As moms a lot is expected of us. I don't just mean that we're expected to hold down a full time job, cook, clean, change diapers, fight bad guys, and still look decent. I mean, once you become a mom, there's a long list of things that you aren't really "allowed" to do anymore, on top of you trying to figure out who you are now.
I was 21 when I got pregnant with Anthony. Not obscenely young, but still pretty young to be a parent. Before I got pregnant I was living like a young, wild, free adult. I didn't have a whole lot of responsibilities other than a job, and my life reflected that. There was a point in time where I'm pretty sure I lived solely off of wine and tater tots.
But when I became a mom, it all changed. I couldn't be out all night drinking and dancing, I couldn't wear provocative clothing, I couldn't drink wine for dinner. I had to be responsible and modest, because that's what moms are "supposed to do" and I wanted to be a good mom. Moms are judged pretty harshly sometimes. If you see someone you know is a mom out drinking or dancing your first thought is usually "doesn't she have a kid??" Like moms aren't allowed to be out anymore, ever. How dare she!
I cant speak for every mom, but I know on the occasion that I do go out, I feel like I have to defend myself. I find myself feeling like I need to tell people that I don't do this often, or that its for a special occasion, or that I left after my kids went to bed so they don't even know I'm gone. We aren't allowed to be out anymore.
Now I'm not saying I want to spend every night out and live the way I used to. If I wanted to, I would. I love my time with my kids and husband and I prefer to be with them. What I'm saying is that once a young woman becomes a mom shes met with a great challenge. On top of learning how to be a parent, she has to re-learn how to be her. When you've lived a certain way for so long, then all of a sudden have to change it you're met with a certain identity crisis. You don't know who you are anymore. You used to be carefree and fun, you used to spend your days and weekends a certain way and now its all different. A lot of new moms feel boring and like they've lost who they used to be. It's incredibly difficult to find a balance between who you used to be, who you are now, and who you're expected to be.
We moms have to find a balance between loving our kids and devoting ourselves 100% to them, and remembering ourselves too. We're often left grasping at straws of our former selves, trying to keep hold of something. What seems to make it worse is that, even though almost all moms go through it, no one wants to talk about. No one wants to admit that they miss their old self, or that they're lost. It's almost like if a mom admits she misses her old life that automatically means she doesn't like her current life. Why can't you love your kids and miss old times at the same time? Your lost in limbo between mom and young adult and you aren't sure where you land. Why can't we openly admit this without being judged?
Yes, sometimes I miss going out and having late nights. I miss weekend naps during the day. I miss listening to whatever music I wanted or watching whatever show I wanted and not having to worry about the language or content of it. I miss being able to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without stepping on an alligator xylophone. I miss having wine and tater tots for dinner. Does that mean I want that life back? No. I wouldn't trade this life I have now for anything in the world.
I guess my point is lets be more open with each other and slower to judge. To the new moms: know that it gets better. As time goes on you'll find yourself again. No, it wont be the same self it was before, but be assured you wont always feel this lost. And seasoned moms: if you know a newer mom who seems a little lost, instead of judging, give her a hug and tell her it gets better. Tell her you went through it too. Tell her its normal. Swap stories and maybe even plan a moms night out!
And if you aren't a mom: remember that sometimes moms need a break!