There are countless transformations we undergo throughout our life, even only counting from the time we reach the legal age of adulthood. If I think back to when I was 18, I saw the world through very different eyes. The view was jaded from previous experiences and what I thought life would hand me. Working full time, attending community college and it still wasn’t enough, but there’s always a reason, right? Little did I know the main reason wouldn’t be so that I would have to work another job, it wasn’t that I’d ultimately have to give up school, it, however, was that I would meet my soul mate…my best friend…my husband. It would be the whirlwind start of our inseparable souls. (If you would have told me this, I would have laughed so hard…just leaving a bad relationship, I had “sworn” off men and the plan was to focus on myself for a while.) However, this initial meeting, eye contact, handshake and introduction would transform my life beyond what I ever thought imaginable. I had no idea (apart from reading or being “told”) that true love did exist, that marriage and relationships aren’t pure hell. He probably was the first, well, he was the first person that I ever felt completely comfortable around. Whirlwind transformation occurred. I went from “NO MEN ALLOWED” to announcing engagement in just over a year. Nine months later, we would be announcing the news of the first great-grandchild, first grandchild, first great-niece or great-nephew, first niece or nephew….our first child.
Our first beauty arrived in the sweltering heat of summer. I was absolutely SMITTEN! EVERYTHING I did, revolved around her. (Yep….Rookie mistake! Ha!) It was a HUGE transformation period, yet again. Trying to find balance of mom and wife and I was so thankful for maternity leave, because I had no idea what I was going to do when I had to throw that back into the mix! It was hard, I know that many first time parents go through the adjustment period. You know, where mommy is completely focused on baby and oblivious to the fact that there are other people around! Yes…THAT ONE! However, just when I thought I had figured it out, my husband informed me that I needed to take a pregnancy test, because I had become an insufferable B!#@$ the last few weeks. Eventually, I gave in, just to shut him of (OF COURSE!)…but…there were two lines. I was the one who was speechless. I was really excited, but so freaking scared! How was I going to manage a toddler who would be 16 months old when our new baby came?
Transformation time! We won’t go into the details of the insane curveballs that the pregnancy threw me this time around. We will just say, it was a high risk pregnancy and delivery. Thankfully, my little peanut was born healthy and perfect, just little.
I’ll be honest, the next year is pretty much a blur. Neither really slept through the night, if one did, the other didn’t, so over 2 years of sleep deprivation and you don’t even realize life becomes a little hazy. To be honest, it actually breaks my heart. I know in the moment, I was the best mom and wife I could be. I started getting the swing of things, I had toddlers, I thought…hmmm…okay…I CAN DO THIS! LOOK AT ME GO! Then…one Sunday morning, I felt a little “off” — a pregnancy test or two later…yes…another VERY EARLY POSITIVE.
We eventually found out that our latest surprise, were actually surprises. I was so nervous, but so excited. I had always wanted twins…actually, I wanted them first, I had this “perfect” 18-19 year old picture of what my ideal pregnancy would look like. It was twins by 24 or 25, which would give me until 30 to lose the baby weight and the 30-slump that you hear women talking about. Unfortunately, God had other plans. Her identical twin miscarried early on, around 8 weeks. I was informed of this during a routine ultrasound, since my previous pregnancy was high risk. I will be honest, I allowed a very brave front. Very few family members and friends knew what I was going through. I was fortunate enough to have the support, comfort and understanding of those few that helped me get through the difficult times. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her, I’ll always wonder, but I know she’s with us. When our little feisty girl was born, it was uncommonly easy! I don’t know if I built up the anxiety and overwhelm thinking about the adjustment period before, then multiplying that by two…but whatever the reason…I really began to enjoy every aspect of motherhood.
Fast-forward a couple years and as the years went on, the easier it got. Part of me missed each one as they started pre-school, then kindergarten…there was also a part of me that almost sighed with relief. I had been telling myself for over eight years that once the girls were all in school, I was finally going to figure out who I was, what I liked to do for me, what I wanted to do, what I liked and disliked, what I was passionate about outside of caring for and loving my husband and daughters.
It turns out, this was no easy feat. I felt more lost the more that I tried to find myself. Who was I? Surely, I was not who I was before having kids. I didn’t want to be that person either. That person was jaded, unhappy, depressed, anxious and unsure of herself. But, when I thought about it, not much had changed, except the VIEWS of which some feelings were pointed at. If we were talking as a whole, I would say I was completely happy, couldn’t be better. If I actually thought about it and was honest with myself, I was more unsure of myself than years before. I wasn’t the girl I was then, but I also didn’t know who I was without being Mom all day and all night. This made me depressed, anxious, unhappy. I felt discontentment, I was unhappy with how I looked, no matter what I did, all I saw was negativity when I saw my reflection or would have those inner dialogue conversations. (Yes, I know you have them too!)
It was at this time that I was also going through tremendous health struggles and I started seeking out answers. I knew it was time for change. Transformation into the butterfly I’ve been working on becoming. It was time for ME to take care of ME. That was the best decision I could have EVER made.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw