Some months ago, a friend's comment on a particular blog sparked some reflection for me. I no longer have "babies" in the house if you use the term in its intended meaning. I am in the next phase. I no longer have a belly that expands to gargantuan circumferences. Indeed my preggo clothes are long gone. Baby equipment is no where to be found.
Being a mother changes you. Physically, I could use a little less of the stretched out skin on my mid section. And I miss the perkiness.....you all know where, ladies. I want the perk back. I miss my rest. I wish Sean and I had more intimate moments. I wish my clothes were cleaner. At times I forget what I used to talk about other than my children. I really miss the perkiness.
I had a hard time becoming a mom....not physically, but psychologically. Postpartum depression, little assistance, and isolation were very much a part of the first few months of my experience. I went from being a self confident, strong young woman with a career, and breadwinner to a ball of tears lying fetal in the baby's room. I did not know who I was. It took some time, and it was a process, but I was able to slowly reinvent myself and become this new person. A MOM.
Babies continued to come and with each one I found there was again an opportunity for reinvention. These kids aren't clones. You can't be the same mom for them all as they need different things from you. So as I get to know them I find that again I am reinventing pieces of myself to serve their needs.
When my youngest started school, I nervously anticipated the changes that would come to me. With no one at home during the day, I wondered what that would mean for me. At first I didn't know what I would do with myself. What did I want to do? Was it okay to have this time for myself? Who was I if I didn't have short people running though my house at all hours? Was this empty nest syndrome part 1? Indeed the thought of having another baby invaded my thoughts. If I had a baby, I could delay reinventing myself again.
It was during this time of reflection and the resulting decision that there would definitely be no more babies that I realized that reinvention is good and that we should not mourn our past life, past body, past energy or anything else we may miss. It was during this time I was reminded in a kind and gentle, quiet way that I was still in essence the same as I had always been. I was a daughter of Heavenly Father. He loved me. To my core, He knew me.
Over the last couple of years I have been through that reinvention process again. When Jared was diagnosed (finally) with Autism Spectrum Disorder, there was a refining process that took place for me. With all that I am to all my boys, I think a new door within me opened and I am now also a powerful advocate in matters that I don't fully understand. I have also come to accept the fact that there is a chance that I may never be fully released from that call. Only time will tell.
I am not the same girl I was before I got married. I feel I am a much deeper person now. There are more layers to me now. But my core is the same. I know whose I am. I know that I matter. I know He knows my potential. And this has brought me more peace than anything else.
And I know it's not over. There is more reinventing to do. There are more layers to add. My goal is to make sure those layers are good; that as I change, those changes will be positive.
Overall I don't miss my younger self. I am embarking on my 5th decade on this earth. I look forward to getting to know the person I will be in 10 years from now. I hope she is as wonderful as the many women I know whom I try to emulate.
If some perkiness could return though......I wouldn't mind that either!!! I do miss the perkiness.