Becoming a mother is a wonderful thing. All of a sudden a sweet new life creates an abundance of love that colours life from that moment on. Wide eyes, full smiles, bubbly giggles. Helping, teaching, exploring the world through fresh eyes.
Being a mother is wonderful.
It can also be soul-crushing.
Despite filling our lives with little beings who need us desperately, it can be hard to measure our worth when we are faced with all of these social expectations that are thrust upon us. What is my worth if maternity leave and motherhood is halting my career prospects? What is my worth if having a child means putting off going back to school? What is my worth if every minute of my time is spent defining someone else‘s worth and never doing anything to better myself, pamper myself and develop myself? What is my worth if all I am is mother?
This is something I’ve been struggling with as I’ve entered motherhood. I love being Mother. I take great pride in this role and I count is as one of my most valued assets and greatest accomplishments.
But what about the other parts of me? What about the little girl who told adults that she wanted to be a pilot, a doctor, an architect? A teacher? What about those parts of me that are passionate about more than just sippy cups and diapers and ring-around-the-rosy?
Even if motherhood seems to hide them for a minute, I’ve slowly grown to realize that these parts of me will slowly surface. Bit by bit, the fostering of passions start blossoming into an expression of self that may not be what I anticipated it to look like.
But it is still me.
I have always found expression through writing. I am sure that as soon as I could pick up a pencil, I was penning poems. I can easily measure periods of my life through of pages of a journal, entries in a blog, and pieces of creativity meant for either school or play. I have always loved creating art by rearranging letters.
Yet, I’ve never known how to define myself through my writing. Am I good? Can turn this creativity into a profession?
Does it matter?
While I’ve been struggling to find the me within the Motherhood, I’ve been writing. And unknowingly, I’ve been defining myself all along.
Recently, I came home from work to a surprise put together from my husband.
There, on the kitchen table, was a “Writer’s Tool-Kit” complete with a typewriter, a notebook, On Writing by Stephen King, and some hand-crafted coupons that would enable me to carve quiet times to write.
In his own way, my husband had done more for me than I could have possibly imagined. He validated my passion. You are good! he told me. He supported my passion. Now write something!
I am a mother. I am a wife.
I am a writer.
Now, I must go write something.