Becoming a mother is a wonderful, exhilarating experience. Raising children brings new meaning to every moment of your life and depth to your experience as a human being. But becoming a parent also requires a revolutionary change in the way you not only live your day-to-day life, but alters your very identity as a person.
Before I had kids, I lived my life for myself. I wasn't a frivolous person, but I definitely put serious thought into decisions like, "Which nail polish color is going to look best with my tan?" and "Do Ugg boots go with skinny jeans?" When I became a mother, everything changed. Suddenly, the responsibility of taking care of another human being weighed heavily on my shoulders. My former worries and concerns seemed superfluous by comparison.
"...I began to realize that motherhood is an invisible job."
At the same time as I was grappling with my new responsibilities and concerns as a mom, I began to realize that motherhood is an invisible job. The work of a mother is never done and yet it is one of the most unnoticed jobs out there. As a mom, you work hard all day caring for your newborn infant, but when someone asks, "What did you do all day?" how do you answer? Saying, "I fed my baby, changed diapers and scrubbed gallons of vomit off the couch" just doesn't quite sum it up.
Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katzman, authors of the groundbreaking new book about motherhood Purple Leaves, Red Cherries, write, "Mothering is so often invisible; we rarely noticed it before we ourselves became mothers… Looking back, we now understand that becoming a mother required a radical reinvention; we not only held a new baby, we owned a new identity."
Reinventing your identity
When you give birth, you not only deliver a baby, but you give birth to a family. Your new identity as a mother can be all-consuming and, for a time, you may lose touch with your pre-mother self. In our society, speaking up about the challenges and difficulties of motherhood is not commonplace. As we discover the daily joys and challenges of new motherhood, the thing we need most is to connect with other mothers in a safe space where we can share our daily struggles and learn from the wisdom of shared experience.
If you are not sure how to do this, here are a few ideas of how you can reach out and gain the support of other moms just like you:
Start a mommy blog
The blogosphereis a wonderful, supportive place where you can connect and share with other moms who are in the same stage of life as you are.
Start a playgroup
Sometimes you need a playgroup just as much or more than your kids. There is no replacement for awesome mom friends.
Join a mommy and me class
Not sure how to meet other moms? Mommy and me classes are the perfect answer.
Read books about motherhood
Don't forget the impact a powerful book can have on your life.
Read more on surviving and celebrating motherhood
6 Tips for transitioning into motherhood
New mom survival guide
Top 10 reasons why you are a good mom