My first pregnancy was filled with anticipation of motherhood. Yes, I was nervous and unsure of the responsibilities that were ahead of me. Still, I couldn’t wait for my baby to be in my arms, instead of my belly.
The sacrifices began with my pregnancy and multiplied once the baby was born. From the foods and drinks that I consumed or avoided, to how I spent my time, my life was changing. I had more than just myself to consider.
Things I used to take for granted became “treats.” Frequent trips to the spa to have my hair and nails done were things I used to refer to as “maintenance.” These were now “indulgences” that I booked just a few times a year and could no longer do at the same time because it was impossible to leave my nursing baby for longer than two hours. In fact, I never even thought about getting my hair cut anymore. I was happy if I got the chance to wash it daily. And take time away from my baby to get my toenails polished? It was just great to be able to see my feet again. It was the beginning, only the beginning.
As my son started school, I became, “Ryan’s Mom.” I can still remember how proud I felt the first time I said it, “Hi! I’m Susan Schade, Ryan’s Mom.” It was like the first time I ever called my baby boy, “my son.” When I spoke those words, it warmed my heart. Yes, I had gained an identity but was it at the expense of losing one? After a while, I stopped even using my name with introductions. I felt like busy Moms have limited time to chat. “Ryan’s Mom” seemed to be enough information.
When you are a Mom, your time is not your own. You are dedicated to taking care of others and being sure that they have the things they need. You become a pro at multi-tasking. When I was making breakfast, I was also making lunches, unloading the dishwasher, and thinking about the other five things that I could get done before I left the house for school. There is little time to rest when you are constantly on the go with kids. I miss my free time but am sure that one day, it will be back.