Becoming a Mama causes a huge priority shift, which I was totally expecting, but still adjusting to. You assume this whole new identity, and have to give away a little more of yourself than before you had that tiny human.
I’m gettin’ all Excel happy, hang with me…
So I’ve always imagined myself as a pie (homemade apple, specifically) and the different parts of my identity make up the slices of the pie. Still with me?
Before I was a Mama my pie looked like the one above. I was equal parts Ordinary Radical, Wife, Self, Friend/Family Member and Employee.
At one time there were lots of other slices…Student, Teammate, Volunteer, Equestrian. But the pie doesn’t get any bigger. There’s only “so much” to go around, so some slices have to get smaller to make room for another. Back then my pie-self was a hot mess, running on little sleep and lots of coffee. But coffee and pie belong together you say…I know :) Your pie will take on a different shape as you move through different seasons of your life. Some slices might be taking up a bigger space in your pie – but we’re all trying to balance our slices, amen?
Three months ago I became a Mama. Now, where’s that slice going to fit?
The purple is my Mama slice, one of the largest. And the green in my Self slice, the smallest. My Wife and Friend/Family slices also took a hit. In this season, my role as a Mama is the most consuming for obvious reasons. Little Dude needs care and attention almost 24/7. Which is all good, but as the years pass that slice will shrink a little, which makes me happysad all at the same time.
One thing I’m constantly working on is protecting my Wife slice. It’s almost too easy to steal from that role to make more room in the Mama space. I hold that belief that I’m a Daughter of the King above all, followed by Wife and then a Mama and so on.
I was having a conversation recently about how you’re “on your game” so many times at work, in your social life, and as a Mama that your closest relationship often suffers just because there’s no more of you to give. But that should be where you’re giving most, because that’s where you’ll get the most back, right? I want to be the best version of myself for Merfman. Will I always be the best? Nope, I’ll probably fail pretty often. But that’s the great part about love, it doesn’t keep track.
Finding balance is a lifelong quest, and I’ll never get it perfect. But that’s part of journey, right?
Now…who wants apple pie?!