By Kristina Johnson of That Mommy Lady
It’s a massive cliché to say that becoming a mom changes you profoundly. But clichés become clichés by being really freaking true.
I have no doubt that giving birth to my daughter has made me a better woman. I’m happier and less selfish, I’m nicer and I’m better at appreciating the simple pleasures in life. I love my mom-self. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss who I used to be… especially those versions of myself that were smarter, skinnier, and had a hell of a lot more energy. These are the mes I hope to be again someday:
My well-rested self. Of all the annoying things people said to me when I was pregnant, “Sleep while you still can” was by far the most obnoxious. It’s not like you can bank up all those hours in bed to sustain you through the sleepless nights with a little one. That’s impossible. But you know what? I should have freaking tried. In my pre-mommy life, I used to get 8 glorious hours of rest every night. Now it’s more like 5, with several interruptions mixed in. Goodbye, ability to stay awake through a movie. I miss you, eyes without bags underneath.
My relaxed self. I’d like to think I’m not a helicopter parent, but I also know that I have zero chill. Even when I’m ostensibly relaxing by myself, my mind is always on my daughter. Has she pooped enough today? Has she pooped too much today? Is she hot? Is she cold? Is she going to grow up to be a narcissist because I pay her so much attention? These questions are always floating around my brain. ‘Til we meet again, non-neurotic me.
My skinny self. To be fair, this self’s time may have been up whether I had a baby or not. But an unplanned C-section, diastasis recti, and eating the sort of meals that can be prepared and consumed with one hand really sealed the deal. There is no way my once admirable figure is coming back, and God only knows what my chest is going to look like once I’m done breastfeeding. So long, skinny self… I’ll never forget your button-front tops and elastic-free pants.
My well-read self. Once upon a time, I read the sort of books you wouldn’t be embarrassed to leave out on your coffee table. I’m talking Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy — the kind of books I now lack time and energy to dust off on my bookshelf, let alone read. These days every book I pick up has cardboard pages and wraps up the action in 10 sentences or less. Farewell, characters that aren’t talking animals.
My smart self. With the demise of well-rested and well-read me, smart me didn’t stand a chance. Let’s try and catch up in a couple of decades, brainpower.
My spontaneous self. When you’re responsible for a mini-human, there is no longer such a thing as “get up and go.” The most mundane outing requires precise timing, packing, and planning and makes you question whether you really need to go to the store. Surely the family can survive one more day on 6 squares of toilet paper, right? If I have trouble getting it together for a Target run, jetting off for a spur of the moment vacation is not happening. See you in a few years, day trips further than the mall.
This post was originally published on That Mommy Lady.
About the Author
Kristina Johnson is a new mom, writer, and TV producer living in New York City. Her interests include “sleeping when the baby sleeps” (so very little), books, Netflix (watched in increments of 3 to 5 minutes), and coming up with snarky responses to people who ask when she’s having baby #2. You can read more of her thoughts on pregnancy and parenthood at That Mommy Lady. Follow Kristina on Twitter and Instagram.