Hindsight is always a funny thing, though; since when did 50 become “old?” It always sounded like such an ancient number when I was a child, but now it’s just another number. You’re only as old as you feel, right? After 50 we’ll have plenty of time to do all the things we didn’t get to do before we had kids, but even more fun is that we’ll get to share so many adventures with them.
While parenting has definitely altered me in many ways, I think fundamentally I’m still the same person I was before, but somewhere along the way I lost a little part of myself. I’ve adapted to being a mom more easily than I ever thought, but it has taken 3 years to start to find more of a balance between being a mom and also allowing me to be… me. The me that isn’t “Mom.” I was stretching myself too thin during that highly coveted thing called Free Time, and was resenting my kids when they encroached on that time. Sure, there are still some nights when we get frustrated because we only have maybe an hour to do what we want, but that is also why I’ve started looking at how I spend my time and figuring out what is most important to me. For instance, I’d have more time if I watched less TV in the evening or was on my phone less often. I would have more time to read, clean, work out, or do other things. It’s all about choices. I can choose to be stressed out all the time because I feel like I have no time, or I can choose how to use my time more wisely and in a way that will make me feel more fulfilled and satisfied. And that my friends, is what I’m working towards… peace and satisfaction and where I will find it.
It’s so funny that we (as women) spend all this time worrying about getting pregnant and trying NOT to…and then something clicks and it’s a total reversal!