I know you look at your old clothes and wonder if they will ever fit right again or if you will ever feel right in them.
You wonder about the girl you left in that delivery room that night because the woman who emerged was not the same.
I felt like this too.
I saw it coming a mile away. For those first three months I didn’t know what to do with myself. Whose body was this? Whose hair? Whose responsibilities were these? Couple a new baby with a career shift (which is common) and you’ve got yourself an identity crisis.
It took me a while to grasp ownership of this new life. I think it started when I had my first big parenting victory. For me that was when Ezra finally learned to fall asleep on his own. It was life-changing. I relaxed a bit more. And even though my clothes still didn’t fit right (or the same) I started to make peace with the new me.
Once I started to let the new me breathe, I realized who she was: brave, nurturing, vulnerable, honest and sensitive. Fierce, determined, and creative.
Old me was all those things too, but she never had a chance to prove it. New me proved it. She was tested with sleepless nights and parenting crossroads. She felt desperate and lacking. She was challenged with making new friends and a new career.
New me is different. There is no doubt. She is less interested in appearances and looking like she has it altogether. And she learned to let her weaknesses push her to do better instead of crippling her.
New me knows her limits. Old me didn’t because she had never been pushed there before.
So to you, new mom, you are probably still figuring this out.
Staring at your baby pooch wondering if your jeans will ever feel right again.
Who cares? Throw them out.
The girl who wore those didn’t know what you know about love and sacrifice and grace. You are wiser and kinder with a new grasp on what is really important. Everyday you carry the greatest responsibility God bestows on humans.
I think we should have a ceremony for the new parents after a baby is born. A rite of passage, if you will. A baptism and a funeral all in one. The old life of a couple is dead but two new things have been birthed. I have learned this is how God works. A burial and a resurrection usually come together.
Motherhood is a process of rediscovery. An adventure, really, and you get to chart the course.
Because let me tell you–you might be lost now in the abyss of dirty diapers and sleepless nights but you are in the process of finding yourself.
Your truest self.
It might take you some time.
Try not to listen to the loud voices. The ones that scream about your weaknesses and flaws. Listen to that quiet voice that says “You are good at this.” God works in the secret and the quiet places.
Trust me. The woman you are rediscovering or finding … she is braver and stronger than you imagined.