Last month, another one of my friends gave birth to a baby girl. Here we are, the three of us with our three baby girls. Giovanna is 19 months, Isola is nearly six months, and Ava is one month. In this photo, the newest addition is tucked safely in the Moby Wrap, the same one Giovanna and Isola used before her. Is it just me or are girls taking over the world?
It seems like just yesterday, I was gathered with a group of old sorority friends for a girl’s night on a rooftop deck with a view of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle, sun setting and wine pouring, when I told them my news. I was getting married in less than two months. A moment later, they guessed the unsaid. I was pregnant as well as engaged. How was I to keep it a secret? Little did we know that several of them would be following the steps to motherhood in the near future. At this moment, two more are pregnant, one with a girl (!!) and another whose gender is to be revealed tomorrow. I’m not sure how many of us believed we would ever become mothers, much less mothers in our twenties, but fate has its way, doesn’t it?
Life changes so fast. Life before motherhood feels like a parallel universe. In some ways, when I’m with my daughter, I can only identify myself as her mother. When I am without her, I am still Lucy. The person I always have been, the person I always will be. Irrevocably changed, undeniably me.
Babies take over your life in ways you never dreamed possible, there’s no doubt about that. It is challenging yet necessary to remember to take care of yourself. A woman cannot be a good mother when her only focus is her child, when she loses herself.
Mothers, what do you do to keep a firm grasp on your self (and your sanity)?