I’m not the same woman I was before I became a mom. I act differently, think differently, and I look different. Sitting here two and a half years after having my daughter, it’s easy to talk about. Going through the transition, however, was not as easy. In fact it was pretty challenging, and there were points where I even questioned if I was going to make it through. There were days where it was considered a success if I did nothing else but keep the baby alive and well-fed. There were days when I wondered if I’d ever again drink a cup of hot tea or watch a full episode of my favorite TV show. There were days when I’d cry thinking about who I once was and who I’d never be again.
For me, becoming a mom felt more like a yearlong transition than an overnight delivery. It meant developing a relationship with my daughter by spending time with her and figuring out all her idiosyncrasies. It meant learning more about childcare in a few days than I’d learned during many months of reading books and collecting advice. Most of all, it meant discovering and accepting my new identity and grieving the loss of my old identity. This was something no one had mentioned would happen, though even if they had, I don’t think I could have been prepared for it.
Change is inevitable, and with change comes a sense of loss of the way things once were. With loss comes grief. It’s for this reason that it can sometimes be difficult to experience change, even if it’s a positive change. And that’s okay.
Now I’m going through a new transition of becoming a mom entrepreneur. As I begin a series of many articles on finding balance as a mom entrepreneur, I wanted to first give a piece of encouragement that will lay the foundation for future ideas. Go easy on yourself, especially during times of transition. Let go of rigid expectations of what “should” be. Accept that transitions take time and often look very different than we thought they would. Mothers who are also professionals often have a way of talking to ourselves like a drill sergeant in an effort to be the best at both roles. Thoughts like “I should be able to do it all” govern our subconscious (sound familiar?). Instead, try talking to yourself like a friend, and show yourself the same compassion that you would show a friend. It will likely make the transition a little bit easier to manage.
Photo credit: woodleywonderworks / Foter /Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)