Before having kids, I never thought that motherhood could be this transformative. I had this naive and somewhat romantic idea that having a baby is one of the most beautiful things that could happen to a woman. For the most part, yes. The other part can be very challenging.
The first year of motherhood I really struggled. I struggled with letting go of the maiden part of me. There I was thinking that I was missing out on things like dinners, parties, festivals, travelling to exotic places and what not. I felt like I was slowly losing my identity. To be honest, it was scary as fuck. The idea of "me" was slipping away. The dancing girl, the adventurous girl, the travelling girl.
The transition from being a maiden to a woman was hard. From just taking care of myself, now I have to be the responsible mama who runs the household. The mother that has to look after the kids wellbeing- physical, mental and emotional. The one that makes sure my kids have the best damn childhood, not filled with things but filled with experiences.
I was struggling between these two worlds of being a maiden and being a mother. I had no one to guide me. Not even my own mother, she is emotionally unavailable. I have also no sisters. I felt so lonely at times being in this new role as a mother and being away from home. Though I had my husband and some friends support, I did not have the kind of motherly support that I see some mothers have.
I also struggled with being a stay-at-home mother. I did not want to be labelled as a SAHM, I wanted to continue with my health coaching practice. I wanted my own independence. Unfortunately, the cost of childcare in Switzerland is so expensive that it just does not make sense to send your child into daycare full-time. I was so afraid that I was slowly turning into my mother. She was a SAHM for the most part of my childhood. Even though we had a helper, she was not happy.
My childhood memory of my mother was that she was a walking time bomb that could explode anytime. Her anger was frightening.
I have no idea why she got so angry. Perhaps she was not happy being married to my dad and she took it out on us. Perhaps she wanted a career but couldn't because she was looking after us. It was very confusing to me as a child why she would get so angry. I thought a mother should protect and love her child. I swore that I would not be like my mother.
Then I became a mother. Whenever my son does not listen to me, I am immediately brought back to the times when my mother shouted, "Listen to me!". I actually feel the anger rising inside me. I finally am able to understand how frustrated my mom must have felt when I did not listen. Now I feel empathy for her. It was tough for her to raise us and she must have felt just as torn as I felt. Wanting to do her own thing but having to take care of the kids because if you want healthy, independant and well-balanced kids, you have to do the job. The job of raising your kids.
My second year of motherhood, I was still ping-ponging between wanting to be the best mother to my kids and wanting my own independence. I did what I could to coach some women on the days my son was in daycare but it was not easy. I did not have much time to myself so between motherly duties and coaching, I was left with very little "me" time.
Then I was pregnant with my second child. After countless talks with my husband, I decided to take it easy on myself and pause my coaching practice. I was the one giving myself pressure because I wanted to be everything. The mother, the wife, the sister, the friend, the coach but I learned I had to choose what is important to me at this moment in life. Literally what brings me joy.
Now in my third year of motherhood, I am finally coming to terms that I am a SAHM at this moment. I am grateful that I have the time with my kids when they are so young. I once read somewhere a long time ago that the first three years of a child's life is so important. They build the strong foundation for an independent, happy and emotionally-balanced kid who hopefully does not turn out to be a mean asshole or bitch.
Of course I want to do many things in life, but right now I want to be a mother. An emotionally available and involved mother.
My daughter turned one recently. Crazy how time flies!