The Baby Made Me Do It: Finding Freedom in Motherhood

Issue: 
May 2012

Every night, after 6:30 p.m., I am effectively a prisoner in my own house. I have a four-month-old baby who lays his little self down in my arms and closes his eyes at exactly 6:30 p.m. There are no more spontaneous trips out to see a band or late-night runs to the grocery store. My husband works late, so it’s just me and my sleeping baby boy in the house most nights. The little man and I have found a rhythm, and as the fog of new motherhood has lifted, I have discovered something I never could have anticipated. I found my freedom.  

I always figured becoming a mother would be a horror show. Everything would come to a screeching halt, and I would live out my days a slave to the needs of my child. I would be fat and frustrated, resentful of my husband and forever saddened by the loss of a life that could have been. It is true that I cannot leave the house without paying another adult to sit in my place, but on all other fronts, my experience of becoming a mother has been the opposite of what I expected.

I have lost every ounce of apathetic procrastination that I had in me. I have never been so driven and interested in revitalizing my own life. I am filled with an urgent desire to step out of my comfort zone and live bigger, to stop postponing my goals and move with purpose towards the woman I want to be — physically, professionally, and personally. 

As I watch my son “age” through these first few months of life, I am more deeply aware of my own youth and the value I should be placing on it. I’m aware of the passage of time in a whole new way. I will not be a young woman forever, just as he will not be a baby for long. We are going to age together, and, thanks to him, I understand in a whole new way the value of my days on this planet.

Losing the weight tomorrow isn’t good enough any more. Calling up my new friend to come over for a bottle of wine cannot wait another week. Not speaking my mind in my writing isn’t going to cut it. And putting off the tattoo that I’ve been dreaming of for over a decade is unacceptable. The time is now. So often these things get shelved for fear of failure and judgment, fear of breaking free of the good opinion of others.

I am no longer primarily a daughter and a girlfriend. I am a mother and a wife. It’s my show now. I never expected those grown-up labels to carry such power, but, happily, they do. After turning 35 and giving birth, I think I can officially claim my adulthood.

I want my motherhood and my life to be openly, gleefully messy. I want my son to understand that I will not be trying to squeeze him into a predetermined box. I am not interested in defining who he is. I hope he will be kind, compassionate, joyful, and excited about whatever he decides to pursue, but I can only set the best example I know how and watch as he becomes his own man.

He is so small and vulnerable, hilarious and full of life. He challenges me every day to crack my heart open just a little bit wider, to be calmer, and to love living a little bit more. I may be chained to the house more often, but with my physical loss of freedom has come a powerful psychological freedom. I may not be able to jet out to try a new yoga class at a moment’s notice anymore, but I am challenged to discover parts of myself I never even knew were missing. Through my exhaustion after 4 a.m. feedings and endless hours of rocking and singing, I feel younger than ever. I have a fire to get out into the world and take advantage of this body and mind while they are still in their prime.

I’m sure my little man has much more to teach me over the years, and I have a thing or two to share with him. In the meantime, my job is to make sure he has a mom who is healthy and loving, who knows who she is and is always open to new adventures. With his wide eyes smiling at me every morning, I don’t think it will be too hard to stay motivated. I have to keep up. Game on.

 

Comments

Ted Sheldom's picture

A lady does not ever want to be the mother in initial stage but when she becomes a mother she feels that she is the loveliest and the best mom in the world. But sometimes women gets concerned about their future, their health during these lovely years. Since fats gets readily accumulated and weight suddenly rises to a more extent one definitely wants to be decrease her weight. The feeling of youth goes on decreasing and a responsibility of the person comes on. Just chill out and be happy to live the long happy life to fullest.
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Camella Rose's picture

It is really a alone giving experience when no one is there in the house and we are there with our own baby. When a lady becomes a mother she can feel the thing that what is different of being a mother. It is rather an exciting experience and cannot be forgotten. With increasing responsibilities in the hands, one mother does have a tendency to discover new things and required things to give it to her baby. Some of them are really concerned on the developing weight in the body and do think of the problem which may creep in after days.
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Joanne Smith's picture

Baby is the loveliest gift which a mother gets in the family. There exists always a personal relationship between the mother and the baby. But what is motherhood is needed to understand. Some thinks of the baby development some manage their chart and lastly some give a stress upon their own physical body. Is this the actual thing. Maintaining health is the foremost task of every lady and this starts with the birth of the baby. A women always tries to put down weight and there is always a struggle in her life whether to maintain the health or just become the girl as she was before. But the necessity here is to guide the baby in a better way than wasting time.

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Alisa Lewis's picture

Youth is a different part of the life and so does the mother life. Some wants to enjoy this motherly life and some thinks that they have done a mistake. But so to say this motherly life is the most lovable and enjoyable life because one can feel the importance of the love that is underlying between the two. When one becomes a mother she would be starting to see the health prospects, how to give care and lend love to her baby correctly. A mother should never feel alone because now in this motherly period her best friend is the baby and one should be happy with regarding to this.

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raok7's picture

Thanks for your beautiful information that you have shared with us....
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Dirk Augustine's picture

I'd never want to force a beautiful young woman to become a mother. I've seen it on my own mother and if I can say one thing for sure, it's that from all the things that can stuck on you Australian kids are the worst, haha. That's what I've learned from seeing her struggle for all those years until I could be big enough to get a job.

Having a baby is definitely a life changing experience, and some women adapt to it more easily than others. You can read all the books on motherhood, get all the supplies you'll need from http://www.babysport.com/Yankees_Baby_Clothes.aspx and still feel absolutely helpless when the baby arrives. It takes patience and the ability to learn from one's mistakes, with baby steps.

I guess every young mother comes to a breaking point when all the lost hours of sleep and tensions make you break down in tears. I found out thanks to Herman Agency, Inc. that this isn't necessary at all and that there is freedom and balance to be found in motherhood.

My baby changed my life completely, no matter how many parenting books you read, nothing can fully prepare you for the motherhood experience. Luckily, places like http://www.babyfans.com/baby-packers.aspx make being a mom easier and more enjoyable.

Kathy's picture

My two babies gave a meaning to my life. One of the most difficult tasks i ever faced was to find names for my babies. I was confused and i couldn't decide, but i found a baby names blog which helped me to find unique and cute baby names for my kids!

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