Becoming a mother transforms
Becoming a mother transforms a woman.
Every day of motherhood brings new challenges,
and out of each challenge, new perspectives on
parenting, relationships and life are gained.
We are constantly re-evaluating our priorities
and values. When we shift our priorities, however,
we often forfeit the balance between our roles
as mom and partner, and our identities as independent,
spirited women. We put everyone else’s needs
ahead of ours and tend to lose focus on the women
we were before we had children.
Upon the birth of our children,
many of us make a decision (consciously or unconsciously)
to mold ourselves into the type of mother we think
we are supposed to be. As such, many of us feel
it is essential to sacrifice those things that
we love in order to be a good, responsible parent.
Weekly exercise class becomes unimportant; a standing
manicure appointment becomes selfish; an evening
out alone with our partner becomes a guilt-fest
because we have to leave our children at home
and with a care-giver. Oftentimes, we also disengage
from our friends and miss out on social opportunities
we would have otherwise been eager to join. We
fail to recognize ourselves and our needs as priorities.
In doing this, we can easily become out-of-touch
and feel disconnected with the world around. Sometimes,
isolation and resentment hit, and we become overwhelmed
and, ultimately, discontented. It is very tough
to be an effectual, spirited parent when you feel
Certainly, having a child changes
us. But when we do have a child, what happens
to the people we once were? One thing is for sure
- we are not automatically rewritten as static
and flat. We are still the same vibrant individuals
we were before we became mothers. To find a balance
between our old and new selves, we need to recognize
how important it really is to take time to care
for ourselves and pursue our personal interests.
When our little ones are born, we become so preoccupied
with what is going on inside our homes that we
forget to take to the time to experience the outside
world. We forget that we live in an energetic
city, rich with history and culture. Simple outings,
like a museum visit or a trip to the salon, can
make a world of difference in the way we feel
and the way we approach each day. Moreover, we
need to engage in a meaningful way with other
women who share the same interests. In making
connections, we can exchange stories, validate
our own experiences, and gain perspective. It
also reminds us that we are not alone in our journey.
Of course, we will have to make
sacrifices to ensure that we are doing what is
in the best interest of our children and families.
However, as we set our priorities, we need to
ensure that we put ourselves somewhere on the
list. It is up to each of us to decide where on
the list we will be, but at least we will not
lose sight of the women we have always been.
By Jordan Maher
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