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Posts tagged with Motherhood

Finding My ‘Me’ Thing

It’s funny. They tell you that you’ll change when you have a kid. I was always like, “Duh. Of course you’ll change. You’re a parent. How could you not?”

But really, I had no idea just how much changes. As in, parts of you become unrecognizable (and I’m not even talking about the stretch marks and loose skin).

The me I was before I was a mom completely shifted. The spontaneous, laid-back, adventure seeker I used to be was bound, gagged and stowed away. I am now a planner, a worrier and an example-maker. I am someone’s mom.

I'm kind of lame. And to be honest, I’m really not OK with being lame, even if that means I’m a good mom.

I’m mournful for the person I once was. No longer am I the girl who climbs slippery trees and leaps into the river while on canoe trips. I don’t spend hours wandering Target alone just because I have nothing to do that day. I no longer have the biggest potty mouth of my friends and freely throw out every opinion that pops into my head. Gone are the days when I get lost in a book for hours on end.

There are no more impromptu craft projects that turn our house into a wreck. I even cut off a toxic friendship in the name of setting an example for my daughter.

My preferences and wishes are now second to two tiny people who need me. Who are watching me. Who are learning so much about how to live in this world … from me.

It’s a terrifying role to be in. Especially so because these are the two people I love most in the world and want to turn out the most unscrewed-up.

And as much as I love these girls and love being their mother, there are days when I mourn the old me. I miss my carefree days and the adventurous person I was. The longer I’m in this new role, I realize that there’s no way I can ever go back to being that person.

Yes, I’ll be able to read more books and go to Target alone when the girls are older, but I’ll never feel completely OK climbing that slippery tree over a Missouri river. What if I fell and broke my neck?

I won’t ever feel pure excitement at the idea of an impromptu road trip. What activities do the girls have going on? I don’t even think of myself as me most of the time. To me, I’m HJ and B’s mom. That’s who I am. And to me, it’s one of the hardest parts of being a mom.

To live mostly for the benefit of someone else is a hard transition to make even if it’s done out of love.

I love being a mom, but I hated losing “me.”

Things turned around for me when I signed up for a weekly ladies’ night group a few months ago. With each outing, I saw that old me creep back in, even if it was just for an hour or so. I wasn’t there to be someone’s mom and it was an activity that was just mine.

No one needed snot sucked out of their nostril. No one needed a drink refill. It was just a group of other gals who wanted nothing from me, but for me to just be me. It was insanely therapeutic.

That’s when I finally understood why so many of my mom friends now run marathons, start selling Mary Kay, post picture after picture of every friggin’ meal they cook and dabble in photography. That’s their temporary escape and time to just get to be themselves. It’s where they are able to shed the “just a mom” persona and be nothing more than themselves. It’s their “me” thing. Everyone else just figured it out before me. (I’m usually the last to know most things.)

So while I may not still get to be the wild and adventurous girl I was when I didn’t have my own spawn, I’m enjoying this new period of self-discovery. On the docket this summer is a sewing workshop, a pie-making group, and a painting night.

Watch out, Lawrence. Things are gettin’ serious.

Me (before stretch marks)

Me (before stretch marks) by Megan Spreer

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Baby #2: The Game Changer

I get asked all the time how my life has changed since Baby #2 joined our family. I usually follow this up with a laugh and some typical canned response that will keep people from calling social services on me.

The truth is: Baby #2 is a GAME CHANGER.

The Game Changer

The Game Changer by Megan Spreer

When you have just one kid, you have all the time in the world to pick out cute outfits every morning, fix them delicious and nutritious meals, practice shapes and colors, and be a good parent when said kid has a meltdown - OK, that may be an exaggeration. But that's how it feels like things used to be before the tornado that is B hit our house.

Those sleepless nights, round-the-clock feeding sessions and every two hour diaper changes? Yeah. Those are back. Only this time, I must do all of that while simultaneously stopping my toddler from accidentally killing herself. For example, I took the kids to the park the other day. B started screaming to eat (she only has one volume level) and as soon as I latch her on, OF COURSE HJ decides to swing her tiny toddler body over the edge of the playground platform (you know, the section made for big kids) and is just seconds from splitting open her pig-tailed head. I had to run to grab her with B still attached. You can imagine how awesome that sight was. It's not like I had time to unlatch B and put my boob back in before I ran to save her. I left my dignity back in that labor and delivery room.

This kind of stuff is the norm now. When out to eat, my head must be on a swivel. The second I turn my attention to the baby because she's sick of being in her car seat is always the same second HJ will grab someone's drink and dump it over her head. It's like I'm constantly juggling a wild pack of monkeys with lit matches.

Don't get me wrong. Being a mom to two is awesome. It's fun to see them begin to form the bond that will one day manifest into plans of covering each others' backs when they sneak out of the house or when B needs HJ to buy her beer at 18 (Karma says these things will happen).

But, having two under age 3 is absolutely exhausting. They rarely nap at the same time and I can't remember the last meal I ate with both hands free. All of this has forced me to mellow out though. I no longer freak out when the baby drops her binkie on the floor or when HJ licks the table at a restaurant. I don't put shoes on a baby who clearly cannot walk yet (seriously, what's the point?). There are way too many other things to stress about. My brain has no room for silly worries like that.

Really, I'd like to think I'm a better mother as a whole with two babies. But, I also require more wine. So, there's that.

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