I am a mother, not a shadow of my former self, and I will not apologize

by renegademama

We have got to talk. We have got to talk about the way motherhood is so often depicted as this sanctimonious martyrdom of hell in which formerly interesting and intellectual humans are reduced to snot and cereal.

This is the situation, partly. There are phases, particularly when children are in their infancy, when life seems to become nothing more than poop and milk and laundry peppered with zombie exhaustion, existential crises, and a lurking notion of “wtf has my life become?” (Clearly hyperbole remains intact, however.)

And there was absolutely a part of me that mourned my old self after I had my first child. I knew I would never be wholly the same, attached as I was, suddenly and irrevocably, to another human being. I could never walk away. I could never not be “mother.”

And that is heavy.

But it wasn’t the end. Motherhood is not the end of me and it never has been. I thought it was for a minute there, but I was wrong. My kids didn’t erase me. My kids didn’t turn me into a shadow of my former self. Yeah, I’m not out drinking fifths of Jack Daniels in Barcelona in my crop-top and mini-skirt, but ummmmmm, I’m also 37. Many of choose to change it up a bit around age 30. My husband and I aren’t frequenting bars and shooting pool in between shots we bought for our best friend Charlie who we met 10 minutes ago, but we’re also kinda old and tired and Netflix is calling.

We could still be doing this, but we aren’t, because our lives and values have changed, partly because we have kids, partly because we don’t find that stuff super fulfilling anymore (was it ever?). Also I’m an alcoholic but I digress.

The point is that motherhood was not the end of my personality, character, or identity. It wasn’t the end of my intellect and creativity and sarcasm. I still say fuck. I still like my music. I still like sex. I like movies and politics and critical theory. I like debating shit with people. I like getting fired up and thinking about things, and I like my husband. As a friend and as a lover. I like going places with him. I like to flirt with him. I like to swim in rivers and camp and write the shit out of things.

Even when my days are diapers and my nights are nursing, even when we haven’t had sex in way too long, even when my waking hours are finding shoes and washing dishes, even when kid voices drown out all the things forever, I AM STILL IN HERE.

Do not for a second erase me.

I like my friends who don’t have kids. I like my friends who have kids. I like going on girls’ trips and watching them get naked in hot tubs and smoke weed.

What is wrong with that? Nothing.

And there’s nothing wrong with women making other choices. SAHM, working mom, by choice or force, whatever. And maybe life has become a seemingly endless cycle of mundane tasks. We’ve all been there. But to me, that seems temporary, and I am sick and TIRED of this narrative that motherhood requires erasure of the self. Who the hell came up with this anyway?

And why isn’t it assumed that men disappear as individuals when they become dads? I don’t see too many men apologizing for becoming devoted and loving fathers. In fact, pretty sure we CONGRATULATE THE CRAP out of them for that sort of thing.

But more importantly, I DON’T SEE THIS WHEN I LOOK AROUND AT MOTHERS.

What I see is a bunch of fiercely powerful, badass humans – whether they are “stay at home moms” or not. I see artists: writers, painters, directors, knitters and bakers. I see pissed off feminists and fierce advocates for gender creativity. I see women of color fighting for the lives of their sons and daughters and I see doctors, lawyers, yogis and fat women in bikinis, sexy as hell and owning all 40 years of their beauty. Every motherfucking inch of it.

I see home-schoolers and friends and homemakers and executives. I see women creating businesses from their crafts and talents and heart, rockin’ PTA meetings and preschool events and women leading children on their paths to whoever they were meant to become: fighters and lovers and truth-sayers and storytellers. I see wickedly funny women who call out bullshit faster than you can say “Caillou is the spawn of Satan.”

And yet, they write us like we’re nothing. They write us like we’re sad little shells. They write us like we NEED TO BE APOLOGIZING TO OUR HUSBANDS FOR NOT MEETING THEIR NEEDS PERFECTLY.

Hey, the 1950s called. They totally want their rhetoric back.

Lemme tell ya something: WE GET TO DEFINE MOTHERHOOD HOWEVER THE FUCK WE WANT. And we get to do so unapologetically and locked in solidarity with all the other mamas out there who are like SURE I’M WIPING YOUR ASS ALL DAY BUT I DON’T LOVE IT and I’M IN HERE SOMEWHERE ASSHOLES.

And that’s the thing, really: I don’t buy that we’re gone. I don’t buy that we are really gone. I don’t buy that we curl up to the size of a sippy cup and wait for the years to pass.

We are powerful as we ever were, and I, for one, will never let you forget it.

And if you feel erased, mama, check it out: I see you. What you are, what you once were, and what you are still.

This is motherhood.

This is us.

We get to own it.

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  • Rachel Romano

    Today I was sitting in Chipotle with all 5 kids after swim lessons, and two men walked in in suits. I looked at them, and briefly overheard their conversation (not their words–just the essence) and immediately felt like I was somehow less. Sitting there in my unattractive but full coverage swim shirt, I asked myself why the hell that was. Why did I assume that they were important, not even knowing what they do in life, and that I was irrelevant, even though I was in the midst of managing 6 human beings? I am a pretty insecure person in general, but I also think that I felt this way because of the message(s) in today’s (and yesterday’s?) world–that we mothers are somehow less. I am so tired of feeling that way, and so thank you so much for this article. Once again you speak for all of us.

    • Allison

      I hear you. I’ve had that same experience, just in a different restaurant with two kids instead of five. It’s crazy because it’s so instantaneous…feeling like I’m less than…less important/educated/ successful/etc…like it has been so engrained in me, I feel it without even thinking twice about it. After I read your comment, and remembered my own similar experiences, I just thought to myself, I’ll be damned if my 6 year old daughter grows up feeling this way.

      • Rachel Romano

        Glad it’s not just me! I am afraid that my daughter is getting a lot of my insecurities, etc. I try so hard to build her up, but I feel like my lack of confidence is just so obvious that it rubs off on her…

        • Heather

          I don’t know if this helps, but my mother was a very insecure and passive person. She didn’t want her daughters to learn those traits. She taught us to be strong, to speak our minds always, to stand up to all manner of bullies, and to help others. She succeeded in raising two strong women and in the process she made herself stronger too. My mom is still the same kind beautiful women, and she still has some insecurities. However, she’s no longer passive or meek. She’s a strong amazing woman. I’m pretty sure Rachel that your children will feel the same way about you as I do about my mom.

          • Rachel Romano

            Thank you!

    • Donna Swaffar

      Amazing how that little voice in our heads kicks in just that fast! And I guarantee your day was more demanding than anything those suits had to deal with. You rock!

      • Rachel Romano

        Donna–Thank you!

    • Kerry

      Yes, I know that feeling. You can be on top of the world one minute, rocking the lunch, orchestrating the little people like a champion, and that one moment can knock you completely off-axis. It’s insane! It has to be ingrained in us. I’m not an insecure person, but I feel it too. The “less-than” phenomenon. And I try to keep that in mind when I’m the person walking in looking all in-charge and kid-free. I try to remember that no matter what I’m wearing or doing, I’m never better or more together than the mom in the swim shirt. I think if we can make sure we’re working both sides of that equation with love and kindness, we can affect a real change. Even if it’s only in our own hearts and our own families.

  • Shelley Garcia

    WooHoo!!

  • Krystal Sheppard

    First, I wanna say: I fucking LOVE you. Phew, that feels better! I’ve thought that many many times, but never bothered to spit it at you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was erased when I had kids, or rather the part of me that was willing to accept a selfish bastard of a husband treating me like shit disapeared. Guess it was somewhere between midnight feedings and listening to HIM cry about being parents, or maybe it was thinking he was dead somewhere when at 5 am he still wasn’t home from throwing a tantrum that turned into spending all our money on cocaine? So yeah, the relationship changed after our kids were born, but that was on him. I’ve never bothered to tell him that, either. haha

  • Celestiel

    Yes! Thank you for your raw honesty and redemptive perspective. Sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying my kids, my husband, my life….while there is so much discontent with marriage and motherhood all around. The victim/stifled/martyrdom mentality seems to be contagious. I’ma own that shit from now on. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the reminder. Life is messy, exhausting and exceedingly good.

    • Danielle

      “Life is messy, exhausting and exceedingly good.”

      This may be one of my favorite summaries, ever. Thank you.

  • Laurel

    Fuck I needed to hear this today. I see you. I am more than all the mundane crap I am doing day in and day out. Me! There she is, somewhere. Slowly emerging from the exhaustion that is small children, work and more crap I didn’t see coming.
    Thank you.

  • Christine

    My god, I can’t not love you!

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve been fighting the feeling so often lately that I’m not who I was. I used to be patient, I used to be easygoing, I used to be this way and that way before I had kids…it’s so exhausting to think about all the things I “used to be.” It’s hard enough to have conversation that doesn’t revolve around kids swallowing quarters, kids throwing tantrums, kids throwing up four shades of green and then needing Mom to hold them – immediately afterwards if not during – but that’s not all I am. I’m a mom of two kids, and while I’ve certainly had to change to fill the role, I’d still like to think the “old me” is still here! I may not get to come out and play as often as I used to, but I definitely have fun when I do. I’m 38 years old, and yeah, if I didn’t have kids, I might still be in karaoke bars every night of the week, but the fact that I’m not doing what I did when I was 22 doesn’t mean I’m dead!

  • Jessica Coles

    I have two kids, a 3 year old boy with cerebral palsy and a typically developing 9 month old girl. My support system is far away. I’m an editor and a writer and a stay at home mom. Many days, I feel like there is nothing but tantrums and clawed skin and nursing and diapers and laundry and “one more time” and all the unrecognized movements of today into tomorrow. And in all of that, it can feel more insane to scramble for my deep self than to lose it all in scraping by.

    Thank you for seeing, knowing, and saying what we all need to hear. You always remind me that I’m connected to this godawfully gorgeous mess of an experience that shapes but never defines who I am.

  • Radhika

    No, we aren’t erased. We take on a huge new identity when we become mothers. We test it out, see how it fits, curse at it, love it, bang our heads on the wall sometimes losing it- we do all that and then take this identity and make it ours. We come bigger and cooler as we take on a new fierceness. Erased? Fuck that. We become even more textured and multi-dimensional beings.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my mom heart, for being a real voice.

  • Ellen

    Thanks for being a voice of reason/revelations and for continuing to help people wake up to what is real and true.

  • Daphne

    A wise woman once said, “fuck that shit’, and lived happily ever after.

    • Christina

      This. This right here. I also subscribe to the “make shit up as you go along” style of parenting.

      • Keli

        Haha! Me too. Less how-to parent books and more how-to improvise books I say ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Kristy

    PREACH. I love this so much.

  • Heidi

    Thank you so much for your words of honesty, love and empowerment. Sometimes all people see is the spit up and the kids and they don’the look farther to see the amazing individuals moms are. And we are amazing. We retain our individuality while giving part of our life to tiny humans.

  • Erica

    I have been feeling “erased” since the second baby came along. I keep telling myself this is just the season of my life and when they go off to college, I will find myself again. But 18 years is too long to wait and I must rage against that notion. I’m just so damn tired. Too tired to do the things that made me, ME. I’m trying though. And day by day as they get older (currently 3yrs and 8 mo), I can see it WILL get better soon. I love being their mom but I refuse to let their existence erase me. This article reminds me I need to fight back a little harder, even when I’m tired. They deserve a mom that is happy, my husband deserves a wife that is present, and I deserve to to exist!

    • Dawn

      Oh mama- I feel ya. I have a 2.5yo and a 10 week old… But also two teens!
      And I can tell you honestly that I feel swallowed by motherhood right now.
      And because I have the teens (and 12 years between 2/3) I can tell you that this consumption portion of the game passes. Snuggle them. Take their hand prints.. because all of a sudden I’m visiting colleges and filling out enlistment papers… And truly it flashes by- childhood. We don’t get 18 years- they will find their flocks around 14… And that’s how’s it’s supposed to be for some things. 14. Gasp. My teens are learning how to be their own individual independent humans.
      We may allow ourselves to be swallowed during postpartum days and then we remember who we are (generally after we’re done nursing and get our brains back)… And the house got cleaned and my career is strong and my babies are happy and they giggle and are kind.
      Solidarity.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for this post. I so often hear that nagging “I am less than because I’m a stay at home mom” voice, and the worst part is that it comes from inside. Real or imagined, it’s there and it sucks. This made me feel a ton better. I was a writer before I left work to be a homemakr, and with a two year old and a baby on the way in a month I haven’t been writing at all and sometimes feel like a failure for not “making the time” – like there’s any time to make. This was magical and empowering to read; it made me feel like I’m okay. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Fiona

    Yes, so much. One of the most hurtful things my husband said to me after we had kids was ‘you are so boring now’. His reason was that since I didn’t read all the newspapers and study current events as closely as before (because I was TIRED and he refused to do any night parenting).
    I felt like I was on all day, thinking about so much and managing life well but apparently that is irrelevant if you can’t drive at the same intellectual level immediately after having a baby.

  • Nicole

    Now that my kids are getting older (15 and 11) I have been having difficulty with this idea. I feel like there is some ‘person’ I should go back to, but I have been irrevocably changed by being a mother. There is no ‘going back.’ I now must forge a new path using what I was as a single woman, what I have been as a mother, and what is to come. You rock for so wonderfully putting to words my mind and feelings!

  • Daniella

    Yeaaaaaaasssssss!!!!

  • Roxanna Smith

    Loved this! Thanks for keeping it real. When I was in a mom’s group 17 years ago, I was the only one who said I wasn’t loving my new life – of staying home with a baby by myself for 13 hours a day while my husband tried to start a company. It was hard. And lonely. Love that moms have your voice to read now. And WHY IS CAILLOU BALD???

  • Sara Howard

    I have 3 children of my own and have just started watching my sister’s 3 kids. This was not the plan but she needs help right now so I do it. They all look like they could be mine so when we are out in public I definitely get some looks. I want to explain myself, validate my existence, but I grow tired of that game. What if they were all mine? Would that be so horrible? I actually think it could be so wonderful. I don’t crave my life before children, because something horrible would have to happen for them not to be in my life now. My life is crazy, and beautiful, and more full of love them I could have ever dreamed. The struggle to make space for life giving things is hard, but I find I am contributing in more ways now then I ever did while single. I have not faded away, I have grown, matured and started contributing in tangible ways in our community. I am not less than, I am more than.

  • Rain

    I’m a stay at home mom, by choice. I have felt lost, taken for granted, and under valued. I feel like the weight of the world has fallen on my shoulders some days and every day I wake up and I tackle the day head on through shit (of all kinds), tears, kisses and laughter.

    I recently decided to go back to school and upon graduation, a fellow classmate who’s life was clearly more fulfilling and contributions to society far greater than mine looked at me and said, “Now that you are graduated what are you going to do with your life?”

    The irony is we both graduated as Early Childhood Educators who may be in a role some day of supporting a stay at home mom’s who need a day for self care or install bathroom tile or a date day with their husband. Whatever.
    Sure it made me feel a little bit smaller but only for a minute because I know I do big work in my day to day and now I can contribute to others.

  • carrie

    My husband and I worked in the same office. Same boss, similar job. After our son was born we each took time off to be parents and each worked crazy weird schedules to get the job done, be home with kiddo and manage grandparent childcare schedules. I often got the question “Who’s watching your son today?” when I was at work. My husband NEVER had anyone ask him that. Even when he got laid off and I was working full time, people assumed that I was the primary caregiver and that I was on temporary escape from my mom duties if I was out of the house. This assumption that “mom” is now my ONLY identity is absurd and I fight hard to show my son that I can be mom and artist and teacher and friend and wife and goofball bad singer crazy dancer and everything else that is this person who gave birth to you because I am still that person just more now that I am your mother, too.

  • Keli

    Hell to the mother-fuckin’ yeah!!
    Love you, love this article. All mothers should receive a copy of this upon the birth of their child. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Ellen WEst

    I never felt erased as a YOUNG mom, but at 60, no one gives a shit that I raised four humans, worked full time at two jobs, mom and the paid one, am now helping to raise grandbabies. Nope I do not exist, still working full time, raising kids, and I absolutely don’t exist, especially to YOUNG mothers..at a certain age, we are simply side dressing, we know nothing, can’t possibly have any advice or opinion that’s relevant, needed only for babysitting/money/sick days… it sucks…big time, you guys didn’t invent motherhood, or womanhood, life isn’t birth to 40 my friends, look around….

    • Kerry

      Maybe it’s time to let the rude, unappreciative people around you deal with themselves. You’ve done so much; maybe it’s your time to enjoy some freedom and play. You can say “no” to babysitting. Grandparents aren’t built in babysitters. You have a right to a life too. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else. I hope you find something that brings you joy.

  • Rachael

    I love this. Thank you.

  • Sara

    Thank you for writing this. I echo all the other comments in this is exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so easy to get lost in the overwhelming cycle of keeping a family and kids alive and functioning not to mention feeling even smaller from other people’s opinions on your parenting/drastic career changes. I feel I need to fight to be seen..

  • Kat

    A(wo)men!

  • melissa

    i am sending this to every mother i know! ๐Ÿ™‚ and…i love you, all the way from michigan.

  • Cassey

    Love, love this post!

  • Katie Watkins

    Just want to say thanks. I read frequently, but have never commented. I so appreciate the sentiments you share. Motherhood is this amazing, wonderful, hard-as-fuck, but-definitely-makes-me-more-of-who-I-want-to-be journey. Candor is pretty much my best bet for how to grow through it. I appreciate yours and aim to be a beacon for it in my own community of bad ass mamas trying to do this thing to the best of our abilities for our own sakes and our kids. Keep speaking truth, sister – we hear it and appreciate it!

  • Michaela

    You are a bloody rock star!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah

    Thank you for this. About 8 months ago I quit my job working with a group of people and at a job I really liked to take a full time position in the breastfeeding and butt wiping field. I should mention that it took 5 years and lots of stressful and embarrassing doctor’s appointments to get this prestigious job. I have felt so lost, so consumed by this motherhood gig. The pressure to love every minute is so strong, and I just don’t. I love many moments, but not every one. I’ve been feeling more and more like I don’t know who I am anymore. I have been shattered and I don’t have the time or energy to figure out how all the pieces fit back together again. Thank you for the reassurance that they will…eventually.

  • Mark Goodson

    Hahaha. The 1950s called…
    Your post reminded me of an Avett Brothers song that I love. The lyric is: “I wanna have friends, that I can trust. That love me for the man I’ve become not the man that I was.”

  • Lena

    Do you even understand how much I NEEDED to read this right now? I’m about to turn 33. I have no children. I have no children because I did all the “right” things in my 20’s. I was a motherfucking ADULT when I was 19. I was independent. I was going to college. I was getting my teacher’s license because I liked kids, and it was reliable, useful, ubiquitously NECESSARY work that was **responsible** – a trait that was drilled into me from the time of fucking infancy that was my ultimate, prime motivator for EVERYTHING.

    I liked teaching fine… Until I didn’t. And I did it anyway, because I was an independent, self-sufficient, RESPONSIBLE woman who was too damn afraid to reach out and just try to touch my fingertips to my dreams. Too damn scared because responsible women don’t quit their stable jobs to do other things like pursue acting and music, no matter how much they hate themselves for not BEING THEM-FUCKING-SELVES.

    Then when I was 27, I got cancer, and had that moment of “…oh … shit. I might actually fucking die and I haven’t done ANYTHING except for be responsible and deny, like, MOST of myself. And there might not be a ‘later’ anymore. Thoreau would hate me. I’ve sucked the marrow out of a 401K.”

    But it turns out cancer costs a lot of money. So I continued to be independent, self-sufficient and FUCKING RESPONSIBLE, and deny deny deny what I wanted, who I was, what was in my heart. Because acting and music are stupid and wrong, and unrealistic – and unrealistic is NOT FUCKING RESPONSIBLE.

    Then, just this last year, five years after radiation, when I was finally told, “Ok! You can have kids now! The radiation is all out of your system! You’ve been married for 2 years, so it’s society’s expected TIME for you to procreate! You’ve had your fun ‘alone time’ as a couple, and now you HAVE to become a family with KIDS! tick tick TICK!”

    But all I can think is “WAIT JUST A FUCKING SECOND I HAVEN’T HAD A LIFE YET!!!”

    But also, I’m about to turn 33. And we’d like more than one. And I have multiple sclerosis and the truth is I might be in a wheel chair soon, which means it might not be possible for me to even get pregnant for that much longer. My husband dearly wants children, and I have a husband who DESERVES children – that man is a SAINT who has supported me in every way he possibly could over the last five years.

    Yet, I have fucking WASTED myself and my time. Motherhood has felt like a death sentence to the time when I was supposed to be out there conquering the world, or at least being able to say that I TRIED to when I had the chance. It’s literally only in the last four months – at the age of 32 – that I actually started to do what I fucking love to do… but then there’s that pesky biological clock ticking away in the background. And the MS wheel chair beckoning. Shit.

    But if you, a fantabulous momma to four precious and wonderful kids, can still do it, still have an identity, then maybe… MAYBE there’s a chance that I can still have something… I don’t know what it will be, but maybe I’ll still feel like a person who hasn’t denied everything that was in her for so fucking long that she forgot what it was to dream of anything except for getting through tomorrow.

    And I will NEVER put my kids – if we’re lucky enough to have them – into a situation where they feel like they have to deny who they are to appease me, or society, or whoever the hell I’ve been so worried about disappointing my whole stupid fucking WASTE of an automaton’s life. They will know that they are loved, and they will know that they are good enough being whoever the fuck they are, doing whatever the fuck it is that’s in them to do with themselves and the precious time that they have.

    So, thanks. Like I said, I really truly needed to hear this.

  • Jennifer

    I wish I had seen this years ago when I was going through my divorce and feeling like I had completely disappeared. I had erased myself. I had let myself be erased for no good reason. I found my new path. It was hard and it sucked and I got weird looks (still do- don’t care) but I found my sanity again. I love you.

  • Elizabeth

    I so needed to read this today, as I sit on the couch nursing my first baby (who is 2.5 weeks old) and wondering when I’ll feel like myself again or when I’ll return to the other parts of my life, such as building my business and exercising, etc. I’ve definitely shed my share of tears over the past weeks out of loneliness and overwhelm and exhaustion, but I know this itty bitty baby stage won’t last forever. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Eliza

      Funny because I looked at my 10 month old and got teary-eyes because it felt like yesterday that he was in the itty bitty baby stage ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Boymom

    HELL TO THE YEAH!! I own this mommin’ thing and I do it #likeaboss. And I think that’s how evey mother should.

  • Kate

    I read this, https://www.parent.co/dear-husband-im-not-the-person-you-married
    …and it pissed me off. Of course, once you become a mom you’ll always be a mom. I think this woman is so consumed in motherhood that she makes excuses for being a shitty wife. It’s articles like this that make parenting seem like a horror story. I, personally, think its important to make yourself a priority and to make your marriage a priority. I am only posting this here because I thought it was relevant to your post. I love your views on life, marriage, and motherhood. For someone who says that they lack balance, it seems to me that your priorities are perfectly in order.

  • Rosanna

    Needed this today. Thank you!

  • Kimberle

    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I have 2 children who are 18 years apart. When I had my daughter last year I thought, who’s idea was this again? I was done!?! You crazy bitch, you were done!!!!!!!!! That get up and go done got up and went, in an instant. I cried alone.. A LOT.. for a long time because of the stress, and working, and future Hubs working all the time. I honestly thought, one day, that my “once was” ran away, she left us just left us! On top planning our wedding for this October, not being the size I was, not getting that gym time if get 5 days a week 2 hours a day, getting 3 hours of sleep a night, just being exhausted from being exhausted. But somehow through all these emotions I kept inside, I smiled every day, I concurred each day like the bad ass bitch I was and STILL AM! That pride I was often told I had too much of pushed me through those thoughts of being invisible. I am many things, but DEFEATED IS NOT ONE OF THEM! So to all my kick ass Mom’s out there…. The world would be boring without us!

  • Ashley

    But what do you do when you FEEL erased? How do you being to find that person inside?

    • Eliza

      Make a list of all the things you miss or things you used to enjoy doing that you haven’t done for awhile. Start with one or two and figure out how you can incorporate them back into your life. I might sound like a nerd but when I was pre-husband and pre-babies I loved reading about plants and going to the farmers market for fresh flowers. I started planting flowers on my own in the last year and also started an herb garden in my kitchen. For me, gardening is therapeutic and it’s just a little something I can do during nap-time or on the weekends when my husband is around to help watch the kids.

  • Nicole

    Thank you. Just, thank you.
    4 kids, a husband and a full time job later…I’m STILL in here somewhere. I appreciate the reminder. Hugs.
    Xoxo

  • Eliza

    Thank you for this post. My husband and I live in a suburb of a Southern city after living in Manhattan for 12 years. I went to graduate school in the city, worked at a thankless (but prestigious on paper) job for 10 years that sucked the life out of me on a daily basis. We moved and really love the change of pace. We started a family and now I stay at home with the littles. I love it. I appreciate being with them even more after living to work for a decade.

    However, I have a friend (that is childless) who told me I must be “in denial” for “enjoying” staying at home. Instead of ripping her face off, I composed myself and simply said once she’s in my position she can make whatever decision is best for her. If she chooses to be a working mom, awesome. If not, I will ask her if she’s in denial :). But I won’t keep writing on why I needed to read this. I’m just thankful for your perspective that’s a comfort to so many of us!

  • SarahC

    Add me to the list of ‘I really needed this today’. And everyday really. 4 kids six and under and a husband who works 80+ hours/week; on my own because I can’t, but I am doing it anyway. But damn… thank you.

  • Kerry

    For me, it just took time to find my new footing. It’s taken me 8 1/2 years to come back to this me. This me that is the old me and mom all wrapped up together in a new and improved self. And it’s exactly who I want to be. I definitely did the woe-is-me mom routine for a while when they were really young, but we’ve kind of turned a corner; finally passed the toddler years. And while I definitely have baby nostalgia, I’ve also come around to this me who is such a true me that I can’t for a minute regret that we’ve gotten to this point.

  • Ashley

    I remember not being able to remember what kind of music I liked. I was a shadow of my former self, but that was only because I hadn’t yet figured out that I didn’t have to be. Now I’m all about putting myself first. And being the way more awesome person my kids have helped me to be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • roe

    fuck yeah