Mothers & parents’ grief of your old life is something that is never spoken about, as if its forbidden to have those sorts of feelings and somehow detracts from the love you have for your children. I am here to say I believe this is wrong all feelings, good, bad, guilt, shame, fear are valid and need to be addressed when they arise.
First and foremost, parents are also people – people first – why do you think they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first? If you don’t help, heal and nurture yourself then how can you give to others let alone your child.
The shock that occurs after living a full rich independent life for 37 years was not something I was prepared for. To one day be utterly unrecognisable in an instant is something I want to prepare others for. We go from a life of following our dreams, freedom, time to think, acting recklessly and simply being to a life of ultimate responsibility. I am here to say its ok to take a moment, grieve and allow the feelings you feel to surface and be dealt with. YOU ARE A PERSON TOO.
After your little one’s arrival life will never be the same – you are now completely in charge of another human being – take a second realise what I am saying. You are responsible for not only keeping them alive but teaching them how to thrive. Talk about pressure – no wonder we long for the old life without responsibility, pressure and freedom. Acknowledging the loss of your past self allows you to embrace the your new self which arises. I believe there are two reasons we need to grieve the loss of our past self:
- To find your way back to it in a new way. By recognising it, who you were, what you loved then you can prioritise what parts you want to incorporate into your new self.
- To inspire your children. We all want for them to be joyous, free, loving, independent and purpose driven people themselves. Incorporating that old self into your new allows you to be a role model for your children and shows them that they can strive for whatever their heart desires.
Even though I long for my old self – it is with acceptance that I embrace the unbridled joy of my son who has brought meaning and purpose to my life, unlike any other. To watch him grow, love, smile and become his own independent human is a true privilege but…..remember WE ARE PEOPLE TOO – with hopes, aspirations, dreams and a our own life to live.
So the next time someone says ‘Can you remember life without them?’ Be honest with yourself and them and say YES. I remember a time when I slept, exercised, was selfish and followed my dreams with reckless abandon. After you have grieved for that old self – take the next step and prioritise what you love about it, who it was and figure out a way to incorporate it into your new self.