The Changes No One Told Me About

This week we’re talking change.  We all know this word very well.  Please welcome Tracy from It Builds Character as she talks about how fast the changes come when we become parents. Tracy can be found on twitter as  @ChiMomWriter.  She is a former career gal trapped in a mom’s body. Hold the mom jeans. She’s a fundraiser, marathoner, wine drinker, and music lover. She has two kids, ages two and under.  She is heartfelt, funny, totally honest and I just love her to bits for being a big supporter of this What’s Your Word? series.  Basically, she is just awesome.

Change: In Tracy’s Words

Becoming a mother has been one of the loneliest experiences I’ve had.

Huh?

Let me insert all of the necessary caveats: I wouldn’t change it – I adore and love my kids. I enjoy being a parent. I love being at home with them, even though it doesn’t always seem like it.

I know this isn’t the experience that everyone has – And I also know I’m not the only one.

I love my kids.

But.

It’s one of the dirty little secrets that nobody wants to tell you about when you’re pregnant – I, like many, was thrilled to be “expecting” and spent 10 months rubbing my belly in anticipation. As I felt my baby grow, there was this feeling that I’d never be alone ever again. (If only that didn’t apply to the bathroom.)

In my previous life, I was a nonprofit fundraiser, and I loved what I did. My job was about people. Connecting. Helping.

I got pregnant. I made the city exodus. We bought a house. We painted the nursery. We learned about gutters and lawn mowers.

The plan was to go back to work. As it turned out, that wasn’t particularly practical. Between my husband’s and my schedules, commute times, and costs… Here I am.

Yep, there I was, and suddenly, I had a little human being in my arms (what felt like) every moment of the day… and there was no one around.

That’s a lot of change all in a span of months. I missed my job. No – correction: I miss my job. I miss being coherent and big-girl words. I miss feeling like I was making a difference.

You can’t say that to people. I realize that I’m shaping the lives of the two people most important in the world to me. But anyone who has been knee deep in diapers and baby vomit knows those feelings of being trapped in the movie Groundhog Day. You’re just not allowed to say it.

Being a parent tests your friendships. Most single friends didn’t know what to do with me, and even moms with school-age kids had the glorious amnesia to many of the details of these early times. I had to cancel plans, a lot. I couldn’t make it to outings last-minute. I was chronically low on sitters.

When I did get out to see friends, I swore I wouldn’t be the mom who only talked about my kids. But that’s 99% of my day, every day.

The phone stopped ringing, not that I’d generally find time to answer it anyway. I felt lonely and isolated, and more than that, irrelevant.

Like every chapter in our lives, though, there is an evolution to these changes. Now 2 1/2 years and two kids into this journey, I can see the bigger picture at work.

My circle of friends became smaller – That’s natural. But the friendships I’ve developed are closer and stronger. My “outer world” friends are gloriously patient with my cancellations and period of MIA-ness. My day-to-day parent-friends are incredibly broad in their parenting views, they’re helpful, supportive, fun, and we’re all allowed to show up and cry when warranted. More often than not, we’re laughing. Or at least rolling our eyes.

Becoming a parent, although an ongoing process, has allowed me to drop a lot of the dead weight in my life. I have to be focused and efficient. I have to pick and choose. If I decide to do something, it’s because I really want it.

I parent. I run. I fund raise. I write.

And I do connect. It’s taken time and it looks different than it used to. But it’s a skin that is becoming more comfortable over time.

What surprised you about becoming a parent?

***

What's Your Word?

Now it’s your turn! Link up your post on the word CHANGE anytime this week and include the badge above linked back to this site. The code is available on the sidebar. Please visit a few other posts and show some love. If you are tweeting about your own post or a post you found and love, please use the #whatsyourword hashtag so we can all follow along. If you are seeing the series for the first time, check out the What’s Your Word page for a little more information. If you have a word you know you want to be all yours, just shoot me an email to be the featured post for the week.

Next Week’s Word is Confidence!

It’s bathing suit time again, and this word stands out as something I need more of.  It is also something I want to show my kids.  While my thighs may be weighing on me lately, confidence is about more than how we look.  We need to be confident in ourselves and in our decisions.  We need to own who we are and love ourselves.  So whether you choose to be cheeky and talk about swimsuits or really dive in and attack this word, please tell me what this means to you!

Now link up for What’s Your Word? The Change Edition!

 

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • I can completely identify with this one. I remember thinking that being a mom would complete me…but when my son was born, like you, I felt alone. I felt lost within a world of diapers and formula. And I missed my friends, my days of carefree living, and working outside of the home. I’ve finally started to find a balance between my life as a mom and having a life outside of parenting. I chalk much of it up to the world of blogging. 🙂
    Courtney recently posted… What Happens when the sun shines in KodiakMy Profile

  • Nina says:

    Hi there! For sure becoming a parent goes with the word CHANGE. I think it’s so important to force ourselves to go with the changes, but still hold on to the parts of us that exist as whole, separate individuals. If I end up in a long conversation about the size 4T vs the size 5T jacket, for example, I force myself to find something more interesting to discuss. If a newer friend only discusses that stuff, I run for the hills.
    Nina recently posted… A Crisis of MannersMy Profile

  • I think my biggest changes with regards to parenting have happened only within the past 7 years or so, when I truly started coming into my own.

    New parenting was kinda sorta by the book, but grammar school parenting (teaching ethics, academics, compassion, learning to turn on a dime, etc.) – that was character-building indeed.
    Barbara Ling, MamaBear recently posted… 97 Marvelous Memorial Day Resources – God Bless the USAMy Profile

  • Can totally relate to this. My son is 3 and I’m only just now starting to expand our social circle and get out more. For the longest time it just wasn’t practical to plan much beyond a trip to the grocery store on a weekly basis and coming from a retail management position I was used to being around, and in charge of people all day everyday.

    Now that my own little home business is starting to take off I’m expanding my social media circles and making some more of those all important grown-up connections I’ve been missing all this time. It’s a struggle some days, but well worth the effort for me and my kiddo.

  • Kate says:

    This is so true. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I’m not alone in this feeling of loneliness. What a nice post.
    Kate recently posted… True Confessions Number 7My Profile

  • Feature Friday (The Saturday Version) says:

    […] The Changes No One told me About by Tracy as shared on Mommy Words: This is one of those posts that I could have written myself. I found myself nodding in agreement, and reminiscing on the earlier days of motherhood. If you’re a new mom, or a soon to be mom, make sure you read this. It’s okay to feel lonely, and you are not the only one who’s felt that way. […]

  • Kate says:

    Ahh the joys of post pregnancy and pants
    Kate recently posted… Goodbye My LovesMy Profile

  • Adriel says:

    Oh yes, I think every mom can relate to this post and the struggles of motherhood. I have been very challenged and stretched (in a good way) in my adult life working “out there” for fifteen years before becoming a mom. I handled massive pressures and responsibilities and did things that were way over my head (or so I felt at the time). What I wasn’t prepared for was that the day-in-day-out of motherhood is actually harder!!! It still surprises me sometimes. It’s harder in a very different way of course, but harder nonetheless. I think it’s a huge privilege to be home with my kids (and 1 day a week working outside the home) and I sometimes think I should go back to work so I can have it easier. 😉 I know that would be hard too though – just in a different way. For all of our choices there are benefits and sacrifices. I guess it’s just a matter of choosing which ones are right for us personally and as a family for now. Next year might change, but now is now. And also, no doubt the baby/toddler stages are the most demanding. Things will get easier…. right? right? Please tell me I’m right? 😉 Again, love this post. Found it from Courtney’s recommendation (Mommy Matters).
    Adriel recently posted… strong and fragile- we will be okayMy Profile

  • Spotlight Saturday says:

    […] The Changes No One told me About by Tracy as shared on Mommy Words: This is one of those posts that I could have written myself. I found myself nodding in agreement, and reminiscing on the earlier days of motherhood. If you’re a new mom, or a soon to be mom, make sure you read this. It’s okay to feel lonely, and you are not the only one who’s felt that way. […]

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