So often I hear moms say, “I miss my old life, but I love this new one” or “I want my old life back, to be free again”.
Most (if not all moms) go through a grieving process losing their old life or self and stepping into their new life of becoming a mother. In our culture we do not prepare women for this shift nor do we normalize how natural it is for women to feel a sense of loss moving into a new role or life as a mother.
Remember what it was like to sleep in until you wanted to, to stay up as late as you wanted or to even do a simple task like leave the house with just your phone and keys. This new life of becoming a mother is completely different than your old life and besides the obvious changes, your emotional and mental states shift as you now have this tiny baby who relies on you for 24/7 care, to meet their basic needs and keep them alive.
Wow! That is quite the shift from being able to do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted and only having to keep yourself alive and maybe some plants and pets.
So, I am here to tell you that it is completely normal to grieve the old you and to allow yourself the grace and space to do so. This motherhood thing is hard and it is ok to miss the old, carefree version of yourself while still being happy to be a mother.
You are a human with complex emotions and you are allowed to feel multiple feelings at once, even if they may be conflicting.
Some things that may make the grieving process a little easier is not only allowing it to happen but remember the good times and also highlight the good times now. Remind yourself, you are evolving into a new version of you and while you will not return to that old version of you, some of her can come along with you for this journey.
Once you are settled into motherhood (however long that takes) think back to what the old version of you liked to do, can you add some of those things back into your life? Talk to other mothers about their experience with grieving. Sometimes just to have someone else who gets you can be so liberating and validating.
Rest assured the best version of you is still in there!