I found out that I was pregnant the day I graduated college. I was about to put on my black robe, mortar board hat and honors sashes when I read the first positive test. It only took 3 more “positives” before the reality sunk in.
When I walked across the stage that day, I knew that my life wasn’t going to be exactly what I thought it was going to be, and to my surprise, I was perfectly okay with that.
I was okay with delaying my career and putting my aspirations to the side so that I could be the best mother I can be. I was okay with trading future job prospects for motherly duties.
I was comfortable with my decision, my husband was comfortable with the decision, and we were perfectly happy starting our lives together.
And then “It” happened…
Shortly after I gave birth, I went to my one-year-reunion and felt the judgmental stares from the friends and classmates that I had competed against for four years, the people I partied with, the girls who I called my sisters, and my professors who “saw so much potential” in me.
I heard the same sentiment expressed a dozen times that day:
So what are you doing now that you’re a mom?
But what I really heard was:
Who are you now that you’re a mom?
It seemed to everyone else that I had lost my identity as a scholar, as a good time, and as a friend.
Forget about sleepless nights, dirty diapers, or colic: the hardest part about being a stay at home mom was this idea that I lost who I was simply because I gave birth.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that they were wrong: I hadn’t lost my identity; I was still a scholar, a good time, and a friend – I was just different.