Someone asked me recently what I love most about being a mom. It’s such a hard question because, with a toddler and a newborn, there are so many things that bring me joy. My son crawling into bed with me in the morning to snuggle and giggle. My daughter’s huge eyes gazing up at me while I feed her everything she needs direct from my body.
The love. That palpable all-consuming love fills me from the inside out.
Of course, there is also no dearth of challenges in parenting two tiny humans. From temper tantrums to cluster feeding, I’m certainly not short on difficult moments.
This job is hard, and I am tired.
But the biggest challenge I’m facing is easy to pinpoint. For me, the hardest thing about this new life is finding myself amidst the beautiful but overwhelming chaos of mothering. You know how it goes: I repeat myself a hundred times a day about the most mundane topics. I structure my days around naps that sometimes don’t happen. Ninety percent of conversations with my husband involve baby poop and other kid-centric subjects.
All of this has necessarily pushed a lot of my old life to the side, and it often makes me wonder if I’ve forgotten who I am. But I have a surefire fix for this mama identity crisis – it’s my friends.
In the presence of my oldest, dearest friends, I am reminded that there is, in fact, more to me than motherhood. Behind the mom, there is the college student who walked everywhere way too fast and stayed up way too late. There’s the teacher who learned how to avoid taking kids too personally when they get upset. There’s the girl who worshipped the sun all summer and had blue lips getting out of freezing cold pools or lakes. There’s the woman who loves fiercely and laughs hard.
I’m still here, and connecting with old friends reminds me that I exist outside of mothering, that I’m important and worthy beyond the role I play for my children.
So take the time to text your old friends. Pile the kids in the car to meet them for the weekend somewhere. Call them on their birthdays. Chances are they need you just as much as you need them, so don’t let your friendships fall to the wayside. Nourish them the way you nourish those babies, and they’ll help to feed you too.