Finding Me After Him
I have to introduce you to my cute little boy with the mini curly fro. He is my awesome 5-year-old, Malachi aka Mali. We do everything together. I became Mali’s mom when I was 23 years old, unmarried and basically right out of college.
Just when I was starting to figure out who the heck I was, here comes this huge personality that basically came in and said NOPE. Mali and I teach and learn from each other every day; he is the greatest gift that at times felt like my biggest obstacle.
One thing they never tell you when you have your first child is how easy and effortlessly you lose your identity. You go from being you. Just you! To being so and so’s mom. As a mother, you get so wrapped up in your new role, which is now based on the survival of another person’s life, that you forget who you are and who you wanted to be.
I forgot my dreams, my goals my desires after I became Mali’s mom. I stopped doing things that made me happy and now went through life searching for what would make him happy. My number one goal which is literally what I would think about on a daily basis; what can I do throughout this mom-hood journey that will ensure I don’t raise an apathetic, narcissist? I guess I don’t really know if I’ve succeeded until its too late. [facepalm]
When I became a mom, I turned off my entrepreneurial spirit because now “I had a mouth to feed”. As if I didn’t before. I look back now and think of all the sacrifices society convinced me I had to make just because, “when you have a child, it’s no longer about you”. If that’s not the most soul-crushing statement I ever heard.
Your life is always about you. It’s your life, no one else’s. Kid or no kid. What lessons am I teaching my son if I choose to live a passionless existence? What hardships and sacrifices am I now telling him yes, it’s okay to make?
When you have moments where you question if you’re being selfish when pursuing your hearts’ desires, think about the long-term effects on your child if you don’t pursue them. Think about your “Mali” living a life uninspired, just going through the motions, unfulfilled. It makes me cringe.
So, I say pursue happiness, even if that means making others uncomfortable. And although I will never again be just Danica, I can say with 100% confidence, Mali’s mom Danica, world traveler Danica, best friend Danica, entrepreneur Danica is a million times more gratifying.