The day I became a Mother
Fourteen years ago, I became a mother for the first time. I was 27. I became a mother of two exactly two years later, to the day.
Our family holds extended celebrations at the same time every year. It can be pretty intense. Sometimes we have two parties on one weekend and sometimes celebrations are spread over two weeks. There is elaborate cake-making and there are parties planned and I love it. Birthdays are important to me. It’s a way I enjoy giving and receiving love.
Yesterday, after our morning celebrations and before our lunch time ones, I went for a run. With the beautiful blue hue’s of the ocean and sky and sun on my face I realised something. As I was running, it dawned on me that until now I had never celebrated the birth I had on that day, the day I became a mother.
I work every day with mums. My social media feed is full of what it means to become a mother. I talk about empowering women as they become mothers and I know in my heart it’s a huge transition. But, if I am owning my truth, I have never truly allowed MYself to recognise that on that day fourteen years ago a new version of me was also born.
How I’ve changed since I became a Mother
Between now and then I have grown immensely, and I have finally found a place where I feel I am a ‘good mum’. I battled being known as a mum for so long. I battled with the loss of my identity and held on so tight in parts that I compartmentalised my worlds, my children, my work, my training, and racing in obstacle races. My relationship found itself very much at the bottom. I held on so tightly to the parts of me that I thought made me, ME the most, it became a constant battle and conflict of my time, resources, and energy. My fears of becoming known as ‘just a mum’, sacrificing my financial independence, losing my freedom, and not having enough time to drive my business to where I thought I wanted it. I was always running out of time.
Motherhood changes everything
For so many years I brought the fire to my children’s storms and more intensity to their swirling emotions. I know I soothed them too but it’s only in recent months that I have learned how to be the eye of their storm. The calm. I can catch myself in the moment between emotion and reaction and choose another way. In that moment, that can slip away in an instant (and at the times it still does – I am a human) I see so clearly how I could have created another way and I do my best to remember again for when it comes along next time.
Reflections on my journey as a Mother
It’s now that I can sit back and observe the mother that I was back then, in all of the overwhelm, my depression, anxiety and not knowing if she was doing a good job and let her know that she was doing just great. That she was learning. That the push and pull of life before becoming a mum and life after will always be a tussle and struggle. That years (and years) will pass before you feel like it’s all okay and that IS also okay. That there will be a time coming when you will know you are a ‘good mum’, where you offer yourself good grace in the hard times and you will take moments to reflect. And with a heart bursting with love you will realise that you were always, always, going to get through it all.
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed
Quote by Linda Wooten
***I don’t advocate for good or bad but I know that you, dear reader, dear mum, will relate to this term in the context it is delivered.
Read more about Jen Dugard.
Mum-focused author, educator and business owner, Jen Dugard is on a mission to ensure every woman is safely and effectively looked after when she becomes a mother. She is a highly qualified trainer and fitness professional educator and has been specialising in working with mums for over a decade. MumSafe is the go-to place online for women to find mum-focused fitness services that are all accredited, experienced and partnered with women’s health physios so you know you are in very safe hands.