When Your Life is Not Your Own

Becoming a mother is an inherently selfless act. We devote our bodies to nurturing our babes long before we meet them. We forgo sleep and nights out and selfish expenses for their good. We give until we have nothing left, and then we give some more. The whole journey of motherhood speaks of sacrifice from its earliest moments.

Your life is not about you anymore. It’s all about them.

We’ve all heard this or similar remarks throughout our pregnancies and during those first difficult months as we adjust to the daunting world of parenthood. And for a while it makes sense, this whole notion that your life is not your own. It’s easy to throw yourself on the pyre of motherhood and lose yourself in the process.

But the deeper I get into this motherhood journey, the more I find this “it’s not about you” statement untrue.

Your life does not cease to be your own when you become a mother. It may feel like you’re lost for a while, trying to get your footing in this new territory – but the you that has always been is still there. None of us are just mothers. We are individuals worthy of our own lives.

To suggest otherwise would diminish the beauty and transformative power of motherhood.

We don’t die unto ourselves the moment we house new life. We bloom. The life that was once only our own becomes inclusive of this new and tremendous love. It becomes about us.

Especially for early mamas, we grow alongside our children. We transform into adults in unbelievable leaps and bounds. The transition into motherhood becomes our most powerful catalyst for personal growth. We are compelled to be better, stronger, more inspirational versions of ourselves because we are setting the standard for humanity to those who call us mama.

Motherhood becomes the platform upon which to build up from the person you have always been, and create the person you want to be. Through motherhood we are deeply compelled to find ourselves – to examine the core of our being. It is an enlightening and profoundly personal internal struggle to navigate. It has everything to do with you and everything to do with your babe, all at once.

There is a clarity of purpose you find when little eyes are constantly watching you. A maturity born of necessity. A sense of self that rises above the inherent selflessness of caring for another.

And perhaps you’ll find, at the end of the day, that your life isn’t just about you anymore.

It’s about both of you, equally, as you navigate the world hand in hand.


Read more from Gemma at Journey of Love.

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Gemma Hartley

Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer and founder of Journey of Love, a personal blog where she shares her journey as a mother, wife, writer, young woman and more. She is a regular contributor to Reno Moms Blog and her writing has also appeared on MindBodyGreen, Mamamia and Role/Reboot. She lives in Reno, NV with her husband, two kids, an awesome dog and a terrible cat.