Being a Parent is Being Mid-Metamorphosis

Liz Spann

Before I became a mom, there was a slew of things I swore I would never do. I would never force my daughters to play with toys from the pink aisle. I would never allow my family to be one of those over-scheduled, over-committed messes, rushing from lesson to practice, to fast-food dinner. I would never become a mommy-zombie (a mombie?) whose personality, whose whole life disappeared under a heap of motherhood and laundry and exhaustion.

Of course, playing “never will I ever” is foolish.

I didn’t force my daughters to play with pink-aisle toys—I learned I couldn’t stop them! (That’s a topic for another article!) My family is over-scheduled—with things we love to do! And as it turns out, I may have become a bit of a mombie.

In all this growth and change and adaptation to the realities of motherhood, I’ve lost myself. This shouldn’t have exactly come as a surprise. It’s a complaint I’ve heard from women for years. I just thought I’d never let it happen to me! (Just like I wouldn’t ever rely on McDonald’s for dinner! Who was I kidding?)

I’m in a passionless relationship with myself.

It was something as ridiculous as a Facebook questionnaire post that made me realize it—you know the posts where you’re supposed to answer two dozen random questions about yourself? Yep, it was one of those. I got to the question, “what are your hobbies.” I started to write an answer: “hiking, backpacking, reading, writing, quilting, lifting weights…” when I realized that I hadn’t done any of those things in months. Some of them, I hadn’t done in years. Oh, I’ve picked up books and read a chapter or two. And I’ve started more journal entries than I can count. But I haven’t really taken the time to pursue my interests. Honestly, I don’t even know what my interests are anymore.

We all know that caterpillars turn into butterflies, but did you know that during metamorphosis, the caterpillar dissolves completely? From that goop, a butterfly is made. I think I’m halfway through my own metamorphosis. Motherhood (and a dose of anxiety and depression) have dissolved me and now it’s time to rebuild. From this muck, I’ll emerge stronger, more beautiful, and more passionate than ever.

How am I rebuilding? My first step is to get to know myself a bit better. Mindfulness meditation is helping with that. I’m starting small. It helps to step away from my phone and the ever-present social media. I’m taking time to write. Writing forces me to have a conversation with myself. As I get to know myself again, I’m learning about my interests. I may even discover something I’m passionate about.

Have any of you gone through something similar? What helped you rebuild?

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