On being nostalgic for my former life

Motherhood wasn't something I'd ever written down on my list of goals, especially in the last few years of my life. But here I am, tapping away at a quick blog post while my tiny human naps. Becoming a mother is the most ________ thing I've ever done. I leave that space blank because I'm still trying to figure out how to describe this. My heart is bursting with love for that kid.

But there's still a part of me that looks over my shoulder at my old life. More so recently, as it's now been a year since I left a full-time job in journalism.

Recently, Redbook published a very cool story package called The Mom Gig. In it, the writers explore what it means to be a stay-at-home mom. I guess that's my life right now. I haven't actually said those words out loud yet--"I'm a stay-at-home mom"--because they feel like pants that don't quite hug my curves snugly enough. But it's technically true.

Me + my tiny human

Me + my tiny human

 

This quote from a memoirist who put her career on hold to take care of her special needs son really echoes how I'm feeling nowadays. 

And I know we're lucky—many families can't afford to have a parent stay home, even temporarily. It's just that I can still see, with so much clarity, my shadow life, my shadow self, the life I imagined for myself back in grad school, who seemed so viable even a year ago. 

In my shadow life, I had someplace to be every day, and I talked to all kinds of people. My weekly goal was to put out a publication I was proud of, that I hoped contained quality, impactful content. I sought to inform our readers, to make them think twice about issues, to get them talking. I strived to give voice to the voiceless.

In my shadow life, I felt important. And not to say I'm not important, because I know one small human who looks to me for everything, and I wouldn't want it any other way. But sometimes, I'm nostalgic for my former life. That's normal, right?