You see, I started to lose myself after my wedding. My marriage didn't start off on good footing.To make a long story short, my husband decided to estrange himself from most of his family. I was hit with the baby bug before I even met my husband and I wanted to start trying right away. I waited a little more after my wedding because I stopped smoking and wanted to get my shit in order. In my mind, getting my shit in order also meant completely changing who I was because I wanted to be a mom. I ditched all my goth clothes because I stupidly felt like I needed to grow up. I had to be a mom now and that meant not dressing cool anymore. It meant it was my time to settle down. I had to fit into this little mold and be, well normal.
I had trouble conceiving and my pregnancy for my son was a difficult one. I had this huge ass chip on my shoulder because I gave up all the things I loved. I became a shell of who I was because I wanted to get pregnant and I couldn't! I almost lost my son (as well as my own life) in child birth. A couple of months after he was born, my son had to have surgery for Pyloric Stenosis. I was going through post postpartum depression through all this too. Somehow, I survived.To this day, I have no idea how I kept my sanity but I did!
With all this in mind, you can imagine why and how I completely lost myself into motherhood. I felt like a loser mom and wanted to do everything right. Up until then, although this was never the case, I really felt like I failed as a mother. I am sure most women have their stories too. Maybe it is something similar to mine or maybe it's not. I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to be a great mom its crazy. We do it because we love our kids or maybe some of us do it because we had shitty mothers and don't want to make the same mistakes twice?
Before and after shots. Funny that I look younger in the after shot, eh?
When I lost myself, I never cared much about fashion.I bought what was on sale. I stopped colouring my hair. I stopped doing anything for myself! My whole life was wrapped around my baby. I hung out with other moms and joined all these on-line Mommy groups. The very women I used to spend my life rolling my eyes at and avoiding like the plague became my group of friends. It was all so fake.
I also hated the snarkiness, the back-stabbing and the whole sancti-mommy bullshit behind it all. You were judged for the things you did or didn't do. Everyone bragged about how great their kids were and it became a competition on whose kid would do this or that before the other kid. It was like these babies milestones weren't their own but reflected on the mother's parenting style. It wasn't about the kid, it was about the mom. It was very narcissistic. I didn't fit in at all. I didn't like the music they listened to, I didn't play their stupid mommy wars, and I didn't want to dress like they did.
I remember when my kid started daycare. Where I am from, we get a year off for maternity leave so my son was almost a year old when I went back to work. It was around this time that I started to let go of all the crazy things I did. I stopped talking to those other moms and realized that a lot of my coworkers were parents themselves. A lot of them have older kids. I reached out to them for advice and it was less judgmental and more...well...real. I slowly got my head out of my ass and I started to change. I realized that there was more to me than just being a mom. Yes, I have an adorable little boy but what about me? Aside from motherhood, what defines me? Sometimes being a parent means that you should find time for you. I started wondering on what exactly made me unique. What did I enjoy doing besides taking care of a young child? My child's milestones, while they deserved to be celebrated, should be celebrated for my child, not because I am some wonderful super mom. I am not trying to imply that I neglect my kid in anyway or to imply that he is unimportant.. He always comes first but I realized that it was OK for me to go out by myself, it was OK for me to take a break and to remember who that crazy girl I was before I even thought about conceiving.
The way I see it, one day, this cute little baby is going to grow up, have a life of his/her own then what are you going to do? It is important to have your own personal interests. It makes you less boring to your kids. My husband plays D&D twice a month. He shows our son how to play too. I took him to the Goth picnic last summer, we visit cemeteries together and my kid asks for certain bands to listen to while I drive him to school. His friends tell me that I am a cool mom because I dress cool and like videogames! You can be a mom and have outside interests too and even incorporate them into your family life. The point of all this is to please don't make the same mistake I did. Don't be THAT mom. Trust me. I love being a mom but I also love being Sylvie too.