Motherhood will bring new perspectives on many aspects of your life. It will allow you to accept and embrace the woman you’ve become, and will force you to give up on the preconceived notions that you may have had before, now that you hold such responsibility of a child’s rearing.
Motherhood allows you to see what you are truly capable of. Motherhood allows you to easily give up the possessions and activities you put * too much * energy and time into; may it be people, objects, jobs, or environments. The things in which you choose to surround yourself with will impact you greatly.
But now that you’re a mother you have another soul in which these peoples, objects, jobs and environments could leave lasting impressions upon: As a mother, you are now able to choose (within reason) what to leave behind and what to focus more heavily on. Your perspectives undoubtedly have been altered.
It is no surprise that when you become a mother you suddenly lose emotion in some activities that you had participated in before this journey. It could likely be due to compressed time and energy, but it could also be due to this altered perspective that I had already touched upon.
Many of us have this idea of what motherhood will look like before it actually occurs. Some believe we’ll be able to leave our career behind, thinking we will be fulfilled solely by motherhood. Some believe that balancing their work-life and parent-life is of utmost importance; keeping hold of career to instill the values that they want for their child.
Whatever the goal and overall lifestyle that you believe you will obtain while parenting will most likely change after your child actually arrives. You may not want to give up your job. You may actually be enthused to become an entrepreneur. You may desire to go back to school, since bettering your education may lead you to a more financially stable future.
Regardless of how you change the way you live, motherhood often inspires you to work harder. And by work harder I don’t mean taking on extra hours at work to better your bank account balance, though if that’s what makes you a happier parent, then by all means, do it! What I’m mostly referring to is how parenthood influences you to alter your perspectives on how to become a ‘better’ individual in order to become a ‘better’ parent.
Perhaps, to some, that means no longer attending your Sunday morning yoga class, because your kid is now interested in soccer and that’s the only day of the week that will work with your family schedule.
Perhaps that perspective looks like stumbling upon the art of crochet. (Luckily it’s on-trend and it allows you to channel your creativity while producing a quality, practical garment your child will actually wear.)
Often, I hear friends and family complain about loosing themselves in parenthood, especially during the early days of motherhood. Your life, frankly, flips upside down. Generally, you do your best to manage your child’s schedule while keeping hold of your social life, your partnership, and potentially, your job. All while reminding yourself to eat and hydrate.
Of course something’s got to give! But when you realize that you have unintentionally given up some of your hobbies and your creative outlets, it can become earth shattering. It can feel as though you have given up on yourself. This is why it is important to see motherhood in a different light. You have, undoubtedly, left behind some things. Though you have surely found, or will find, others.
When we choose to compromise our time and our pre-baby-activities, we often organically channel passions we never knew we had through the time spent with our young. Our children become our vices and our sources of self-discovery. If it were not for their arrival, we may not have identified our new postpartum passions.
Perhaps you’re picking up a parenting book (or two…or three…) because you’ve come to terms that your child’s tantrums are coming more often than you’d like. You desperately need some professional viewpoints. And there’s no shame in that. Through this process, you’re discovering why and how you have become so impatient. Perhaps you’ve projected your own impatience which may be triggering your child’s tantrums. And now, you’re interested in child psychology.
Perhaps by signing your child up for that Sunday morning soccer you have now found interest in becoming that part-time coach. Who knew!? You wouldn’t have, unless you sacrificed that weekend yoga in return for your child’s class. Now you get to take yoga in the evenings and volunteer to become your child’s team’s soccer coach on the weekends.
It is valid and validating that you become interested in the unlikely. The unexpected, postpartum passions. It is vital not to resist your newfound interests, because that’s the purpose of life…
… to change.
Isn’t that the type of individual that you want to represent to your young?
Embrace your newfound postpartum passions. You never know where it will take you.
Photographed for Mother Muse Print No.11 available here
Words by Julian Jamie