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When You No Longer Recognize Yourself

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Breck and I went and had some family photos done this past weekend and I’m absolutely thrilled with how they turned out.  As I look at this picture of me holding Brax, I stop and stare at that woman.  Who is she?

 

I see her there holding this little angel, taking in all his sweet little features, and hoisting him high for all to see.  I see her smile and the googly eyes she’s making at him, but when did this woman become me?

 

“Is this really my life?”, I ask myself.  “Am I really a mother?”

Out of all the life transitions I’ve been through, this one has shifted me the most.  Every single lens I look through seems to be a different color than before.  Every decision I make is now made with a different person in mind.  Every dream I’ve had now has a weight to it that it never did before.   The way in which I move through this life feels different and not at the same lightening pace I was accustomed to.

 

Time has become a commodity more so that it ever was.  I simultaneously want it to slow down and speed up and I always want more of it.  I want more time with my husband, more time with myself, more time with my son, more time with my family, more time for nothing at all.  Yet, time is the only thing that feels fixed.

 

I look at that picture of that woman and I ask myself what kind of mother I want her to be, what values are important to me, what kind of son do I want to raise, what do I want to show him through example, what do I want to teach him about God, love, pain, and faith?

I was never the girl who had dreams of a big wedding and having kids.  Falling in love with my husband was by far the richest invitation I’ve ever received, an invitation that continues to invite me to more each and every day.  The love he teaches me and encourages me to teach myself is a gift that enriches my life and supports my soul.  Yet, I’ve also received a new gift, a new invitation that is in the beginning stages of being unwrapped.  This gift will no doubt shape me, shift me, grow me, test me, and teach me all new lessons on love.

 

I look at his sweet face and I look at my own and I know I want to be present.  I want to be with him, to share moments with him, to not let time pass me by.  Yet, I also feel the pull to other things and other dreams and trying to find that balance amongst the fixed concept of time isn’t an easy juggle.  I’m right in the thick of it now and will probably be for quite some time making sure I’m being a good mother, a good wife, a good dreamer, a good soul and making sure I’m checking all the boxes that create a happy life. I’ve noticed those boxes are starting to shift though.

Priorities have changed since becoming a mother and any time priorities shift, so does our sense of self.  So as I look at that woman holding that child realizing that woman is me holding my child, I don’t quite recognize her yet.  Her priorities are shifting at the moment to create a new sense of self.  I watch her in amazement as she glides into this new chapter of her life.  I know she has love as her priority.  I know she always will.

But I’ll be curious as to what other things she puts around her to create more joy, feed her soul, and be a good wife, good mother, good dreamer, good soul – all by her own definition.  What will she let go of and what will she commit her heart to?  What will she value?  What will be her non-negotiables from day to day?

I can’t wait to see what she creates and what this next chapter will hold.  But for now, I still look at her softly and curiously knowing full well that’s me in that picture yet still in shock that’s really my life and yes, I’m really a mother.

 

Megan Hale

 

 

 

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