Back in 2011, I started my blog Bibs + Baubles. As a new mom it was my outlet. I was shifting into this new phase of life and most of my friends couldn’t relate. They weren’t in that space yet. No one was really that interested in talking about my engorged boobs. Can’t blame them, right? I started B+B to connect with other moms. I wanted to find other women who were in a similar spot. There was a need to relate to other people as I transitioned to the role of mama and tried to hold on to who I was before I had my son. I was determined to still be my pre-mama self. For some reason, I was convinced I couldn’t let her go.
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I found out how common it was while talking to other moms. The blog became my safe space to explore my new reality while I tried to wedge the old me in there as much as possible. Slowly, pieces of the old me began to disappear. I wasn’t going to happy hour with my colleagues as much – if at all. My interest in our company parties was all but gone. I became a little less obsessed about fashion week. LOL Full disclosure: I still wanna attend the one in New York. My priorities overall shifted in a major way. At first, I thought that giving up parts of me was equal to me losing myself in my kids. After awhile though, I didn’t fight it at all.
Here’s what I learned. With each life transition we become a new person. The things we want change, the things we do change – we change. That’s life. When we stop changing, when we stop growing, we die. The girl I was in high school changed drastically when I went to college. The woman I became in college morphed into a new person once I started working in my career. With each stage, I didn’t just change – I got better. I feel the same about motherhood.
As a single woman, I did whatever I wanted. When I got married, that changed a bit. While I still do what I want, I consider my husband. I compromise because he’s a huge part of my life. When we had our children, that brought on more changes because they are a huge and important part of our lives. We aren’t the same people we were when we met. If we were our children would be in trouble!
While I do maintain parts of the old me, I do so in ways that make sense. I think about what’s best for me AND my family. I am no longer chasing the woman I was. She’s gone. It would be like wishing my kids were babies again. They had their time as little chunky babies but they’ve grown. I love who they are and look forward to who they’re becoming.
The things I loved at my core are still there. I still do them. It just may not be as frequent as before. The dreams that I had then are so different than the dreams I have now. The core of those dreams though, they’re the same.
We can’t fight so hard to hold on to who we were that we forget to acknowledge who we’ve become. The woman you are is remarkable. You’ve learned so much and have even more to offer because you have experiences to back it up. Recently, I had to remind myself of that. I had to give myself a big girl talk about why I was talking myself out of something that made total sense for me. I thought I wasn’t ready. It was easy to tell myself I didn’t know enough. Now, I know better. The woman I was, she wasn’t ready. I can’t make my decisions based on her. She’s gone. I’ve let her go. I’ll let you in on a secret though, the best parts of her are still here.
Are there parts of your pre-mama self that you’ve willingly let go? What are you still holding on to?