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Finding Myself Through Motherhood

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The Motherhood journey touches each mom in unique ways. Some may feel profoundly altered, as if they were shaken up and settling back into place in a brand new way. Others have described this transition as a rebirth, while some have been stunned by the complete shift in focus from self to other. The possibilities are endless, but none of us emerges unaffected, and the changes continue throughout this beautiful journey.

Motherhood’s effect on me was, and still is, very powerful. It has been life-changing in the best ways. 

We waited some years after we were married to become parents. Those years were filled with work, friends, travel and lots of “just us” time (which I loved). This was joyful, and it was comfortable. I thought I loved my job, but in hindsight I realize that mostly I loved the people. And it was comfortable. I liked my work (marketing and writing) but never fully felt that I was what they needed, or that this was my calling.  

Even though I had beautiful friendships and a loving marriage, there was a sense of insecurity deep within me that had followed me from the teen years. I’m guessing some of you reading this know what I mean. You can be a happy, confident person but still have doubts within you that affect how you live your life. 

Motherhood changed that for me. It was, and continues to be, healing in the most perfect of ways. It didn’t happen in any particular moment, like when I first held Mia or when Ben made me the mom of two. There wasn’t a specific accomplishment that made me say “aha” – like when I traveled home on a plane from our first family vacation, without David and with 3-year-old Mia and not-yet-1 Ben. This healing – finding myself – has been a journey. It’s been a compilation of the many moments of being a mama. 

As mamas we grow into our role and learn with our children. Our love for them is like no other because they grew inside of us and are part of our soul. Each of their milestones shapes us, too. 

For me, breastfeeding and being the sole provider of nourishment built a sense of awe and belief in myself not easily put into words. Infant smiles, toddler hugs and warm nuzzles in my neck…the spark inside grows. From playing to ABCs to bigger conversations about their friends, worries, life — it felt as if my world was expanding and I was experiencing everything through a fresh set of eyes. That’s one of the many gifts of motherhood – seeing the world through the eyes of our children and getting to experience the wonders of being a kid again! 

More importantly, I began seeing myself in a refreshing new light. Really it was more of a feeling and it was subtle, but empowering. I noticed myself feeling less dependent on others to feel happy, capable or complete. Because of my children I began sensing not only what I had to offer, but who I truly was.

Fast forward some years and countless priceless memories later. My children are now in college, yet they continue to nurture this journey of finding myself. Motherhood is forever – it doesn’t stop at a certain age or stage. It evolves and grows with us. Facing the “growing up” of my children forced me to look deep within myself. To explore the next steps on my path. 

Some steps were effortless, like starting to work in a preschool. Nurturing and supporting the blossoming of little ones had always come naturally to me. Others, like venturing into the world of Motherhood writing, took a little more nudging. My family participated in this “nudging” in various ways — offering encouragement, sharing of other blogs as examples to inspire me and just continuing to be who they are and reminding me of the exquisite blessing that Motherhood is. 

So here I am. Always a work in progress (we all are). Feeling a renewed sense of excitement and purpose, not just from writing, but also from the exceptional people who have come into my life because of it. 

Through this remarkable Motherhood journey I discovered my passion, realized what I was capable of and learned to love ME in a way that I didn’t even realize was missing. 

❦ REVISED FOR AND PUBLISHED ON LIVINGTHESECONDACT.COM

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