Over a year ago I wrote a post about my uncertainty about life and personal potential, and the question of if and how motherhood would affect my uncertainty and fear (read it HERE so you know what I'm babbling about in this post). The discussion continued in the comments of that post and recently an old friend of mine, who is now expecting her first little one (yay!), nudged me for an update and brought up some new questions of her own.
I hadn't re-read my original post since I had written it, and when I did it really threw me into a crazy mental place...part of a series of events which have made me question my own behaviors and choices over the years and have made me worry even more (if that's possible) about some of the life decisions looming over me: Should I/Can I become a stay-at-home mom? Where do we want our family to live and grow? What is important to me? What am I willing to compromise? What gives me joy? What brings me down? What have I accomplished? What am I proud of? What do I wish I had done or was doing differently?
The last year has been a whirlwind. They aren't kidding when they say "don't blink." After a year of keeping a tiny human alive it does finally feel like there is some breathing room to think and do and turn a corner (ah, but which corner...). I unfortunately can't say that much has changed in my brain since my Blossom post...I still feel a part of me is dormant. I still get overwhelmed by choices and dreams and responsibilities and fear and failure. However I can say that it all feels bigger and more important now, in a good way.
It turns out that being a mom has made all these questions and feelings MORE relevant. I feel like I've got the basic mom stuff down pretty well...you know, providing basic needs, physical & mental development, and a good dose of play. But more than wondering if it's okay to be "just a mom" or comparing myself to other mothers, I find myself wondering constantly if I'm being a good example to my daughter. I want her to be proud of me and look up to me not just as her mama but as a woman and a human. I know it doesn't exactly matter yet...she doesn't know or care about what I do beyond taking care of her. But she will one day. And the things I do for me will help me do for her. This is all why seasoned moms tell new moms to take care of themselves, to take time for themselves. Why is it so hard to take that advice? I'm trying. I'm ready to find my balance again. I'm ready to bloom. But yeah, your kid DOES become your whole existence...partly because of logistics and partly because of love.
Honestly, I think a lot of my worry relates to my particular situation...living in the most expensive city living mostly on a freelancer's income (i.e. income-not-necessarily-guaranteed) and my own particular brain...agonizing over every little thing and never having had a distinct dream or 10-year-plan or what-have-you. Well, not one I thought feasible or followed through on. Plus, having a kid makes every decision feel more important, makes you cautious in a way you can't know unless you're a parent. And becoming a parent made me understand my own parents feelings about ME, and that made me want to make THEM proud, too. Although, my parents seem to be proud of me no matter what...which I also understand now.
Maybe part of why I haven't made progress on "fixing" other things in my brain is because I relish the moments I'm with my girl. It's a tough choice between living for now versus living for later. I generally choose NOW and try to not feel guilty about it later. On the other hand, I am a master at worrying and overthinking everything. I am trying to learn to let go and jump in and go for it, etc. etc. When I get so worried about life I just think about this most beautiful little face and heart and personality which bring me more joy and awe than I knew existed, and everything is fine.