By: Carolyn DeRonde
I never had a burning desire to be a mom. I was quite content with how my life was – sleeping in until 10 am on my days off, going to the gym, going for hikes with my dog – doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The idea of giving up my freedom was terrifying.
And let me tell you, it’s something I still struggle with every day. I find myself grieving my pre-baby life. The days where I wasn’t forced into being a morning person. When I could leisurely start my day with a cup of coffee and decide which hiking trail to head to. Maybe I’d even go to the mall or meet up with a friend. The possibilities were endless.
Now, my days consist of early mornings (will I ever get used to them?!), rushed gulps of my coffee, and deciding what toys to entertain my baby with next. My exciting outing for the week is grocery shopping on my own (although it’s way more anxiety-inducing than exciting, because covid, amirite?)
Sometimes, just sometimes, I pop into the mall on my way home from the grocery store and pretend I have all the time in the world to browse the stores. Maybe I even try on a few clothes. But then I’m flooded with guilt, and worry I’ve been out too long. I envision my husband wondering where the heck I am while the baby loses his mind. While in reality, I have an amazing husband who would never want me to hurry home, and a baby who is cool as a cucumber 95% of the time.
I find myself wondering if I’ll ever have guilt-free “me” time again.
Do I miss getting up in the morning with nothing to do and no one to answer to? Yup. Do I miss those 10 am sleep-ins? Oh hell ya. Do I sometimes look back longingly at my baby-free days? Of course. But would I go back if I were given the chance? Absolutely not.
Being a mom is something I never knew I always needed. It’s given me the strongest sense of purpose I’ve ever known. My life became so much better the moment I laid eyes on my perfect boy.
My life looks a lot different now than it did a year ago, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m thankful every day that my boy chose ME to be his mama.
Motherhood has turned my life upside down, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Carolyn is a wife, dog mom to a black lab named Sammy, and first-time mom to her beautiful boy, Weston James. She works full-time as an RN in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and spends her days off enjoying time with her family. In the summer months, you can find her lounging on the dock at her family’s cottage in Muskoka. Carolyn believes in the importance of being open and honest about the struggles of motherhood and postpartum mental illness. She hopes she can help others start the conversation and know that it’s okay to not be okay.