I’ve Lost Myself

After this last year of COVID and becoming a mom, I’m having a hard time finding who I am.

I have historically been a pretty self-aware person. I am aware of my flaws and can allow myself to see my strengths. (Sometimes) I can feel myself in a group of people and seen how to fit in with a group or excuse myself from feeling the need to fit in.

That has all gone out of the window lately. I have been so wracked with anxiety lately, a lot of it centered around managing others’ expectations and my own identity.

Who Am I?

Truly, who am I now? I have emerged from our “out of normal lives” into a completely different place in life. I’m a different person in SO many ways I haven’t had to chance to know who I am.

I feel so much pressure to show up, but when I do, I don’t know who will arrive.

A large part of being a human is knowing who you are in the context of others around you. I haven’t had that in over a year. My context has been temporary and filled with faces on screens, not people who can see with their eyes what my life looks like. I’ve been able to curate myself to my audience, showing the pretty parts, or even the abridged versions of the hard parts. Very few know the actual pain that’s in me. It’s been too easy for me to hide.

I think there has also been so much pressure in our world to keep it looking good to others. I will always think about how in a Zoom meeting, my husband was told that holding our daughter was unprofessional. There have been so many times that I’ve felt the need to “hide” the fact I have a daughter, but every time I go into the office to work (a traditionally baby-free environment) I’m asked where my daughter is.

I have often been thinking about how I’m supposed to be when I have no idea who I am.

Identity in Christ

I’m a good church girl, so I’ve of course thought about how I need to ground myself in the reality of where my identity lies. I know, after all, my identity is in Christ.

Honestly, though, I’m terrified of that thought. Jesus has felt so inaccessible to me for so long. I don’t want to walk towards him with my ugliness and my brokenness. I want to be able to keep curating my context with him.

I’m learning, even though it’s SO hard, to let that go. To abandon my need to control my image. To let myself just be. To just exist in the presence of God and to let that be enough. Work fades, motherhood, wifely duties, friendships, they all fade. Jesus won’t and he is enough.

I don’t write this as a neatly wrapped package. I am a true mess right now. I hope there are others in this spot and that we can turn to the unmovable things in our life to hold to.


How Becoming a Parent Has Helped Me Appreciate My Flaws

I have a long list of insecurities, as most of us do.

I have always hated my brown eyes. In my life long pursuit of being unique, my brown eyes have always kept me solidly in the “common” category.

My mixture of Polynesian and European creates this lovely phenomenon of hair. I have an insanely thick head of hair, but it comes at the expense of lots of dark, thick body hair.

I’m emotional and deep, and that can be my downfall in many a relationship. Depression and anxiety have torn me apart and still keep me from being okay with myself.

I grew up so skinny. I would say scrawny. I used to long for the day that I could have curves, to not get so many comments on how I was so tiny. Then around 23, boom. I gained a lot of weight and I haven’t been able to keep it off since. I still wasn’t happy with how I looked.

I come on strong nine times out of ten. I present as a friendly person but tend to come off as sarcastic and mean after the first impression.

I have cried many tears over my body’s and soul’s “failures”. I regret wasting my time on it, but that is the reality. I feel such a weight of inadequacy. I’m sure you feel that too.

Change in Perspective

But since my daughter has entered this world, my view of myself is changing. It’s not an overnight deal, it’s a real process.

As she gets older and I look at her, I’m seeing more and more little reflections of myself in her. Her eyes, though not set in color, look at me with a dark brown warmth. She feels all of her little feelings with intensity. She was born tiny and skinny and covered with hair. She now is smooth and has rolls. She’s selective with her smiles and often looks at the world with a stern face. All of these things I have hated in myself I love in her.

It’s been humbling to deny myself the pity party of hating things in myself in order to love them in my daughter. It’s not worth my energy to obsess over myself and not give love to this sweet little person who is half me.

God’s Design

I never expected to learn to love myself more as I became a parent. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s design in it. And to learn how God looks on us as his daughters and sons. Even in our human brokenness, God’s goodness can be seen.

Many Days Like This

Today was not my best parenting day. It’s not because I snapped or got too emotional or really anything that bad. But I know that I want on my A-game.

I’m still so freshly new to this parenting thing. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten to this place sooner. I know that there will be many more days like this, but it’s sad to feel it creep in already.

Now I didn’t do anything wrong today per se. I didn’t drop my child or forget her somewhere. I didn’t lose my temper and yell at her. On paper, I did all that a parent is supposed to do.

I just let my selfishness win. I could feel my wants and desires coming before my baby’s. I could feel my frustrations coming from her not doing what I wanted, instead of her not having her needs met. It makes a big difference when you make the choice to die to yourself instead of letting your selfishness win. It makes more of a difference when your a parent.

Even though today wasn’t my greatest day, it was what today was. I’m thankful for getting a chance to vent and for fresh starts each day.

Becoming a Parent in a Pandemic

I have a 5 week old. What a weird amount of time that is. It feels like it flew by, but it also feels like it’s taken forever to get here. I know that 5 weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of my daughter’s life, but it still has held so much in that short time.

She was born. We stayed in the hospital and experienced our first days of being parents. We introduced her to our family and friends. We navigated sharing tasks. I struggled through pumping for 2 weeks and the journey of breastfeeding. We adjusted to less sleep. We learned how to graciously accept help. We learned how to buck up and do somethings on our own. We went to coffee shops to have little 30 minute chunks of normal life. We went on one successful walk. We learned she laughs in her sleep. We are still learning all the time.

It’s a really unique and intense time.

There are so many moments of really hard moments and moments of pure bliss in my life right now. Even though I am on a parenting journey, I do feel like our whole world is in a state of liquid time and extreme feelings. This pandemic has framed the world in such a different way for all of us. I feel like becoming a mom in the midst of this has given such depth to this weird experience. I can see my world experience this from my unique spot in the middle.

It’s a really unique and intense time.

I will admit these past few days have been hard. It’s my heart’s desire to meet all of the needs for my little baby, but I can’t communicate with her. I’m not able to meet every need at the right moment she needs it. I know that logically that’s expected, but my heart can’t take it. It’s a weird thing God does to change you once you transition in to parenthood. My already tender heart has become so much more tender. With this new heartache, I am finding myself longing for the future. The days when I can talk to my daughter, the days when sleep will be easier to get, the days where she can do things for herself. While I think it’s a good thing to look ahead with anticipation, I am trying not to miss out on the moments of life and joy right now.

It’s a hard thing to live in the present when things aren’t comfortable or just down-right really hard. I have found that in a COVID world and in my first season of parenting this is really true.

So, how are you staying present? What struggles do you have with staying present?

We all know seasons come and change. This current season has felt so long, but it will change. I need to rejoice in the moments that God has laid out for me in it.

Day 5 as a Mother

I have really dreaded being a mother. To have a little being that I’m responsible for, that needs ME all day long. It made all of my selfishness shine. But here I am. Day 5 of it, and it’s not even like I made a choice. I just became what I am. My sweet baby makes this so easy. I feel comfortable, I feel empowered to be what I am. She’s let’s me be this new person I’ve been all along.

Sitting down now, rocking my daughter her laying peaceful on my chest, I am overwhelmed by how much I adore this. The lead up to this birth was so hard. I was a very un gracious pregnant person. I hope to be a more gracious mother.

I know I’m in the honeymoon phase with parenting, but oh man I’m basking in it. My body is sore, I’m sleepy, but I am SO full of joy.

God’s goodness is fully seen here. He knew me as a mother, he knit together this child, he enabled me to get to this place. He truly knows what we need so much better than we know.