The Bridge To Motherhood: From an Independent Woman, To a Woman To Depend On

How did I get here?

     Waking up I was in a dreamlike state, as if I had just come out of coma-haze. My awareness quickly returned to the fact that I was still pregnant, and was back at my 17th hour of labor. I was delusional in the ordeal. I actually thought it would take 2 hours at the most. The women on my mother's side all suffered from extremely hard, brutally long labors. And for some strange reason, I expected to be the exception to the rule.

        Growing up, I was very ambitious in my career, however, becoming a mother was always apart of my life's plan. School, Marriage, and Babies basically became the formula I planned my whole life around. But the older I became, the more I started to focus on my own needs and wants. I remember in my early 20's I grew resentful towards anything deemed “Women's Work". Not wanting to live my life by gender biases, I denounced anything that dealt with marriage or children. The very thing I based my entire adolescence around had become the source of all my nightmares as a young woman.

        My life's focus transitioned into my work. I thought my career was going to be "Wife and Mother". But I began to believe that a woman could achieve anything and everything. So I climbed the corporate ladder, worked on my degree, collected valuables, and travelled to far away lands. But ultimately, love blindsided me completely. The kind of sappy, gross love that swallows you up completely. Everything was so rushed - it was a complete whirlwind type of romance. Not even 2 months later, we were expecting. That’s when the real terror set in.

         Fear was never about keeping him - I was terrified of losing her. That zany, fun, eclectic, exciting girl that I had spent years developing into. All I kept hearing was "You're a mother now", which was fine but what about me as a woman?. Was I supposed to just stop existing, erase everything that came before, for a tiny human? I always felt that there was a bridge between womanhood and motherhood that was ignored. It became so ingrained for women to give up their personality, since nothing is apparently greater than being a mother. Soon, everything was dark and suffocating. Everything I did became an automation - emotionless action, again and again. He grew and grew, a lot of which I can't even remember, which only made it all worse. Somehow, I crawled out of that tiny dark cave, and nearly 14 months had passed but I felt that she - the girl I loved being - was back.

         I ended up here, because I’ve always wanted so much out of life. Through pain, depressive episodes, and uncertainty, I still managed to grow. Finding that tiny bridge between The Girl and The Mother took time, gut wrenching time. Becoming a mother is a transitional phase, which most women are never taught about. Yet we are still expected to just dive in head first, which is honestly 50% of the process. The other half is trial and error, and I mean a lot of error. The decision to finally become a mother was joyous for me, but it was a difficult process. 

My best advice for all mothers (and women in general) is, “Don't Quit You". That woman you worked so hard creating is a rare gem, don't ever let her go, no matter what. You need her.

By Lethia Rochell

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