Parenthood is the most challenging and rewarding experience I’ve had. As a new mom, I am still learning to be comfortable in my role as a mother. This huge shift in identify has lead me to one conclusion and word which sums up my experience so far: Permission.
With information and advice so easily hurled our way, it is so easy to become absolutely paralyzed by fear when it comes to parenthood. What is best? Breastfeeding or formula? Sleep training or Co-sleeping? Tiger mom or Elephant mom? Organic or not? The list is infinite and not without judgment attached to each choice. This is where permission comes in, and for me, with it has come peace (with the occasional hiccup of course).
I am learning to give myself permission. Permission to grieve the loss of my old identity. It’s hard to say goodbye to the freedom we as mother’s once experienced. The freedom to sit in silence, to not be touched all hours of the day. What were once menial tasks now seem like luxuries; listening to music in the car at loud volumes, or loading the dishwasher without a toddler tantrum to tune out. By giving myself permission to miss these things, and NOT feel badly about these emotions, I have been able to work through them. I am not a bad mom because I am not creating the modern day Rockwell existence that Instagram tells me I should be. And that is okay.
I am giving myself permission, to demand to take care of myself. It can be equally easy and poisonous to slip into the role of “having it all”. Taking care of the baby all day, working from home, running a house, caring for pets, and the list goes on. At the end of the day, my well is dry and spirit is buried. I am giving myself permission to carve out a time and space for myself. It may vary; perhaps one day it’s a yoga class, and the next day it’s a visit to a coffee shop alone to read.
I am giving myself permission to ASK. Ask for help. Needing help does not make me a weak, or incapable mother, as I once felt. It makes me wise and strong to ask for help. It sets the example of humility and the strength of communication for my daughter.
With each passing day, I examine situations and emotions that arise, and look for permission, so that I may breathe and enjoy these moments in all of their raw, challenging and deeply rewarding beauty.
Can you imagine if we afforded ourselves AND one another permission?