Beyond Mom: Renewing Sense of Self After Motherhood

Article and photo are courtesy of Randi Zinn and Beyond Mom.

There are a handful of things that happen after you have a baby and many aren’t spoken about. Some, if we’re lucky, are referenced in typical conversation and are even accompanied by “mini-warnings” like “Get your sleep in now!” or “Have as many dates as you can with your hubby” or “See all the movies you want to…you won’t be getting to the movies any time soon!” These translate to the following conclusions: You won’t be able to sleep in for a very long time; it takes a lot more coordination to plan a date night and lastly, you won’t really have time to go to the movies and will probably fall asleep if you order one on-demand. But there are bigger truths that aren’t spoken aloud and perhaps that’s because they manifest differently for each woman. But let me just proclaim right here and now that in order to be happy and healthy, we should understand the greatest truth of all as a mother: WE CHANGE. Yes, the great unspoken reality that sneaks up on us all and surprises the hell out of us is that: When we become mothers, we shape shift, we grow, we evolve…WE CHANGE.

This fact does not have to be scary my friends, in fact, it is a truth that should be embraced and celebrated. How many moms do you know who seek to leave their day job and start a new company after they’ve had their baby? How many moms need a new wardrobe because even though they’ve gotten their body back, they want to express their style differently? How many friendships shift once we become moms? All of this is common and simply an expression of the renewal experience of Motherhood. Renewal is defined as the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again and I love this idea because it feels so true.

Through the birth of our children, we too are reborn. Who we were prior starts to fall away and crumble, because a love this big inspires us to develop all the parts of ourselves that perhaps we didn’t believe was actually possible. We brought life into this world and we feel love this huge. We must live fully and create from this place that feels so authentic, vulnerable and real! And as we explore this, we continue to evolve, just as the seasons do, and we renew ourselves day in and day out. Why can this process feel so overwhelming? Because we don’t yet accept that this kind of growth is normal, beautiful and should be embraced. We fear change and on some level, the woman we are becoming. My mission as founder of Beyond Mom is to let women know that Renewal is part of the process of becoming who we are!

Here are some of my favorite ideas and tips on how to embrace the process of Renewal, from this point forward.

1. Change is All We Can Really Count On: We try hard to keep things the same. However growth is really the only thing we can depend on in life. When our baby is born, we watch this little person change so quickly. Suddenly, the sleeping peanut begins to smile, gurgling sounds morph into words, and crawling turns to running. These changes seem natural to us, but as adults and specifically Mamas, we sometimes resist our own growth out of fear, worry, anxiety or just a general inexplicable feeling of resistance. Can we embrace the idea that change is normal and positive and that when we become mothers we inherently change too?

2. Renewal Brings Us To A New (and probably better) Place: Is it possible that the changes we go through after we become mamas are leading us to a far more dynamic reality than the one we currently live? What if becoming a Mom has opened us up to ideas and experiences that we weren’t ready for before? What if the moments of struggle, sleeplessness, hormonal ups and downs, are actually building the muscles for a stronger more developed YOU?! Sometimes when we are in the thick of it, we can’t see the forest through the trees, but can we trust that what we can’t yet see, or perhaps the light we are just beginning to see, is the beginning of something way more fantastic than the reality we knew before? Now that’s something to ponder!

3. Find Fun Ways to Express The New You: Change can feel heavy. Find ways to express it and lighten it up! Buy yourself a new outfit that expresses some of your new and evolving ideas about yourself (if you wear black, try some color. If your boobs are bigger than usual, show ‘em!). If you’re feeling different about your body, try a new form of movement. I found spinning after I had my son and it totally redefined my sense of physical strength and what I thought I was capable of (surprise yourself!). If there’s a fellow Mom who you have a good feeling about, ask her for coffee- you may just make a new and inspiring friend.

4. Surround Yourself With Women Who Get It! This is a huge one, and perhaps the hugest of all. If we aren’t surrounding ourselves with other women who are Renewing and embracing the process, we will feel crazy and alone and certainly not empowered. Our community is everything. As we continue to develop as friends, mothers, businesswomen, and creators of our own reality, we must validate one another and connect one another. In the end, we are each other’s most valuable resource.

Randi Zinn is the founder of Beyond Mom and randizinn.com. Born from her own experience of motherhood, and the desire for a more connected community- Beyond Mom offers: Mixers, Seminars, and Retreats for forward-thinking New York Moms. Randi encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”- one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that we are as individuals: creators, businesswomen, thinkers, friends, and so much more. 

Randi Zinn has taught yoga & hosted events in NYC since 2008.