Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Having a Baby Didn't Change Me



August is eight weeks old today. He sleeps now, fist to mouth, in the sling on my chest. Contrary to popular belief, my mothering began much longer than eight weeks ago. But eight weeks ago, something monumental did happen, and it was a milestone in my life.

Since then, life has changed. I now type and eat one-handed. I sleep easily and deeply, something that was elusive to me before. I have a bit of a looser tummy, though I honestly view it with pride. I smell like milk constantly. And there's a little man who knows my voice, my face, and my smell and finds comfort in all of those things.

But contrary to what I expected, I don't feel like I've changed.

I mean, of course I've changed on some levels. But fundamentally, I am the same. 

"Everything's about to change," they said. 

I worried about this a little bit. Would I suddenly become a different woman with different priorities once I had given birth?

On top of being a graduate student, I accepted a job offer when I was six months pregnant. I was excited about what seemed to be a position that was a great fit for my skills and experience. But a little part of me worried that I would lose interest in non-mom things once I heard his little cries and kissed his little feet. I worried that my schoolwork would be uninteresting and my work would be drudgery. 

But I worried for no reason. No magical spell overtook me at the moment of his birth. 

I am still Laura. For the most part, I have the same loves, the same sins, the same desires, and the same fears. 

Of course, I realize that I am an evolving creature. I've changed dramatically over the past 2, 5, and 10 years, and I will continue to change. 

But August does not define me. 
He has not changed everything. 
My life does not revolve around him. 

(Why do I feel like this makes me sound cold and heartless? I promise that I love him a lot and am so excited about being his mama. Really!)

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