Last week was a bit of an emotional purging for me and I mean that in a really beautiful way. I accidentally rediscovered myself and in doing so, rediscovered a new found joy about who “I” am and all it took was a Yoga class and one too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc…
This last year has been really nuts becoming a first time mom. It’s only because I’m finally coming up for air that I realize just how buried I’ve been. I attribute it to that puppy love feeling you get when you’re first falling for someone. You shut yourself off from the world, dive into the abyss of infatuation and only when you get into your first fight do you realize that your space is feeling a little more cramped than you remember. Your loss of individuality is only exacerbated by the fact that your friends start calling you “Bennifer” and “Brangalina” and other obnoxious pet names and before you know it, when asked about yourself, all you can remember is that you are “Ben’s girlfriend”. Poof. There goes your identity.
That is what happened to me after I had my little dude. When my son, Weston, was born I threw myself head first into motherhood. Joyfully might I add. Everything I did, everything I identified myself with was directly related to my role as his mother. It’s like I forgot who I was outside of my house. My whole world revolved around 1400 sq ft of all-encompassing motherhood and I couldn’t escape it – I didn’t want to escape it. I didn’t want to miss a single moment for fear of losing out on something I knew I could never get back. I was totally and utterly lost inside the realm of “mommydom” and I was cool with it.
I was cool with trading in my high heels and a dance floor for flats and play dates. I was cool with the reality that my new budget included diapers and formula instead of bar tabs and while I was much less cool with the fact that I no longer felt cool, I accepted it as part of the deal. Because I was in love. And love is blind, lol.
But over the last few months I’ve been full of anxiety, on edge and feeling disconnected. I feel like a piece of me is missing. In fact, I have probably felt this way for much longer than a few months but only recently have I had the wherewithal to even notice. So, I forced myself to go to a Yoga class the other day to try and work out the angst.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go; it’s that I didn’t want to leave. Conundrum. But I went because I knew I had to and what I felt was beyond anything I expected. I felt sad and alive and confused and liberated all at the same time. As I struggled in one of the poses that used to be so easy I found myself getting frustrated to the brink of tears. WTH? Please tell me I’m not about to be that girl crying in the corner of the Yoga studio. And I realized, “Shit, this is much worse than I thought.”
See, getting to Yoga that night wasn’t about working out although my sorry ass needed that as well. What I needed was some damn time to myself! Time to breathe and let go of everything I carry around all day including all of stresses of being a mother. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had an hour to just be alone and I’m not counting the hour I gave myself last week to get my nails done. I was so uptight with guilt for being away that I thought I was going to leap out of the massage chair and sprint home. It’s so ridiculous when I think about it now. I’m talking about one hour of guilt free, stress free bliss to strip it down and get in touch with the “me” I used to know. I deserve that, right?
Like an emotional flood, all the things I miss started pouring into my heart. Or out of my heart. I’m not sure of the direction. Yoga, sleep, nights of drinking with my husband, sex, listening to loud rap music in the car without worrying about waking a sleeping baby, peeing by myself, MY FRIENDS, my body, reading books, watching TV, traveling, laying on the couch, sunbathing. I could go on and on but it was the little things I missed most from my previous life; the nuisances that made me who I am. I missed me.
The worst part is that I can’t even blame anyone but myself for how far I let myself go. I have the world’s best husband who would give me anything and do anything to make me happy. He would give me all the time in the world to go “do me” if only I would just take it! I have a wonderful group of friends and family that offer to watch my son so I can get away but I’ve always said no. (Well maybe not always) Shame on me. Really…SHAME ON ME!
Somehow I made it through Yoga class without completely falling apart and when I left I felt like a new person. Or more appropriately, I left feeling like an old person, a person I once knew. With a few bends and stretches, I made space in my heart to allow the “me before the we” to get some floor time and it felt great. And look, just because I’ve had some realizations about how important it is to take a step back from “momdom”, doesn’t mean I plan on denying who I am as a mother. That part of me is very much alive. But it is just a part of me and I know I will be a better mother and wife for having recognized that.
When I left Yoga I got in the car and turned the music up so loud I’m surprised I didn’t get pulled over. I called my girlfriend and made some long overdue plans that I actually kept. I went out that weekend, posted up at a beach side hotel, enjoyed a 9 hour marathon session of girl chat and drank so much Sauv Blanc that I also had a last minute sleepover at her house 😉 Loved the spontaneity but what I loved even more was that I didn’t have one ounce of guilt for any of it. I was having fun…GASP!
Nothing really earth shattering has changed since then, except for my outlook about the personal path I’m on. Being a mom is such a blessing and a beautiful journey to get wrapped up in but it’s not the only thing to get wrapped up in. And who am “I” do you ask? Sure, I’m Weston’s mom. I’m also Nicole. I’m a Leo and a mom and a wife and a reader, a lover, a travel loving smart-ass, a dreamer, a yogi. I’m so many things that my husband likes to call me “United States of Nicole” and I’m so cool with that.
Now, Sauv Blanc hangovers, not so cool with 🙂