I can remember the exact moment I changed from being Brandi to Brandi, Ayva’s Mom. It was on the day of my ultrasound to determine my unborn child’s gender. When I heard the words, “It’s a girl!”, my life was forever changed. My heart exploded, the agape love switch turned on in my brain, and I haven’t been the same since. That day marked the start of my reinvention. Not just a change from the way I saw motherhood, but a change in the way I saw myself.
Quite frankly, before I became a Mom, I thought folks were just being melodramatic with their overblown feelings towards their children. Like, yeah, they’re cute and all, but really? All of the happy tears and the talking about them all the time? Is that necessary? I quickly discovered, that yes, those feelings are real, and they are often unable to be contained. As a new mom, I was all, “Ayva this”, and “Ayva that”. As an experienced mom nearly 5 years later, nothing has really changed. I still get overwhelmed, often, by the depth of my love for this child. There was one thing that surprised me, though. I wasn’t prepared for the depth of love for myself that would come from birthing a child.
Since I was a single mom, my feeling situation might have been different than they were for some other women. There wasn’t a lot of love being displayed by my non-partner, no extra attention and gentle care because I was pregnant. In fact, the pregnancy is what (fatefully, thankfully) led to the demise of the relationship. Although I had friends and family taking care of me, a lot of the time, I was alone. Just me and my belly, thinking and plotting the love that I would give to my Ayva. Interestingly, those thoughts always led me back to myself, and to how I felt about myself.
As Ayva grew inside of me, getting healthier and stronger as each day passed, it was hard not to recognize my role in the process. Knowing that every decision that I made, every bite of food that I took, every drink that I sipped, would have a direct effect on my unborn child, I started to acknowledge and appreciate things like my willpower and judgement. After Ayva was born, and I saw how satisfied she was after nursing, I began to love the breasts that I thought were too small and disappointing once I saw how they nurtured and fulfilled my little baby. When I went back to work, traveling back and forth on the bus with my baby strapped to my chest, I started to recognize my strength and resilience. I started to recognize that there was much of me to love, and that I was worthy of it.
Not only did my feelings about motherhood change, I had completely reinvented the way that I felt about myself. Motherhood pulled back the curtains to my authentic self, and offered me a new view of myself.
Every month, I’ll be revealing the truth about motherhood with other Mother Writers. This month, our theme was MOTHERHOOD & REINVENTION. Follow the hashtag #NakedMoms, and check out the links below (coming soon!) from the other moms and find out which stories resonate with you the most!
Motherhood and Reinvention by Stephanie at When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
Let’s Reinvent The Term: Working Mother by Joyce at Mommy Talk Show
After Motherhood, Any Other Reinvention Is No Big Deal by Jessica at A Parent In America
A Mother On The Cusp Of Reinvention by Thien-Kim at I’m Not The Nanny
Reinventing The Feel by Brandi at Mama Knows It All
Maybe It’s Not Meant To Be by Makeba at MelisaSource