I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything in the world but …

I feel like I'm losing myself, and I really miss sleeping past 7 a.m.

I knew motherhood would be tough. I knew there would be commitment and sacrifice, sleepless nights and drama. What I didn’t expect was the magnitude of feelings I would have around the feelings of losing myself.

I am not sure if my feelings are magnified by the trauma surrounding my first birth or if most mothers legitimately mourn their previous lives, but the sense of loss lately is profound.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade my children or life now for anything. I just miss napping on the couch, dancing the night away, my career, sleeping past 7a.m., and quiet (as I am writing this my kids are making fart noises with half-inflated balloons).

Motherhood is hard stuff. And it isn’t just hard, it’s deep. It’s passionate, emotional and messy. I know part of my parenting is overcompensating for my own childhood and that makes my personal journey even more demanding, heavy and anxiety-provoking. I am also on this journey with a special needs child, which adds more demands and takes up more space in my head. It’s a part of life that is ugly and beautiful all at the same time.

My mantra in the NICU was, “I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.” This is something I have carried with me every single day for the last 6 ½ years. I am so thankful for my strength and my ability to burden this load.

It may be messy, and I may mourn my previous self, but I also know this journey is revealing who I truly am, forcing me to peel back those really stubborn layers and dig deep to survive.

I am in awe of my miracles every day and I am thankful for all they have taught me. I also grieve who I was and who I thought I would be. I had a life plan and I have had to take a major detour. But I am learning to accept it and to try to live with grace and gratitude.

Categories: Carter’s Corner