23 Days

36w5d and sandals have become my best friend.

In 23 days, I will complete one chapter of my life and begin another. The final chapter of the life I’ve known for the past 26 years.

The life where I can go to Target on a whim and spend $100 on notebooks, candles and other non-essential, but satisfying, home goods. The life where I can plan weekend adventures with my partner without too much forethought.

The life where I can lounge around all day with my dogs after a night of overindulgence. The life where I put my own wants and needs first, above everything else.

In 23 days, I will become someone’s mom. A mom to a living, breathing, tiny human who will grow up and do great things of her own, and maybe one day become a mother herself.

I won’t say that I’m mournful of my soon-to-be “old” life, because that would imply that I’m not looking forward to these changes, which certainly isn’t true. But let’s be real, humans are creatures of habit and change doesn’t always come easy.

I’m sure there will be times when I’ll long for the days of spending money on self-indulgent luxuries, planning spontaneous trips (if I’m being honest, I don’t really do much of that now) or going to the bathroom by myself (I hear that’s a common gripe among parents), but I’m fairly certain these things will pale in comparison to the satisfaction of motherhood. I mean, don’t quote me on this, but I feel like watching your child grow into their own person will be way more awesome and gratifying than buying overpriced drinks at a bar, taking a spin class, or sleeping until 1pm. Ask me about that last one next month…

For me, personally, the biggest challenge won’t be getting used to not doing the things I want, when I want, but will be holding on to my identity while embracing the transformations of motherhood.

Will I still like learning new crafts and reading books about infamous serial killers? Will I still be the same daughter, sister, partner, and friend I was before? Will I still think farts are funny? Or will my life become all consumed by breast feeding techniques, baby wearing, and getting into debates on mommy message boards?

I think most soon-to-be parents are afraid of losing their identities after the birth of a child, but when you think about it, how realistic is that fear? How often do you hear about a new mom or dad doing a complete 180 and becoming a shadow of their former self? Unless you’re talking to a recovering addict (which in that case, a post-baby 180 is beyond admirable), chances are you don’t hear about it very often.

Sure, when I become a mom I probably won’t have a lot of time to indulge in my hobbies, interests, hopes and dreams as often as I’d like, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just disappear. And I think, as parents, it’s important to make sure we hold on to our identities as we venture into this new journey called parenthood.

In 23 days, I will complete one chapter of my life and begin another.

The life where I will watch my daughter experience all of the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of this world for the first time. The life where I will teach her how to love animals. The life where I will, for the first time, know what true exhaustion feels like. The life where I will share all of these new experiences with the person I love most.

In 23 days, I will become someone’s mom, and I can’t wait.