When I became a mom four years ago, I wasn’t surprised to feel big love for my little girl. I wasn’t surprised by our intense and immediate bond. And I certainly wasn’t surprised by the overwhelming pressure I felt to do right by her in every way possible. (I admit it: I’m extremely Type A.)
What shocked me was this: Even though I wanted to be a mom and loved my daughter unconditionally, there were still many moments where I wished I could trade it all in for my old independent life.
And that made me feel like a terrible mom.
So instead of acknowledging my feelings, I pushed them aside and tried to live in denial. When my husband asked if I was happy with our new life, I replied “Of course.” When my sisters called to check in, I said “Being a mom is amazing.” And when my mom friends asked how motherhood was going, I’d say “I’ve never been this tired but it’s so worth it.”
And it was. I was speaking the truth – but only half of it.
The problem with living in denial is that at some point the truth wins. Eventually I realized I couldn’t keep the charade up and I started talking about how I really felt about motherhood. The fact was that I loved it and I felt trapped by it at the same time.
As it turns out, I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. When I started talking with friends and family about my struggles, they didn’t judge me or out me as a bad mom. Instead they said “I know just how you feel” and from there the conversation flowed.
By talking about motherhood in an honest way, I found the compassion for myself that I needed to make it through the blur of that first year. I found ways to accept my New Normal – the life that revolved around breastfeeding, diaper changes and sanitizing bottles. But I also let myself be human enough to admit that sometimes I just wanted to sleep in or have an adult conversation or wear a real bra.
Mourning my old life didn’t make me a bad mom. It made me a real mom. In fact, accepting exactly where I was at on this journey was a pretty powerful thing. It allowed me to live honestly and helped me shape my New Normal into a life that provided space for me to be a mom and an individual too.
You also deserve that kind of compassion in your life. Give yourself permission to be honest about your own motherhood challenges by sharing your thoughts in the comments below. By talking about the things that we DON’T often talk about as mothers, we can connect in a very real way.
To believing your time is now,
P.S. If you’re a new mom who is missing your old life and needs some perspective and support from a coach, I’d love to do a free coaching session with you.