The day you bring your children into this world is a day that you NEVER forget. Moments have a way of slipping away. You are completely lost and in love and nothing can change the fact that you were made for this moment.
And then months later you wake up and realize that mom can't be all that I am anymore.
WHO AM I?
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love and adore all of my children. Hence why I kept having them. In the beginning, mom is all I needed to be. I felt completely fulfilled with my motherly duties that nothing else in the world truly mattered. And then I got into a routine. Life is going great. I had this whole journey called motherhood down and I thought to myself that there is more to life than being called mom. Now, if you are a stay at home mom, I am going to stand up and applaud you right now because let me tell you, I tried it and it just wasn't for me. Again, I LOVE my children but I so needed to be someone other than mom for at least part of the day.
I lost who Samantha was. No one called me that anymore. I was referred to only as mom. When feeding, diapering, school drop-offs, lunch making, laundry, house cleaning, tying shoes, and so on goes on and on; I was beginning to feel a bit lost. I wanted to be more. I always envisioned myself as being more than a mom. I always have and I always will envision my life that way.
My situation was a bit different. I moved to Canada in March 2007. Found out that we were pregnant at the end of April 2007. Motherhood is something that I wanted and the day before I found out I was pregnant, we decided that it was time to start trying. YEA because I was already 6 weeks pregnant. That was a shock to the system. I was now living in a place where I knew no one except for my husband and we were gonna have a baby. (Talk about mixed emotions and being completely lost.)
I don't remember dreaming as a young girl about having kids. I knew that I wanted to be a mom but there were other dreams that I had too. Pregnancy was not a friend to me. I was super sick and labour lasted FOREVER!!!! I don't remember much about the wee morning hours of when Quinton was born. I went into labour on December 21st and had him on December 28th around 1 am. I was so exhausted that I don't remember much of the last few hours of delivering him. All I remember was the midwives putting him in my arms and everything else melts away.
In my arms, I held this beautiful (and extremely dirty) baby boy. I just stared at him in wonder and utter exhaustion. I was shaking so badly from the adrenaline that was pumping through my body but I was content. I knew that in those moments, I was exactly where I was supposed to be and I was going to be the best damn mom that I could be.
Like I said above, my situation was a bit different. I didn't have a job to go to in 1 year as I wasn't even a resident of Canada yet. I wasn't even allowed to volunteer because I was technically on a visitor visa until my permanent resident paperwork came back. So I became a mom and that's all I had. It was perfect until I wanted more.
Guilt, Guilt, and More Guilt
The guilt that comes with wanting more is confusing. I have this baby boy and I should want to be there for him every day. That's not how I felt. If you admit to feeling like this, other moms look at you like you shouldn't be a mom and then the MOM GUILT begins.
Oh the dreaded words, mom guilt. You feel guilty for wanting to work. You feel guilty for wanting to do self-care. You feel guilty if you leave your little one for an hour. You feel guilty for having to go back to work. As a mom, what do you NOT feel guilty for at 1 point or another?
Now I wanted more than being a mom but that is not all. I was struggling with loving my new mom body. Going into pregnancy, I hated my body and who I was but AFTER baby. Oh boy. That is a whole new level of body discomfort. I felt frumpy, ugly, fat, and like I was a mom. (Yes I said that. A mom body was never a good thing from what I remember. Now it is the thing I strive for.) Navigating through motherhood is hard enough but when you can't stand to look at your own reflection, all aspects of motherhood are affected.
My kids picked up on my body hatred even though I made sure that I NEVER used the word fat even though I felt it. My sex life suffered because I didn't want my husband to see me naked. I thought him seeing me naked was worse than him seeing me deliver his children. My inner self suffered because all I repeated about myself was the negative that I felt. I was never truly happy because I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I didn't believe my husband when he told me that I looked beautiful. I avoided the camera because I didn't want my kids to look back on those memories and see how fat I was in my bikini.
Those years that I struggled with finding who I was and loving the new body that I was blessed to have; I wish I could take back. I wish that I could love myself a little harder. I wish that I could tell myself sooner that I AM beautiful and worthy of so much more than I can imagine. (More about why here.) I wish that I could say to my children that they are more than I could have dreamt of. I wish that I could tell myself that it's perfectly ok with wanting to be more than a mom and that there is NO shame in that.
Being a mom is only a part of who I am. I am also a wife, lover, daughter, business owner, blogger, and so much more. Learning to balance all aspects of who I am has not been easy but I am learning. I am learning that we as women seem to be our harshest critics. I am learning that mom guilt won't go away but that I don't have to let it take over what I want to do and be. I am learning that my children need to see me as someone other than mom.
Motherhood is a process. A process of moments that are designed to recreate our life, fulfill a void when we didn't know there was one, and to love another human so completely that it completes who we are meant to be.