A reoccurring theme in my parenting journey has been identity, my identity that I held true and the identity I sought to find once my belly began to blossom for the first time. It seems to take a while to get to know ourselves. In high school I was clueless, trying on different labels to see which fit. I started college and the real world threw me in the right direction. Hard lessons, certain relationships, a Europe trip, and newfound responsibilities started to show me who I really am.
Fast forward to Olivia Simone being two months old and I struggled to find myself. Listened to the same music, held the same beliefs, but certainly didn't wear the same size jeans. My identity crisis didn't have much to do with new curves but it had everything to do with trying to find the non-mothering me within the version of myself that had become a mom. My own perception of myself was smaller than the reality.
It was a constant pull between two sides: The me I kept fighting to keep alive and the me I was becoming without my own consent. Before too long I got it. Slowly. I began to understand that I cannot possibly remain the same person. In order to nurture and raise my child I had to break out of the limitations of who I thought I was and let instinct and Olivia guide me into who I was becoming.
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." -Anais Nin
Now that Mila is here my new challenge is a little easier only because I know that instead of pushing to stay the same, a version of who I think I am, I have to look forward and find myself as a mother of two. In this new role it's like I almost have to meet myself all over again. Rediscover my strengths and revisit the limitations and comforts I have subconsciously limited myself to. Every day I have to let myself grow, breathe deeply, and know that most days I am way in over my head. But that's okay, I sort of have it figured out.
As mothers we still are who we want to be, who we thought we were, but more. Always more.
San Francisco, 2008. The city where Pea was made and grew in my belly.