Self

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This has been a difficult year for me. Since being pregnant and being a new mother, I’ve struggled to balance my need for independence with the total dependence of a new baby. Some days it is very clear to me how fleeting this experience is, but most days I am filled with doubt, self-analyzing, and insecurities.
You see, being a mother has not been a lifelong goal for me. I don’t think I ever fully comprehended how all-encompassing it would be. I definitely thought I would easily birth this child and then swiftly get on with ‘my’ life (baby in toe, of course). It simply wasn’t that easy. And I struggled with this new reality.
I struggled because all of a sudden ‘my’ life had new meaning and priorities. Sometimes ‘my’ days were spent engrossed in changing quite literally 15 diapers per day. I’ve spent hours sitting, nursing my baby, every 2 hours for the first 5 months. I would spend most days in an utter daze due to lack of sleep, or I would be rocking my crying baby while crying myself, in sheer exhaustion. In those moments, it seemed like I would be in babyhood forever. I really did wonder why I chose this for myself.
Now my baby is 10 months old, and I am beginning to see through the fog. We have found a great daycare that she will start part-time. I am finally seeing myself as a separate identity from my child…and this scares me.
She is weaning from me, physically and figuratively. While she still wants me, she no longer needs me every second of the day. It means this very intense, intimate, attached year is coming to an end and we both have an opportunity to find ourselves. She will have a whole life at daycare that I won’t even see. I will have some time to build my career ( whatever that looks like).
My life is forever changed, but truly for the better. I’ve struggled with my identity, and still do, as I evaluate and re-evaluate my self-worth. My identity is neither tied to my career nor my motherhood alone, but strikes some impossible balance where I find myself.
As I write this now, I have my precious baby cradled in my bosom for a nap. I’ve finally come to cherish these moments where we are as close as humanly possible. I’m aware of how quickly life changes and am trying to absorb every second.

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