it’s time i came out of the “mommy” closet.

closetwhen i moved this blog to wordpress, recommitted to creating a consistent creative online outlet for myself, i was weeks away from becoming a mother. when i wrote the “about me” section of this blog, i had no idea how the person who wrote that would change. it’s taken me months to come to terms with, but i’m just not not just her anymore.

i knew motherhood would change me. i knew i’d have a new set of responsibilities, less time for myself, maybe a few more grey hairs. but i don’t think even my most aware self truly understood the shift i was in for. i am a different person than i used to be, and slowly but surely, i’m becoming okay with that.

when i was pregnant, i silently (and on occasion, out loud) assured myself that i wouldn’t become one of “those women” who loses themselves in motherhood. the ones who can only carry on a conversation about starting solids or diaper changes, or whose day is dictated by an infant nap schedule, or who prefers sleep to just about any other activity. whether thru my own doing, or some societal influence, i saw too much change as failure.

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so, because of that, i’ve been pretty hard on myself. i beat myself up for not being more social, not getting more done, not feeling more put together, and especially for not being more like the “old me.” i’ve avoided this blog because for days at a time, i only had mommy-themed things to say. ashamed to appear as one-dimensional as i sometimes feel.

then, THEN, the country went crazy. as some of us always suspected, black and brown lives don’t matter, white supremacy is real, and race relations aren’t as great as some would like us to believe. while this was being revealed in a widespread, tragically consistent way, it felt insensitive to post about making parent friends or wondering when my linea nigra will fade. when tuned into current affairs i become so consumed with rage and anguish and worry, i seem to only produce heart-breaking ramblings or militant rant-style calls to action. none of which felt like a good fit for a lovely little blog with links to my Pinterest page.

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so, it’s been a struggle. to find my new identity. my new voice. balance. because the fact is, i am new. i am different. sometimes i think what i was once told is true: when you become a mother, you die and you’re reborn a different version of yourself. just like that, in the instant a little being leaves your body, so does your former self. and i think one of the hardest adjustments of motherhood is letting go of that former self.

being Judah’s mother has changed me. my eyes are a bit wider, a bit more tired and a bit more kind. my mind is much more prone to concern, but sharper and more discerning. i find my confidence comes less from the way my body looks and more from what i know it can do. my heart is a bit heavier, but much more open, vulnerable, and brimming with love. i am not the me i used to be, and that’s okay.

photo copysome things will never change (unlike my hair in this photo taken pre-pregnancy). i will always love donuts and sweet tea more than most things. elephants will always be my spirit animal. i will always know the dance routine from Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody.” and i will always have a burning desire to create and share stories, mine and others. my accomplishments are still mine. my experiences still helped shape who i am. but i am someone’s mother. a beautiful baby boy who calls me “ma-ma” and gives me slobbery open mouth kisses and scrunches his nose up when he’s being silly. in what universe could that be true and not change the deepest parts of me?

i’m learning to love this new me. because i really do, with all i am, love being Judah’s mama. i also love being a creative. and a wife. and an activist. and a friend. and all the dozens of other things that feel true at any given moment. i’m a citizen of the world. i feel a greater responsibility to do meaningful and beneficial things with my time on this planet.

so, i don’t know what this space will be. i think it will change all the time. like me. i think it will depend on my mood or what type of creative i feel like being. i may go another stint without posting because i’m short on time. some days i will feel more like sharing an inspiring image of something beautiful and less like creating dialogue. other times i’m sure i will tip toe around a social change soap box. there will definitely be posts about the beauty of breastfeeding and the shit-stain-existence of pumping. and from time to time, a just-because-i’m-feeling-grateful share like this:

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it’s good to be back. i’ve missed this. i hope this post finds you (talking to you, mom and 3 other readers) well. wishing you all love, light and clarity.

 

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11 comments on it’s time i came out of the “mommy” closet.

  1. Joel
    August 15, 2015 at 10:05 am (2 years ago)

    i won’t say “proud”. i know you hate that. or maybe that changed too. who knkws…what i do know is change is real, and purposeful, and needed…and beautiful. this was wonderful. you’re wonderful.

    you’ll change again, tiff. and it’ll still be amazing. because you are. know that.

    Reply
  2. Morgan
    August 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm (2 years ago)

    This was so beautiful, powerful, honest and from the heart. I too have always thought that I won’t let motherhood change me (I’m not yet a mother) but this really does change my perspective. What’s wrong with change? Change is truly the one constant that we can depend upon. Change is good, change is growth. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  3. Jarrett
    August 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm (2 years ago)

    love this. reminds me of the buddhist saying i discovered from reading *the happiness project*: “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” i hope all is well. miss you much.
    …ashe.selah

    Reply
  4. Javan Reed
    August 5, 2015 at 5:26 am (2 years ago)

    Your one amazing person!

    Reply
  5. Shari
    August 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm (2 years ago)

    Tiff, I think you will discover new parts of yourself, evolve and prioritize. So much of your world and focus is about keeping Judah safe from harm, healthy and providing the enriched environment for this precious creature to become everything he has the potential to be and arriving there; emotionally stable. It can be both an exhausting and overwhelming task. I know you will rock this role

    Reply
  6. megan
    August 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this, buddy. Can’t wait to see how motherhood changes me. And I can’t wait for our little guy to be long distance besties. Much like you, my love for sweet tea will never fade.

    Reply
  7. Carolyn
    August 4, 2015 at 11:56 am (2 years ago)

    that made me holla out loud – yes, yes, yes…lil momma, you are reborn with heightened senses…

    loved it, and love you!

    Reply
  8. Brandy Alexander
    August 4, 2015 at 2:14 am (2 years ago)

    I loved every word because every word speaks truth into the journey of coupling motherhood with personhood. My daughter is 2 1/2 and I am living every ounce of every word that you so eloquently described. In truth there are times, a great many over the last 2.5 years, where I’ve missed the old me or I’ve been envious of my friends without children who can, without thought or preparation, go grab coffee or lunch with a friend or stand in protest at the capitol chanting Black Lives Matter. In those moments, I feel consumed by motherhood and I can taste the nostalgia of the “old me.” Then my daughter says something to me or just steps into my line of sight and I am suddenly full (of everything that is gratefulness and love of and for the status quo). Thank you for this amazing post! You just gained a follower. 

    Reply
  9. Liz
    August 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm (2 years ago)

    You must be my soul sista…

    I am so glad you shared this. It is sometimes hard to articulate these feelings. Especially enough to type or write. I struggle with that. I’m still in that closet. But when I come out, can we perform that dance to ‘Are You That Somebody’?

    Reply
  10. Sharon aka Mom
    August 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the new you. I love seeing pure Mommy love in those I made. Please don’t lose my little girl though. She is quite special…in oh so many ways ♡

    Reply
  11. Michelle
    August 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Love Love Love. Couldn’t be more true. I’ve learned to not feel as bad also. Like F…that…I am different now. But it took some time. Miss you.

    Reply

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