My new “identity” into motherhood happened to coincide with my husband and I moving from the city of Chicago to the suburbs. We found out we were pregnant and closed on a house within a week of each other. Not only was I adjusting to the fact that I was pregnant with my first child, I had to adjust to the fact that the suburbs is a whole different life than living in the city.
So who am I? Who will I become?
These were questions that ran through my head during pregnancy and when I became a mama. I still don’t think I have those questions answered, but becoming a mother has given me some clarity. As hectic, chaotic and downright tiring as it can be to have a newborn, myself as a mother just felt…..right.
But just because being a mother felt right doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't have to explore my new self.
First off, my whole body changed. I have breast milk now to feed my child. How amazing, right? Second, I look in the mirror and I see stretch marks on my abdomen. I always carried weight in my mid-section but never enough to have stretch marks appear…. until now.
On some days, I still am not confident with these marks, but other days I am so dang proud at what they represent.
It also helps that I have caught my husband on multiple occasions staring at me as I dress in the morning and he looks at me with more awe than I think he ever did before children. I’d like to think it’s because he knows how amazing it is that we created a baby and my body could carry her.
On top of my body changing, I was also going through an identity crisis which honestly gave me anxiety. I went from leaving my job to become a stay at home mother (which I am so grateful for), moved to the suburbs and became a mom all within ONE year. Phew. Even one of those events can be a lot of stress, but I had all three happening in a short period of time. I basically had to reinvent myself.
The woman who used to karaoke every weekend with her husband and enjoy a few beers was now dreaming of sleep and couldn’t drink more than a few sips of wine before wanting to quit for fear that my baby would be up all night and I would be too tired to help her.
I changed. It inevitably happened.
I went through a stage when my daughter was about a month old where I didn't know what I should be delegating to my husband to do at home. I had an internal struggle that if I was the one staying at home then I should be responsible for everything. My thought process was, “I do all chores and take care of the baby and he can see her for a little while at night before bed when he got home from work.” This thinking didn’t last long. I eventually broke down in tears telling him that I needed to give myself more of a break and not feel like it was my job to take on everything.
In all honesty, he didn't realize how hard it was to juggle everything until he took care of our daughter for a day while I was at a class. After that, things changed for the better. I was OKAY handing off our daughter so her and my husband could bond. I didn’t feel bad asking him to take the dishes duty every once in a while. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn't fault him for not doing this in the first place because I never led on that it was too much work for me. I kept it to myself. Breaking down in front of him brought me back to reality that we still need to communicate just as well, if not better than we did before we had our daughter so that these tearful events don't happen.
Once we started getting into a routine with our baby when she was around 2 months old, things started to feel like I could work on myself again. I joined a Newcomer’s Club in our suburb and attended a meeting to discuss the premise of the club and what I could do to get involved. It was so nice to enjoy a glass of wine child free and talk to other women about events to attend to meet other mothers and even volunteer.When you talk to a baby all day, although cute, can get pretty lonely.
I came back home a couple hours later feeling energized and more appreciative of my newfound role.
Now, five months into motherhood, I pushed myself into taking a baby and me music class, make it a point to pass the baby off to my husband/parents/sister for even an hour so I can go out and do an errand, meet up with my girlfriends, and of course make some much needed alone time with my husband.
Personally, I feel that time has been the only real thing that has given me clarity on my new identity as a mother and a woman.
That and having a supportive husband who has been such a blessing when you are essentially reinventing your whole being. I know at the core I’m still the same funny, caring, awkward person that I’ve always been, but now I have a new found confidence in myself and my body that I never had before children. When I doubt myself, I try to think about the empowerment I felt when I could push out a human being. I also think about the fact that with my husband’s love, support and partnership, I know I can be anything.
Last but not least, when your daughter looks at you and you know you are her whole world, you know that in her eyes you are doing everything just right.
You will doubt yourself and that’s okay, but take a deep breath and enjoy the journey. That’s what I have found works for me. In the words of John Michael Montgomery,
“life’s a dance you learn as you go.”
I’m learning how to be a mother, a wife, and a friend as I go and I am enjoying the wild ride.
Get to know Darcy & Two Pink Lines
Hi All! My name is Darcy Martin. I am married to an amazing man of almost 2 years and we welcomed first baby, a daughter, in April. I began blogging as a way to therapeutically write when I was pregnant and I haven’t looked back! We moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs a year ago to start a family. I am finding the new “me” as a stay at home mother, continuing to find ways to “date your spouse,” and finding ways to socialize/get involved with other women in a new city. Writing and making others laugh has been a passion of mine from a young age and I thoroughly enjoy using those talents on a blogging platform. Thank you for following along with me on this journey!