I feel really fat.
You know that feeling you get about yourself when you try to avoid looking in the mirror when undressing because you know you won’t really like the visage that looks back at you? I’ve been feeling really off all day. This whole “mom body” that I am trying really hard to embrace (she grew and birthed my son, after all!) just isn’t working out today—ha, figuratively and literally. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, days on end of baby talk, or the day-long silences between adult conversations. Maybe it is the moon, or just one of those days.
But today is coming to a close, and I’m getting ready for my shower. I peruse social media a little—my last link to the outside world, it seems—and see women who are also small business owners and scroll through their work on Instagram. They’re talking about the power of women, motherhood, and the divine female. The strength that women possess and the sacred. I’m not sure why, but the images of mothers, births, and the curves of clay molded into generic, faceless pregnant women and nursing mothers resonates deeply with me. I suddenly feel more connected again. To other women. To their experiences. To myself.
I step gingerly into the shower, lest I slip on some conditioner that squirted too hastily out of the bottle at the last cleansing. I reflect more on motherhood, the joy it has brought, and the lessons learned. I reflect on my full heart. I reflect on my blog, my new calling, my newfound purpose. Purpose.
It was like a lightning bolt of realization struck me from the top of my grown-out roots to the tips of my un-pedicured toes. “Holy shit,” I said to myself, “that’s it!”
It has actually been years, a decade, maybe, that I have been searching for what my true calling is. I have a lot of passions—art, writing, spirituality… shopping (does that count?)—but I haven’t been able to quite put it all together. It’s caused a lot of emotional and mental turmoil and, in some instances, depression and anxiety about who I am and who I am meant to become. No matter which path I picked, it always seems like the wrong one. Another wrong turn. Things didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped.
In that millisecond in the shower, I realize something brand new. Something for the first time that finally makes sense. What if I hadn’t been able to find my true calling because that piece of me was still missing? What if I couldn’t find it because it didn’t exist yet? What if it took having a child to realize that the realm of motherhood is my true calling? Mind. Blown.
I couldn’t find my calling all these years because it didn’t exist yet. I didn’t have that piece of my soul yet. Now that I have that missing element, I feel completed. Whole. From my heart to soul to brain and back again. I feel peace, and almost as importantly, purpose. Purpose.
I could hear those clanky wheels turning in my head as I scrubbed my mama body, causing the jiggly bits to jiggle. My calling is making those connections with other moms. Pregnant women who don’t love pregnancy. Pregnant women who do, but fear losing themselves in the process. New moms who feel overwhelmed and alone in a new city, or maybe new country, with a baby that she isn’t quite sure why she is suddenly entrusted with caring for and keeping alive. Moms of infants who are months into sleep deprivation, and know there are more months ahead, but are so in love that the sleepless nights are but a negligible part of the whole (this is where I fit in).
Maybe my role is to provide a new voice, one that moms don’t often express for fear of looking ungrateful, incapable, complaining, weak, annoying, “that mom”, or a hundred other degrading words that are used to describe women who have just given life to someone brand new on this earth. I should also note that as I’m writing these exact words and feeling the well of energy bursting forth from within and up to my head and hands, the song playing on Pandora is called “Transcendence/Kundalini Rising” which [Googling] means the spiritual emergence that brings many shifts in energy and consciousness from the spine chakra upward and outward to the head chakra. That’s some deep stuff! I don’t think this is coincidence…
I feel that my purpose for you, and for me, is to share these experiences and hope that some of you will say “me too!” either inside or out loud, and feel less alone when you read my posts. I want to create for you an online tribe so that you can see that your experiences aren’t so weird and aren’t so uncommon. I’ve had readers tell me “I thought I was the only one” or “I really needed to hear this today,” and that makes me feel like I am doing some good. Even if I reach just one of you, my heart is content.
No matter how tired I am or how giving I must be, I always do it with gusto because my son is the ultimate reward and fulfillment nature affords. It might be hard to see the light through the clouds on some days, but the sun always comes back out.
Motherhood isn’t for the weak, so it’s good that you aren’t. We’re stronger together, don’t you think?