YES, I AM CHANGED
I had a really lovely first Mother’s Day. I woke up to a beautiful surprise of flowers, little hand and foot prints, and all of my favorite Avi pictures printed and framed. We spent the afternoon with my framily at my parents’ house. While everyone fawned over Avi, he delighted in the dog. Squealing as he chased after him, trying to catch his tail.
I wore my new favorite shirt - a t-shirt that kept showing up in my Facebook feed. The proceeds from the shirt go to a non-profit organization that supports teen moms in the foster care system and aims to break the intergenerational cycle of babies born in that system. It’s a great cause, but to be honest, that isn’t why I bought the shirt. I just really liked what it said. Simple white writing on a black background. One word: MOMBSHELL.
When I got to the house, one of my family members immediately noticed the shirt. ‘So you’re really all in with this”, he said. It was said in a playful way and I took absolutely no offense. But it did make me stop for a second and think. Of course I’m all in with this motherhood thing - no one in my family would expect otherwise. But, in truth, I’m not the type of person to wear cheeky t-shirts. Clothing with cute little slogans were never my thing and for the most part, still aren’t. So why was I drawn to this? And there’s only one answer - I am not who I once was, I am changed.
I always knew that life would change when I became a mother. But I’m not sure I realized the extent to which I would change. I’m still the same girl who has such a love for 90s pop-music that she brought all of her friends to see a cover-band called the Bayside Tigers, but now I sing at the top of my lungs to Avi instead of seeing a show at 11:30pm. I’m still the same girl who loves Harry Potter so much that she took a trip down to Orlando for her 27th birthday, but now I listen to the audio book while feeding Avi his morning bottle, in the comfort of our home. And the real change is that I don’t mind any of it. I am completely happy and content enjoying my old loves in new ways.
But it’s more than just these seemingly small changes. I feel like I’ve gone through a complete transformation deep in my gut. My priorities, my dreams, my ambitions have all shifted. Nothing matters quiet as much as my new identity of MOM. Perhaps it’s the clarity that comes with absolute certainty in my priorities but I feel more confident and self-determined than I have in a long time. I feel free. Free to take care of myself. Free to say ‘no’ when I’m overwhelmed by obligations. Free to ask for help when I need it. Free to publish my inner most thoughts and feelings to the world. I was so afraid that the new identity of mom would hijack who I once was. Yes, it has made me question, rethink, and realign my identity.
But at the end of the day, it has enhanced who I always was and I have embraced it. I don’t think that every mom experiences the shift of identity in the same way as me. We are all different with our own priorities and that’s great. But no one can escape it.
For me, I am a MOTHER and everything begins and ends there.