My life changed the day my magnificent daughter came into the world. My heart expanded, my instincts deepened, I felt more in the second she was born than I had ever felt in my entire 30 years. My life had been altered forever. No going back. Yet, I made a subconscious vow throughout my entire pregnancy that I was adamant that I would not lose my identity.
I remember going to a spin class about three months after my little was born and the teacher spoke about a time that she felt “lost” and I just crumbled. Spinning with snot dripping down your nose and caked old breast milk on your “sexy” activewear gear ain’t the greatest look. But it truly hit a nerve. Lost. Lost. Lost. That was it. I had no true bearing which way was up. I was in a fog. I had put so much weight on my job being my true identity that without it I had no clue who I thought I was and also who the world now perceived me to be.
As I looked around at other working mothers I knew, and in the media, I believe they too resonated my sentiments. Celebrity Instagrams with women who’d just given birth holding a script and breastfeeding with the title “multitasking” or “can’t stop won’t stop” “we can do it all” it dawned on me that they too were so scared to lose their identities. What are we so afraid of?? Why does success only equate to a job? Isn’t it a huge success to create a human being and then actually push them into the world? To put someone else’s needs before your own and to sacrifice, nurture and protect. Isn’t that success too?? That’s a job right? Why is it so ingrained in us that to stop in our careers is weakness? In a sense – to fail.
It’s been two years since my girl was born and I think back at that early time with slight regret. Instead of just spending each precious moment grounded with this perfect being, I ended up spending more time in my head. Obsessive thoughts about when I would get a job, when I would get back to who I was, when I would feel successful. The time is so fleeting and I can never get that back. Ever.