Thursday, April 30, 2020

My Name is Mama, But You Can Call Me Hallie

Opening up this space to write a new blog post used to be a daily occurrence in my life once upon a time.  
Now it seems as if this activity is somewhat of a distant stranger, somebody that I used to know. 

Kind of like the person I was before I became a Mama. 

Before I became a Mama.
I don't even remember what I was before I was "Mama"
Once that doctor placed that sweet tiny boy in my arms, the previous 25 years of my life had vanished. He was the beginning, he was the new normal, he, in that moment, made me who I had meant to and would forever be.


However, there was no celebration ceremony of the transition to the new me. There was no gracious goodbye to the one who was not a mama. 
She had packed her stuff overnight, gently kissed me on the cheek, and let herself out quietly

Before your a mom, self-care is a no brainer. Self-care is a NECESSIATY to survive and be socially acceptable. You show up to work with your hair unwashed for 3 days in a row, someone is going to ask you if you're okay. 
When you are a mom, self-care is a guilt trip. Self-care is a hassle. Self- Care is showing up to work on day 5 with washed hair and your co-workers actually being proud of your effort. "You're a mom." 
It's okay to smell like spit-up and wonder if you have poop on your finger, because #momlife. 

There are so many things that have taken a backset to my children. My career, my hobbies, my passions, my dreams. 
For so long I told myself that my children didn't take away these things, they just became these things. Which is true, but it doesn't need to be the end of that story. They can still be those things but leave room for other things there too. 

How will my son know how to take pride in himself if all he sees is me in yoga pants with unwashed hair hovering over a sink of dirty dishes. 
How will my daughter love her body if I am consistently shaming mine because "I don't have time to go to the gym" and I don't have time "to make healthy meals" 
How will my kids know to "follow your dreams" "the sky is the limit" if they see me pushing for nothing but a clean house and a daily shower each day. 

My mother was a single mom who worked two jobs to provide us a gorgeous house, the best clothes, brand new like vehicles when we turned 16. She started motherhood at 17, and never failed at following her dreams to give us the best life she knew how. My mother taught me a lot of things. She taught me to fight hard for my dreams, to never give up, and to be kind. She did this not with words, but by example. She lived her truth and we witnessed this everyday. Obviously material things are not what we strive for, but providing a good life for our children so they can provide a good life for themselves, is. 

Being Mama is the best job I have ever been given. It is an HONOR to carry that title, but it's not defining of all that I am. Do you walk around introducing yourself as "Master Degree" or "Valedictorian" 
Because while those may be some of your most prized accomplishments in life, they do not define who you are.

They have made you who you are, but they are not WHO you are. 

Just remember, that while you are Mama, you were someone else first. That woman doesn't need to take a backseat to everyone else all the time. It's okay if you want to live for yourself a little. This took me a LONG time to learn and it's something I still struggle with on a regular basis. 
So I hear you, I see you, I am you...Mama. 

Take that trip with your girlfriends, Dad's got this. Let them miss you a little.
Go after that college degree you never finished, teach them to chase the hard dreams.
Work on the body you have always wanted, they may have a blast in the kids' daycare or they may want to do some pushups with you. 

You do You, girl. 
You will ALWAYS be Mama to those sweet babies, but don't let yourself forget who you are to yourself too.

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