I feel the same, and yet completely different, but distilled, and somehow more than I was before. The unnecessary parts are being scoured away by a relentless and consuming little 1-year-old tornado. He demands more of me than I ever thought I had, and only the deep and integral parts of me can withstand the force of this wonderful little whirlwind.
It does leave me wondering, asking “Who am I now?” “Who do I want to be for the rest of my life?” I feel like my identity is more what I choose to make of it, more malleable, than I had realized before. I feel more ownership of who I am and agency in designing my—our—lives.
I had always been afraid of losing myself in motherhood. While that may yet be to come, if more kiddos are in our future, I’ve found the opposite to be true for now. If anything, when this little person came into our lives, I found myself. And what’s even a little bit surprising—I like who I am now more than I ever have before. Motherhood, while it certainly brings its own complications, is helping me move past the doubt and self-criticism and heaps of guilt that have always followed me around. I don’t have time for those things because my life is so much more in the now—there’s no time for agonizing and regretting and rethinking. Naptime is short!
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