It’s two o'clock in the morning and you feel like you have just gotten to sleep when then the baby wakes up crying wanting to be fed. You drag yourself out of bed and wonder how a 9 lb baby can cause so much disruption in your life and at times cause you to break down crying, possibly from feeling so tired or just from feeling overwhelmed.
If you have had these feelings, then you are not alone. Motherhood is one of the biggest life changes that people just do not talk about, or if they do, maybe we have no concept of what is truly in store for us.
I was around 32 years old when I had my twins, so I was no spring chicken, and growing up I did not spend a lot of time around children, so it was a total shock to my system. All of a sudden I was responsible for these two little people, their wants and needs, and I could no longer get up in the morning and decide to go for a run or meet up with friends. I had a tough time adjusting to this realization.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to have children and when I became pregnant I was so very excited, but little did I realize just how life-changing it was going to be. I remember after work I would meet a friend for tennis about three to four times a week. It was one of my favorite activities so when I got pregnant I thought after the babies were born that I could just continue to meet maybe once or twice a week for a game of tennis. No, I am totally serious about this...... picture this, the babies were going to be there on the tennis court with me, snuggly asleep in their car carrier, while I played a few games with my friend. Looking back now, this just makes me crack up because the reality was that most days my goal was just to have a shower.
So why is having children so life-changing? Honestly, for me, I was used to being my own person, following my own rules, and just doing what I wanted in life. Some people could consider that selfish, but that was who I was. When I had children, I had to change my whole thought process and instead of putting myself first, I had to think of the wants and needs of my two children.
I realized much later on, that during their first year of birth I had undergone a fundamental change. I look back at it now as a metamorphosis, which starts at the beginning of motherhood, and develops over time, until at one point I just did not know who I was. A part of me, which had never been present before, started to emerge and a part of the old me started to recede in the background. I was never going to be the same person again that was for sure.
There was a period during that first year when I lost myself and I struggled to understand this new version of myself while trying to look after two babies. It was such a confusing time that I wish someone could have sat me down and tried to explain what was going to happen. Nevertheless, as much as I fought not wanting to change at the time, I have never regretted it for a moment.