I can remember it so vividly.
I was in that fresh newlywed navy wife stage where I was trying to fill my time meeting people, exploring our new area, and honestly trying to keep myself busy. I went to this class for navy spouses (its called “compass”where you learn what all the navy is about) and on the first day they had us go around and do the whole introduce yourself with your name and hobbies and what you like to do. I remember woman after woman saying their name and that they were a mom and then it basically stopped and they moved on to the next woman. I found myself thinking “come on, who are YOU?!, don’t you have other passions and hobbies outside of being a mom?” …and then life moved on.
I remember bits and pieces of conversations over the years where friends would say how they lost themselves in motherhood and that they spent their time staying up late just to read a book or watch their shows even knowing they would be so tired the next day because they pushed their bedtime back for “me time”. I naively thought “well, just go to sleep earlier if you’re tired”.
I was a fool.
I knew nothing.
Because I had no scope to really see their lives through.
Sure I had a general understanding that motherhood was hard and exhausting.
I knew that when their husbands were gone it meant they were solo’ing it . . .
. . .but I really had no idea what that actually looked like.
This isn’t to say you can’t “loose yourself” if you’re single or don’t have children. I’m just sharing my own personal experience.
Fast forward a few years and zoom in on me sitting on our queen sized bed crying to Eddie telling him I’ve lost myself.
I don’t know who I am anymore.
I’m thinking of selling 90% of my camera equipment and client wardrobe because I just don’t see when I’ll ever have the time (or passion) for Photography again. So why spend the money to keep a website running and all the things that go along with running your own LLC.
I’ve stopped blogging because I feel like I have nothing of value to say that isn’t just “hey life is hard and I feel like my brain is a fried egg and I don’t have connections” and honestly that just sounds like a massive Debbie Downer to read over and over again.
I’ve found myself wallowing in pity parties then pulling myself out of them only to kind of find myself back into them?
Maybe pity parties isn’t the right phrase. Maybe just feeling overwhelmed with all that life has thrown at me in the last few months (moving, renting out our dream home in Charleston, getting a house here that is a lemon and has given nothing but problems, Eddie being gone 90% of the time, not really having connections/friends in this new state, trying to put myself out there, my son being sick often, finding a new rhythm, feeling disconnected, gaining weight but having no motivation to change it, etc.)
It’s just sometimes, well, easy to loose yourself.
To loose any piece of your identity other than “mom”.
I told Eddie that if someone was to ask me what I do I basically say that I’m a stay at home mom and I’m proud of that but also slightly saddened by it? I don’t know if it’s because I’m not contributing financially or that I feel like I should be doing “more”.
My house is a mess, I’m not cooking beautiful meals every night, my son eats more chicken nuggets than I care to admit, and I’m not using the time that he is asleep to exercise or purge my belongings or even sit down to do something I enjoy….because I don’t really know what I even enjoy anymore. The only thing I’ve found throughout my day that keeps me feeling somewhat “Amy” is listening to an audio book or podcast while cleaning/walking/cooking. That has kind of been my saving grace.
I’m in those “thick of it” years.
They are good years, don’t get me wrong. Watching my son grow, change, learn and develop is awe-inspiring. It’s a beautiful thing. Watching a whole human become, well a human, and then seeing his personality thrive and his imagination grow and his joy encompass him….I just want to record it and watch it on repeat. He’s getting to an age where he is able to communicate more and share his ideas and I love it. I love watching him thrive and understand all while keeping me on my toes.
It’s also feeling like you’re always “on” with never being able to turn off.
It’s missing your partner who you signed up to do life with because their under the water on a submarine and you don’t hardly communicate.
It’s putting every single piece of yourself last because you just want to not only make it through the day but also make it a day where your child feels safe, wanted, cared for, fed, and loved. It’s a ridiculous and never ending feeling of like you’re never measure up to the “standards” laid out in front of you.
It’s mirroring yourself (stupidly) off of everything you see online and realizing you’ll never be “that mom”.
It’s comparing yourself to the others who seem to be doing it better than you while also looking amazing.
It’s wearing the same biker shorts and baggy t-shirts and messy hair bun because nothing else fits and honestly you’ve already lost yourself so you don’t put in any effort.
It’s depression without wanting to admit it.
It’s anxiety spirals without being able to process them because you don’t have the time.
It’s no one understanding you.
It’s being told to suck it up because this is just a season of life and you’ll get through it.
It’s being told to count your blessings because many moms would love to be home raising their children and you should be grateful.
It’s feeling like you’re doing it all when doing absolutely nothing at all.
It’s learning to accept chaos and either choose to thrive or survive.
It’s feeling like you can’t express your emotions/thoughts to others in fear of being looked down upon, judged, or like you’re just a negative person.
It’s trying, desperately, to make friends only to be met with busy schedules (rightfully so) and full lives without a place for you.
It’s a lot of quiet nights writing an email to your husband detailing the day while also “editing it” so that he doesn’t feel the weight of home while he is at work.
Mom’ing is hard.
It’s always been hard, for years, for all the women who have gone before me.
Sometimes I wonder if they struggled too, the ones who made it look easy or who always loved children and desired so many and seemed to just thrive and grow into an amazing woman becoming a mother.
I wonder if they ever lost themselves; I’m sure they did but they just carried on.
I’m not really writing this in hopes of having pity or even sympathy.
I think I just sat down to write this (at 10:30 at night) for solidarity.
To express where I’m at in hopes that if anyone even reads this little blog any more and are in the thick of it they know they are not alone.
They are not a bad person, wife, friend, mother if they feel these feelings.
They have solidarity in me.
It reminds me of The Hunger Games three finger salute.
May the odds be ever in your favor.