"April 29, 2005 -- The Transition from not being a mother to being a mother is a huge one--and one that is not talked about adequately. I don't think anyone can be completely ready for the magnitude of the transition, but I do think that it would have been nice to be a little more prepared. I don't know if it has to do with age; like the longer you wait the more experience you have in living life without the child responsibly and so when the baby comes, it's such a drastic comparison from your pre-baby days.
I can remember longing for a baby. A cute, sweet baby that would be an expression of our love--a child to call my own. No way did I realize that attached to that miracle would be so many adjustments; so many emotions--both positive and negative. Not to mention a physical, emotional and mental challenge like no other.
So how does one make the transition from "career woman" to motherhood with grace and ease? Is it even possible? I'd like to think that I can figure that out through my own experience, trials, errors and intuition."
The above is a journal entry from when my daughter was just two months old. It is now two plus years later. Wow. Where has the time gone? Being a parent in the midst of caring for an infant is one of those times in your life where you feel like it's always going to be that way. And then you look back each month and then each year and realize that each stage is actually rather quick, and before you know it you are sitting at the dinner table having a conversation with your two year old about why birds don't wear diapers and get to poop on the ground.
Well, more than two years into it it I can say that I have figured some things out. I am not sure how graceful it all looked or how easy it all felt, but I did make that initial transition from mother-less to mother-hood and have lived to tell about it. There were three key pieces to the process for me.
1. Recreating my definitions of success as a mother and a professional. The longer and harder I held onto old definitions or someone else's definitions the more overwhelmed and depressed I felt. Once I realized that I could choose how I want to show up as a mother, a wife and a professional (and I was willing the think outside the box), the more content and happier I became in all my roles.
2. Being gentle and compassionate with myself. Although everyone else was telling me to take it easy and not worry about being Super Woman with a new baby, my internal critic kept telling me that I wasn't doing enough and what I was doing I could be doing better. When I asked myself what I would be telling my best friend in the same situation, I realized that I was much harder on myself than I would be on anyone else.