Who Was I Before I Was A Mom?

The big focus for moms postpartum, is usually weight loss. While that is a fine goal — healthy even — my focus this time around has been more along the lines of who I was before I had children. No, I don’t think I was better off without my kids, but they have consumed my life. Which, at times, is an extremely beautiful blessing, but I also need to maintain an identity outside of motherhood.

I was a traveler.

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{me, in St. Peter’s square, Rome}

I love to travel. The actual process of traveling can seem daunting and exhausting, but to me it is completely worth it in order to have life changing experiences, see the wonders of the world, and be exposed to different cultures and schools of thought. Even when I was done traveling oversees, I volunteered feeding the homeless in downtown Pittsburgh which certainly exposed me to different schools of thought, and a lifestyle completely different from my own. This is what I have lost a bit of in becoming a mother. I can’t take risks traveling like I used to, but I can still expose myself to different groups of people, different religions, and different parts of the area I already inhabit. This will give me the same experience and education as traveling does, without having to go far and with minimal risk.

I was a mermaid. 

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{taken at La Jolla cove}

Ok, so not really… But I do love the ocean. I grew up only 20 minutes away from La Jolla, one of the worlds most beautiful beaches and tide pools. There is some thing in the rhythm of the waves that is consoling, and provides enough white noise to be relaxing, giving you the ability to clear your mind. It truly was the remedy for my anxiousness. I remember being so thrilled when I learned how to drive, because it meant I could go to the beach as long as I had enough gas to make it there! Now that I live in Ohio, the beach must go hand in hand with traveling. We make it out to California once, if not twice a year, and those trips are non negotiable for me. I need them – simple as that. We have the Ohio river which serves as a proxy for me when I get desperate. There is a scenic highway that runs parallel to the river, and I enjoy cruising along there listening to my favorite music. But there simply is no replacement for the ocean.

I was active.

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{me, performing with a marching band in my color guard}

I didn’t work out, but I kept active. I loved performing with my color guard team, I liked to hike, boogie boarding at the  beach, skiing, having the ability to play outside 360 days a year helped too. Any mom can tell you that it is hard to keep active with a baby. Luckily, I have found a solution that I think works pretty well for me. One word: ZUMBA. The dance work out inspired by Latin dance moves. I used to practice my routines for color guard for HOURS. Zumba provides similar training, except it is a lot more fun! I’ve also tried to make more of an effort to get Sophie to the park or pool, and on days where we just can’t leave, we at least take a walk around the block.

I was romantic.

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There is a special time when you are married but haven’t started procreating. Most call it the “honeymoon phase.” Yup, it is as wonderful as they say it is. Your down time is spent leisurely, you can go on dates any night of the week, and you get a full night’s rest. So, how do we recreate this with kids? My in-laws. Yup, they take them one night a week, so we can have a date and get a full nights rest. When my parents come to visit, they give us the same pleasure. If we didn’t have parents that lived around us, I would find some body to take this one because it is just that important. Not only is it important for our relationship, but it is important for the children. It is encouraging to children to see their parents in a loving relationship, but also to see them united and on the same page. Date nights are what help us maintain this front, and even though they have become few since we’ve had kids, it would be detrimental to let them disappear altogether.

I was silly.

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This is probably the one area of my personality that is AMPLIFIED with having children. I absolutely love doing quirky, fun, weird, and silly things with my kids. Making funny noises, singing silly songs, taking ridiculous pictures… these are all things my kids love to do with me and that feeds into my personality. Even J admits to being attracted to me the night we met because I was acting goofy and dancing with my friends at a party. You just can’t take the goof out of this girl!

I was nerdy.

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{Me, with Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings and Goonies fame}

Books, comic books, movies, online video games… I loved all of them. Growing up in San Diego, I had annual access to the world’s greatest Comic-Con. J makes sure that every couple years we get to go to New York comic con and experience all the nerdy goodness there is to soak in there. It is some thing he and I bond over which reminds me of who I was not only before I was a mother, but who I was before I was even married!

So there you have it… there are parts of myself I am attempting to resurrect, other parts that J encourages, and parts of me that I just can’t keep hidden. Adulthood, marriage, and motherhood have taken me on so many journeys, that now, I’m just trying to adjust to being “home” within myself again.

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