I love nothing more than my daughter; she has brought our family such immeasurable joy. Being Mommy to “Lady Jaye,” however, comes with its share of challenges. Yes, lack of sleep, painful nipples, double the laundry and the mound of dirty diapers top the list, but they do not compare to the biggest loss that I thought I was prepared for: My Independence.
My husband and I were 38 years old when we welcomed our first child into our spontaneous, free-spirited lifestyles. Prior to adding the title “Parents” to our bios, we enjoyed a full social life. We regularly socialized with one another and friends, and kept a full calendar involving various activities and traveling. I always thought having children later in life was a better solution for me, because I wanted to take full advantage of my youthful years. I have seen many parts of the world, explored using my various talents and taken risks where the outcome affected no one but me. So, hearing her heartbeat for the first time, I felt peace with moving on to the next chapter of my life. I just didn’t realize it would be entitled “No, Really, It’s Not About You Anymore”.
I knew she would become the focal point of our lives. I listened to wise advice that the world will now revolve around her. I just didn’t comprehend how hard and fast those changes would come. Two weeks after giving birth, I remember rejoicing over taking a simple shower, or the days where I actually opened the front door to let the sun shine on my face. Yet, just one year prior, I visited Mexico, Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic within six months! At times, I dreaded scrolling through my Facebook feed to see what my childless friends were doing on their Friday nights. As much as I was enjoying becoming the matriarch of my own family, there was a portion of me in mourning. I had to lay my liberty to rest.
Some people would tell me to quit my bellyaching. Besides, I chose to get pregnant. Guess what? They are right. But I am also courageous enough to admit my feelings because I know I am not alone. I wouldn’t trade an ounce of what I have experienced with motherhood, but if we are not honest with ourselves, bitterness and resentment could set in, and my family deserves the best of me. For now, I soldier on as I discover a new lifestyle that brings me joy although my desires are no longer the center of attention. Of course, when I need it, I take time alone, or with my husband, to recharge and I continue to pursue my interests as time permits. Without a doubt, when I look back on this time, I will have no regrets and truly appreciate this life that may have less independence, but an abundance of love.
What about you? How did you handle your new responsibilities as a mother? Share your experiences and what you did to overcome these challenges.