The moment I told my mother I was pregnant, the first thing she said was, “You know your life is about to end now, its no longer about you… it’s all about that baby”.
I thought to myself damn, “That sounds harsh”. Why did she have to say it that way? “Your life is about to end”… way to make such an exciting life change sound so damn daunting and depressing– gee thanks mom. Looking back I understand exactly what she meant, if it were up to me, I would have thrown the word priorities in that little speech she gave, Right? I mean starting the sentence off with “your priorities are about to change” that sounds a little more like it; but looking back I know what she meant. My priorities did change after becoming a mother, however my life did not end. I’ve heard so many horror stories of women losing themselves after children, I knew from the start , I did not want to be one of those women. I was 26 years old when I had my son, still a work in progress. Becoming a mother was such a definitive moment for me but I did not want it to be all that defined me. Before I became a mother, I was still Ashley.
I think we can all agree getting back to the ‘pre- pregnancy you’ after 9 months is a God Send, it’s almost like heaven’s gates opening up and welcoming you with a cocktail.– Thank you Jesus. I cant lie, I missed wine. Wine has really been one of my best friends, it’s gotten me through some great shows… If you told me you watched Olivia Pope in action without a glass of wine I’d think you were a liar, it’s gotten me through tough days at work, dinners with my girlfriends… wine has taken me on some crazy adventures, all of which I actually remember (see that’s why I like it so much, I gave the hard stuff up I was getting too old) basically me and wine we kind of have a “thing”. I can remember feeling guilty when I wanted to have a glass of wine while I was breastfeeding, I was super sure to “pump and dump” even made sure I had my testing strips ready… and I still felt guilty. Was I choosing wine over my responsibilities as a mother? Wine made so many things so enjoyable for me, was that still going to happen now that I was a mom? Was I going to be judged as some wino? I had so many questions now, and for the first time in a long time I cared what people thought. A lot of my mixed emotions after the birth of my son had to do with post partum depression so clearly that wasn’t the best time to start drinking again.
After about 6 months after having my baby and a good therapist later I was feeling like myself again. The thoughts of other peoples’ opinions subsided and I realized I was still a person. I was and still am a young woman figuring this thing called life out. I realized I was going to misstep, I wasn’t always going to live up to others’ expectations but most of all what I did was not always going to be seen as “right” in other peoples’ eyes. — I was okay with that. Hell, after that breakthrough, I deserved a glass of wine damn it, and when I say that first glass of wine never tasted so good… man; I may have even said out loud, ” I missed you”. Of course I couldn’t dive back into drinking wine with a newborn for so many reasons… main one being I needed to be in my right frame of mind. I will say it felt good a couple times a week winding down… it felt like old times and that’s just what I needed. After becoming a mom, some days I didn’t know who the hell I was, I knew I was happy but sometimes I wasn’t and the worse part about it all was your supposed to be. You’re “supposed to be happy” even when you feel like, you hate it, but of course no one except for fellow mothers would understand how you could possibly kinda hate being a new mother. Wine made those occasional ” I hate it moments” much better for me… label it balance.
I know, such a quirky name right? I tell ya, I was so pleased to see just how many “wine moms” there were on social media. The pseudonym, ‘the wine drinking mom’ fit like a glove. Finally, I didn’t have to apologize for being me! I was not being judged, I was showing what I chose to do as Ashley, didn’t make me any less of a mother. The fun didn’t have to end after motherhood. My real goal became clear, normalization of life before kids even after kids. It’s funny because I found myself saying, “I’m a mother” almost all the time after Carter. I’d be out hanging with my friends and they’d be doing shots and my first excuse, “I’m a mom”, as if they didn’t know. I quickly realized it needed to cut that out. It’s one thing to not want to indulge in certain things because that’s just not you anymore, but blaming it solely on becoming a parent… now that what we aren’t going to do. Moms still drink wine, Moms still take shots, Moms still have girls’ trips, Moms still do crazy things from time to time, Moms still deserve a life outside of kids…. Simply put, Moms are still people.
It became clear I needed to live for me, because as the saying goes when you’re the best you, you’re the best mother for you children. Now, this is in no way an admission to go out and do something crazy because If I hear about a woman doing something crazy after she read a blog… I’m denying all allegations but this is a reminder to still enjoy yourself.
Happy Mother’s Day and as Always Thank you for reading,