Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finding my new self

The word that comes to mind when people ask me what it's like being a new mom is adjustment. Finn is almost 4 and 1/2 months old and sometimes I still don't feel like a mom. With each day, I feel more confident in taking care of him, I fall more and more in love with him, and can hardly imagine life without him. It's mind boggling that he didn't exist outside of my body a year ago. And yet, I still haven't adjusted to my new self. How do you blend the selfish, single you with the selfless, maternal you? I think the mistake many new parents make is becoming too much of one and neglecting the other. But figuring out how to blend the two is a balancing act, an adjustment.

I know it's healthy for me and for my son for me to have an identity outside of being mother and wife. But in the sleep deprived, survival period of the first few months of motherhood, I'm not sure how.

Asking for advice is a double edged sword. It can be refreshing to hear someone acknowledge what you are feeling is normal. Yet, confusing when you are given conflicting advice. My advice to myself (and any other new parent) is to listen and trust your instincts. I was able to get in touch with that instinct during labor and birth. It was a process, almost like birth itself. But I got there and am so glad I did. The reward was so sweet.

So I'm going to spend a little time listening to the inner me and try to figure this new self out. I know I can do it, just like I knew I could have the birth that mattered to me.

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