Embracing who I've become through motherhood
New me. Who dis?
LEAH'S MOTHERHOOD STORY
Somehow, somewhere along the line between all of the sleeplessness and the day-to-day chaos of raising others, does anyone else feel they maybe, kinda...lost themselves? I do! I do!
When did you know you were a bit lost?
Maybe, like me, you were zombie-ing your way through life, perhaps unaware of your identity crisis, when suddenly...someone went out on a polite conversational limb asked you what your HOBBIES were.
I swear I tried to wrack my scattered brain for what felt like an agonising eternity to answer the dreaded hobby question and then 1) I forgot what the question was...and then, 2) I realised that my hobbies are actually NOT ones you can say out loud (“Wandering the aisles of Kmart after 8pm on weeknights” or “Googling different rashes to see which one my kid has at the time.”)
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It takes every part of who we are to parent. And boy does it bring out all of the different facets of us! Want to realise how selfish and easily frustrated you are? Kids will reveal it quick smart. In the same breath, want to know how much your heart can feel love before it explodes? Children unearth love and raw emotion in us and show us how beautiful life truly is.
It’s been a challenge to work out who I am now, since parenthood. I spent the first years of it wondering when my “old self” [joke-around, social butterfly] would return and wanting to be that carefree soul again. But, three children later, I’m beginning to see that you can’t have so much life experience and remain unchanged. And change isn’t always bad, it’s just a bit different.
This life season has seen pregnancies and births and incontinence and breastfeeding and mastitis and sleepless nights and nights sleeping on the floor and the pain that comes when children are ill and the joy that comes with being so completely connected to three little souls.
How could I expect to be that same old [actually young!!] gal from five years ago? Forever changed by the special beings who have etched themselves into my heart with all of their complexities and beauty.
Forever changed by the strength and companionship of the fellow mothers who have journeyed these years alongside me and loved my children as their own.
I’m embracing the new person my three have helped me to become and there’s a genuine excitement about what the new skills they’ve cultivated in me will mean for the future and career and everything ahead. What a privilege to be taught so many life skills and lessons whilst being entrusted the important job of helping others to learn and grow.
As for those hobbies I awkwardly don’t have - I’m finding new ways to ignite creativity (e.g started a little insta video project @she.spo #shamelessplug) and new ways to connect with others. Creating and connecting are my happy places. What are yours?
It seems to me that there is freedom in not waiting to be the old, the better, or the seemingly more acceptable version of yourself. In just embracing who you are now and where you happen to be at. We parents are the messy, imperfect sum of the experiences that our children have afforded us. The blissfully good and terribly bad. The awfully ugly and the absolutely beautiful. And that’s okay.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s after 8pm so I’ve got some supermarket aisles to wander ...and some serious kid rashes to Google.
Primary school teacher, creative type, love all things pop culture and am a weird person who adores decorating par-tays!
Children: Three (4.5yrs, 3 yrs and 1 yr)
Motherhood in 5 words: 50 shades of cray-cray
Coffee order: Almond chai (wanky, yes)
Fav fam-friendly place: Birdcage Cafe (Altona)
Connect with Leah: She Spo
Interviewing interesting women
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