Motherhood Can Make You Crazy

What is it, exactly, that makes you nearly unrecognizable to yourself when you become a mother?  It’s almost like falling through a portal into another dimension.  The experience is so completely transforming.  I didn’t really fully integrate all the different aspects of myself until 12 years into motherhood, when I got away, truly alone, for 5 days, and met the past selves I had been and introduced them to one another!  It took a loooong time, but it happened.

My friend and sister blogger “But I do have a law degree…” had her own personal revelation recently when she traveled out of town (and away from her children!) for a friend’s wedding.  Does this sound familiar to you?

I went a bit crazy. I went on a quest for the perfect dress and bought shoes that cost over $200 (and I NEVER do that). I got a spray tan (the kind where you stand naked in front of a random person who sprays your insides). I got my hair highlighted. I got my make up done. I lost ALL my baby weight about a day before the wedding (and gained three pounds back over the weekend).

This may all sound very superficial, and obviously, it is. But it was more than just looking pretty for an extravagant wedding with cameras. This was sort of a coming out for me. Since giving up my legal career, I have been so focused on my kids. I have been frumpy. I have been lazy. I have been old. I have been in pajamas a lot. With this trip, I wanted to reclaim myself a bit. I wanted to prove to myself that when I want to, I can clean up and dress up and look good and have fun and talk to other adults about non-kid things. I’m not just a mom. I’m not just a former lawyer. I am ME. This night was as much about reclaiming some independence and freedom as it was about looking good in a black cocktail dress.

I hope she doesn’t have to wait 12 years to put it all together, like I did.  Motherhood is such an intense experience.  It can be all consuming.  I am so glad she spent some time (and money!) on herself in an effort to touch base with the woman she is, first and foremost.  She’ll be a happier person, and a more effective parent, precisely because of it.

You can read her full post here.

“Til next time,

Your (Wo)Man in Washington


About Valerie Young

Valerie Young is a public policy analyst who focuses on the economic status of mothers and other family caregivers. She promotes social justice by arming mothers with information and a healthy dose of outrage. She is the Advocacy Coordinator at the National Association of Mothers' Centers, and is a reporter for The Shriver Report and contributor to Brain/Child Magazine. Follow her blog, Your (Wo)Man in Washington, on Twitter @WomanInDC and on Facebook as Valerie Young and Your (Wo)Man in Washington.