Lately, things have been feeling a little more "meh" than I would like. Sometimes, I find myself looking back on how my life used to be -- the wild nights where I went wherever the wind blew me; the spur-of-the-moment travel plans to someplace exotic and new; the hot, steamy sex (before kids were part of the equation).
And I had to stop and ask myself: What happened?!
I'll tell you what happened. I got really effing busy with this whole "motherhood" thing.
Before I was a mother, I was teaching English in Taipei, driving through Slovenia, taking sake bombs in Japan, sipping absinthe in Paris, dancing on bars in Austin and in bomb shelters in Jerusalem. I even swam with fish in Croatia. The point? Sitting still, laying low and playing by the rules has never been my thing.
Living life to the fullest has always been my thing.
So, becoming a "MOM" was just that -- another adventure I was thrilled to embark upon, full of surprises. Incredible, exciting and unpredictable surprises.
But sometimes, the surprises that come with becoming a mother aren't the ones that involve giggling and waking up at all hours of the night.
Sometimes, life throws you a major curveball and everything you thought you knew -- reality as you knew it -- suddenly changes.
For me, that curveball was losing my second pregnancy at 26 weeks and facing a type of grief that no one prepares you for. A type of grief that is all too common, even though no one ever really talks about it. Well, I'm talking about it.
I'm sharing it because that moment changed everything for me -- it led me to discover new and different ways of healing myself as a whole person; it led me to explore my dreams, desires, spirituality; it led me to new ways of parenting my firstborn (and subsequent children once I was ready).
No one tells you what it's like when you take on "motherhood." No one talks about how it becomes an overwhelming part of you -- to the point that when you miscarry, you full on question your identity, your purpose, your role in the world.
Now, motherhood might be the most rewarding job (with the worst hours) in the world. But it's not the walk in the park that everyone makes it out to be. And that's OKAY.
Being a mom is something you do that becomes part of you forever, but it doesn't have to be your whole identity.
We all deserve to have a full, vibrant life beyond motherhood.
I've been to the edge of depression and back. I've sat on the floor crying with my toddler at the end of a long afternoon. I've been vomited on just as I was about to leave for work. I've leaked breastmilk in front of the CEO at a huge meeting- this job is not easy.
It's awesome, but it's not easy.
For a long time, I let myself get lost in my kids and stopped knowing how to be really happy on my own. A couple of years ago, someone asked me what my hobbies were and I couldn't remember.
What were my hobbies!? *facepalm*
There I was: an incredible mom who had completely forgotten herself. That was when I knew I had to make a change. So I took a step back and started making time for the things that mattered to me: seeing girlfriends, having date nights, exercising, taking "me" time - and something amazing happened. I started being Andi again (and not just mom). I started to feel more alive, more present and WAY more fulfilled.
Andi Wickman is a mentor, certified life coach, certified holistic coach, hand holder, lifter-upper of moms who want to live a more energetic, HOT life. She helps mamas feel more confident in their lives, bodies and relationships so they can be more present, caring parents and humans. (And so they can really enjoy the heck out of life for a change!)
Check out her 8 Days to Intimacy Challenge here.