It’s like a friend from high school that I lost touch with. I know she’s there, but I haven’t seen her in so long that I begin to doubt she truly exists. I’ve realized that underneath my frustration and bitterness at times as a mom…is a deep longing for freedom.
It’s no secret that when you become a mom, your freedom falls down on the list of priorities in your life. Not that you don’t crave it anymore – you do – but the role of the mother comes first.
Freedom slowly slips away. And it becomes a distant memory.
I remember my days of freedom.
When I could slowly sip a cup of coffee at a local shop or run errands alone. I’d drive in utter silence or blare my favorite Taylor Swift song; whichever fit my mood that day. I might grab lunch with a friend on a whim. I’d make an impromptu stop at a garden center, boutique, or bookstore to browse leisurely.
Because I could.
I didn’t have to worry about leaving without my diaper bag and an extra set of everything – diapers, clothes, snacks, and more snacks. I didn’t have to prepare for whatever curveball I would be thrown while out with my young kids like a potty accident or complete meltdown.
I didn’t have to leave places early as if an alarm was going off. I didn’t have to deal with the whining and crying and the constant entertaining while on outings. I could spend extra time at the grocery store to plan the perfect meal. And it didn’t feel like another chore.
I could browse Target without rushing around at high speed as if I were competing in some kind of competition. I’d grab things I didn’t plan for and walk out completely satisfied. I didn’t have to explain why we are going to Target for a third day in a row.
I chose to leave the corporate world to be at home full-time with my son. I didn’t plan on it, but I knew it would be best for all of us. Nobody tried to convince me to make this sacrifice; I made this choice out of love for him.
Like most of us moms, I didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into.
There is no way to truly know until you’re fully immersed in it, right?
Some moments I thought, I’ve got this. At other moments I thought, I’m a wreck.
As a new mom in this role, you have these ‘aha’ moments, realizing that caring for a human really is the most difficult job – physically, mentally, and emotionally. You don’t realize all the sacrifices you’ll make for them.
I’m sure we could all make a giant list of all the things we didn’t realize or expect out of motherhood. (Mom I have so much respect and admiration for you now that I’m a mom too.)
Letting go of my personal freedom has been the hardest transition for me (besides caring for my children of course). Underneath all of the big feelings and emotions that I carry is this constant longing for freedom.
I’m a free spirit, but I always wanted to be a mom.
I dreamed of what my family would be like. I dreamed of my kids.
Of course, in my dreams, my house was a lot cleaner. And my body was leaner. And my kids – well they were different too.
But what matters most is that when I think of my family, my heart is completely full. Overflowing with love at times. I couldn’t ask for anything else.
I have zero regrets about putting freedom on hold to raise these precious humans of mine. This is what motherhood and having a family looks like. This is the natural sacrifice we mamas make.
It’s okay to miss and crave freedom while continuing to cherish my kids. It’s okay to wish for more time for myself. These feelings are valid and they don’t take anything away from how I feel about my family or my important role as a mother.
I don’t want to wish this season away or have time go by any faster.
Freedom will be back just as slowly as it left.
I can dream and explore with my kids. I can savor the small amounts of freedom that I do get. And be grateful for the times when it makes me feel alive again.
Freedom might feel hard to come by when your kids are young, but I promise you, little by little, it will be back.