The Ups and Down of Being Mommy

Oh, the ups and downs of being a mommy! Yes, it's an amusing thing to say. I remember watching a movie and the Mom told the child to call her "Auntie" in public. I choked on my drink. There are days when it feels like Mom is the only word you hear and there's no one else to answer the call. Yes, I'm thankful for the kids and I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but in those parenting moments of exhaustion, overwhelm, uncertainty or despair, when tears are falling and you wonder if you'll ever get sleep or a potty break alone, Mom isn't necessarily music to the ears.

For some of us, losing our identity after kids feels a bit like a trip with a straightjacket. We remember the funny, outgoing, upbeat, thinner, happy person who slept normally and looked forward to a new day. Suddenly we became someone's Mom - an honor and a privilege - yet we can't recall the last hot shower we had.

There's this idea that being a Mom is filled with blissful, joyous moments strung together. Although it's true there are moments that feel euphoric, what's left unsaid are the moments you feel doubt, discouragement, fear of failure, moments when you wonder what you got yourself into or why you thought you could be an adequate parent. Suddenly the person you were seems like she no longer exists and as time goes on, you're known as "the littles Mom", which is OK if it's a moment you're tired - as it's entirely possible you can't remember your name anyway. You struggle to keep your own unique identity and not just the label of another human Mom, but it seems in vain.

Time passes quickly and you've had lots of identities. Friend, sister, wife, employee, entrepreneur, runner, chef, cleaning lady, divorced, woman, partner, and yes, also Mom. The struggle may have continued to maintain your own individual identity; a desperate cliff-hanging grip to hold on to something that once was. Then it happens. You realize she's still there. The child you at every age. The young adult. The woman full of hope of the future and all it would hold. You haven't lost anything but added to the person you were. You've become an amalgam of all those things - including Mom - and blended them into an amazing, strong superwoman. Although you may believe from time to time you've lost her, she's always there with you. Identity intact you hear the yell from the other room. "Mom!" but you know you're more than that. Although being the Mom is a pretty fantastic thing to be.

Still, it would be nice to pee alone.


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