Thursday, January 26, 2012

Motherhood Lessons: More than a Mom

Motherhood Lessons is a regular series of posts shared on Mom’s Talk Network – every day lessons shared by real moms.
I’m not very good at balancing things. You’d think that years of dance experience would give me some semblance of balance and grace, but no. I am a total klutz. Multi-tasking isn’t my strong suit. I need to focus on one thing, 100% for a short period of time, and in my twenty-five years of life, this has worked fabulously. Until I became a mother.
A little over ten months ago, I was a wife. I was a blogger (though admittedly. an absent one at the time.) I was an etsy shop owner, a singer/ actress/ dancer, an executive assistant, and photographer. These things, along with my faith, had come to define me. I was wearing a lot of hats and loving it! I was also pregnant.
Although I was full of anticipation  and excitement to meet our little girl, I had to wonder if her arrival would mean I had to redefine who I was altogether. Would I still get to blog about vintage fashion and go on photo shoots? Would I ever get to read a book again? Or perform on stage? Would my dream of getting a second (or third) tattoo have to be placed on the back shelf? What if I ceased to be who I always thought that I was, and I simply became mom… just… mom.
The selfishness of this thought is not lost on me, I assure you. But think of it- what if one day you woke up and you were someone entirely different than who you always assumed yourself to be. The realization of this fact is one thing, but the practice of being this new person is a different challenge altogether. How do you know you want to be this new person? From where do you gather the knowledge and skills required to completely embody this new position in life? What if you suck at it?
And so for nine months, I waited… and I wondered… and I tried to soak up every last bit of life that was left, because in my head, everything was going to be over “once the baby comes…” You know what I mean? “we better go see all the movies we can, because once the baby comes….” and “I need to chop off my long, wavy, strawberry blonde locks because real moms don’t have hippie hair and once the baby comes…” or “better enjoy this whole having-a-social-life-thing while you can because once the baby comes…” The truth is that as excited as I was to have this little angel in our lives, part of me was treating it as a death sentence.
But then December 1st rolled around, and we weren’t doing much, so we decided to have a baby. But not just any baby. The most beautiful, sweet, smart, and perfect baby in all the land. And we named her Vesper because we had spent so many nights praying for her.
Her arrival was quick. Less than four hours, only ten minutes of actual hard labor. Three pushes and she was here. In the world. Living and breathing and just… being my daughter. And you know what? All of a sudden I put on a new hat. I was mom. I was Vesper’s mom. And it felt like I was always meant to be.
Those first few weeks were tough. I really did feel like I had lost my identity as anything other than a feeding trough. Slowly but surely, I emerged from the motherhood fog to find myself in the world again.  And you know what I found? Remember the person I was, and the things I always loved to do? I still loved those things and I was still that person.  And being her and doing those things became so much more special to me with my baby girl in my arms.
Thanks for asking me to participate, Rebecca!
xo,
Chels

1 comment:

beccareed.com said...

I love reading these motherhood posts - I read them and think, "omg, me too!" so often.

It has been hard to reconcile who I was with who I am now, as a mom, even though those 2 people are kind of one in the same. I just "put on another hat" as you stated! But some days, I feel bogged down in mommyland or, if it's a particularly busy time at work, feel like I haven't been a mom in forever and ever. I'm sure life will continue on that way...always walking a tightrope and using all the things that define us, including, now our babies, to keep us going across that rope.

Thank you for participating!