Finding “You”.

So becoming a mom has been massively transforming. Like in all areas. There have been massive physical changes on top of a plethora of mental and emotional changes as well. My days are no longer my own and my plans are no longer simple, it’s exhausting and rewarding. It’s amazing and awful. It sounds harsh but there are days where nothing feels right or normal anymore. You feel out of control and incapable. It’s more than tough, sometimes it feels impossible, and in the midst of it all we are expected to find ourselves. We are pressured to become “moon goddesses” or “mom bosses”. We are supposed to fully embrace this new mother person we have become after one of the most physically traumatizing moments of our lives, which is a pretty incredibly metaphor honestly. That moment of birth is the beginning of so many things as a mother. It is the beginning of your new body, your new mental capacity, your new and all-encompassing role of “Mom” to this little person. You aren’t fully yours anymore and that can be incredibly terrifying, at least it has been for me.

Sailor turned 9 months old the other week. A whole 9 months outside of the womb, just as long as he sat cozy in there cooking away. He has become his own person, he is discovering his voice, his legs, his hands, and everything else he can grab/touch/see. He is amazing and wonderful. Through his little eyes I had this realization that in the midst of him blossoming into his own little person, I have slowly been losing myself. I have become the slightly fluffy, perpetually exhausted, incredibly emotional woman, who maybe resembles who I was before in some ways but has completely forgotten who I am at the root of it all. I struggled with the concept of choosing things for myself, feeling some weird sort of guilt when I chose to do something for me instead of Sailor. When I first fed Sailor a bottle of formula it came after 3 days of my milk not coming in and him literally not getting any sustenance post-birth. He wouldn’t latch and nurse and I would just shake it off like it was normal, not wanting to become that emotionally charged mom that worried about every little thing. Then came his first well check-up, where he weighed almost 2 pounds lighter than he did at birth, and oh my word the guilt I felt. It was gut-wrenching and overwhelming. They told me to go back to the hospital to make sure he wasn’t jaundiced, they pricked his poor feet over and over again trying to draw enough blood but were struggling because he was so dehydrated. I could hardly handle it and yes I cried, A LOT. They told me to start supplementing his feedings with 2oz. of formula for at least 2 weeks and just like that my dreams of being that “crunchy” momma with her exclusively breastfed baby were thrown out the window.

If I’m being completely honest, that’s when I started to lose myself in motherhood. It’s when I pushed myself to breastfeed Sailor as often as he wanted, even if it meant waking up every 2 hours all night long for 7 months. It’s what made me hyper aware of every cry, and it’s what gave me “permission” to pick him up all day, everyday whenever he crawled over to me. It’s what consumed me in the day to day of child rearing and I became the frazzled sort of person I am today. Only recently have I realized how backward it all is. No, I’m not saying that ignoring your children or not trying to give them the best you can is bad, at all. I’m saying letting it consume you as a person, allowing for yourself to fall head first into a whirlpool of “baby” is not okay. In order to be good mothers, we need to know who we are outside of motherhood. We need to have loves and passions and dreams, or else how will we teach our children to do all of those things? I want Sailor to grow up with a mother who is loving and caring, but also strong and motivated. I want to show him it is possible to achieve your dreams and to do something that you love for the rest of your life. I want my future children to see that it is possible to marry and love your best friend every single day. But like I said, in order to accomplish all of those things I needed to find myself, and I think I’m starting to.

When I started writing this post I honestly had no idea where it was going, but now I sort of see it. I want you to know that those feelings, that overwhelming sense of confusion when you look at yourself in the mirror, yah, you’re not alone in that. I want you to know that you should never feel bad for wanting time to embrace your passions and dreams, they are necessary and vital! I want you to know that you are STILL you, despite what your body looks like or what your baby does on a daily basis. I have struggled with this everyday but I am finally turning the corner and learning that I am important. I recently started taking online classes to pursue a dream I’ve had for years and years. I almost didn’t do it, honestly, it seemed impossible, but I looked at my life and decided that my baby is important and if I want to be the best version of me I can be I need to do hard things to get there. I want to tell him someday that I went back to school when he was still small and I pushed through the hard moments to achieve my goals. I want him to remember a confident mother who loved him with all she had, ever day.

This is the new me, it is still so many of the things I was before, creative, ambitious, motivated and strong, but now I am also a mother. I will probably have many more children and I will probably gain many more stretch marks, but I will still be ME at the root of it all. You can still be you too, don’t lose it and don’t make excuses for why you can’t work your way back to it. Motherhood is a mixed bag, the guilt and joy and pain you will experience may be overwhelming, but in the end if you hold on tight to “you” and love that person through all of the changes I promise you will be a better momma/wife/friend in the midst of it all. So keep trekking, keep dreaming keep loving those babies and keep pursuing YOU, because you are so worth it.

 

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Author: Ashlee Churm

Married, in love with Christ, blessed.

2 thoughts on “Finding “You”.”

  1. Ashlee,. I truly enjoy reading your blog’s even though they usually bring tears to my eyes, not that I am sad, it’s because I’m so happy for you . You are a wonderful mother and a wonderful niece.

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