Becoming a parent is a big change in life, and it can be particularly scary if you’re a self-proclaimed independent woman. As such, you’re the type who walks confidently in the world, trusting your intuition and honoring your self. And yes, motherhood threatens to trump all of this.
If you look at parenting from a historical perspective, or on TV, or even sometimes in your friend’s lives, it can appear all-consuming and suffocating and selfless. It’s easy to panic, obsessing about what you’ll have to give up, and all that you’ll lose. Yet remember, you’re an independent spirit. Which means you can do this your own way. Here are 5 things to consider:
1.Your self will always be there.
There are times during motherhood, especially during the newborn months, when you may find yourself drowning in the depths of your child’s need. It’s a whirlwind of diapers, burp cloths, feeding charts, doctor or midwife visits, and laundry. Add to this a disrupted sleep cycle. You may feel disoriented, or even completely lost. But rest assured. It’s okay to surrender to all of this, to get caught up in the experience, because your self is still there. It lives deep in your core. When you need a reminder, take a few minutes—as many as you can carve out—to do something that makes you feel fully alive.
2. Your support system will empower you.
Independent women have high expectations for themselves, which means you may feel driven to do it all—working, parenting, cleaning the house, volunteering, everything. But as a mother, this drive will deplete you. So, ask yourself, “Who is my support system?” and then call on them when you need them, maybe to help with babysitting or household tasks, or to ease you out of your own head and offer levity when things begin to feel weighty. You will find that help equals freedom.
3. It’s freeing to re-prioritize.
Parenthood requires a shift in life balance and it’s true you won’t be able to do everything you did beforehand. However, this presents a chance to de-clutter. Look deep inside your authentic self and ask, “What makes me feel the most fulfilled in life? How do I want to spend my time? Who am I, really?” The outcome may surprise you and will make you feel even more in tune with your personal potential. As a result, you’ll make decisions that feel liberating and that strengthen your independence.
4. To love deeply is to become more.
Becoming a mom means big love. This child, a wonder, will look to you for everything. This means you will strive to be your best. You will approach your decisions in life thoughtfully. You will consider what values you want to pass along to your child, or familial patterns (sometimes generations-old) you want to break. You are a pioneer on this path. Is there anything an independent person likes more? Look forward to this walk across uncharted territory.
5. So many new doors will open.
Parenthood is a process of discovery, and of trusting the mystery. It’s hard to imagine what this means before you’re in it, but imagine these scenarios: If you’re a painter, motherhood may provide inspiration that deepens your work. As an employee at a company, you may find that your job no longer feels fulfilling, prompting you to search for more meaningful opportunities. Or you may feel compelled to reduce your hours at your job and trim your personal budget in order to spend more time with your baby. If you love traveling, taking your child to a new country will mean people will offer their hearts to you. Cultures around the world value children, and kids foster trust. It’s a whole series of doors just waiting to be opened.