Not long ago, I recounted a recent Jumpology playdate to a friend of mine. I laughed as I showed her videos of the boys running around, and I desperately tried to describe how hilarious it was when my girlfriends and I got stuck in the foam pit as we tried to corral our toddlers.
She giggled halfheartedly and flippantly said, “If only your pre-mom self could see you now.” She wasn’t trying to be mean or hurtful, but it stung a bit.
Admittedly, I can hardly remember the girl I was before I had my first son almost two years ago. She was more fun, drank hard liquor, and had no earthly idea how fabulous her boobs looked in a v-neck.
The woman I am now is still fun, but a little more cautious. She avoids hard liquor (most of the time) because she can’t afford a hangover, but she loves red wine. She frequently mourns the state of her cleavage, but she’s so proud to have had (and to currently have) the ability to breastfeed her babies.
The woman I am now has trouble staying up past 9pm, and she can’t help but ugly cry during every episode of This is Us because she can relate in ways that her old self could have never imagined. She’s married to the best man she’s ever known. He is no longer the fraternity boy she met during her first weekend in college, but she still loves him beyond explanation.
It’s been awhile since she’s bought a new outfit or had a night out on the town, but she has a tribe of friends who understand her, support her, and suspend all judgement (and who always seem to know exactly when she needs Starbucks or an inappropriate joke).
The woman I am now has a new definition of fun–which usually involves some kind of padded room where children run around and spread germs–but she still has the mouth of a sailor and a deep appreciation of any establishment that serves bottomless mimosas before noon.
So, yes, I’ve changed. I’m not just Colleen anymore; I’m also Mommy. Sure, I might not be able to remember exactly who I was before this new identity shift occurred, but I’m not apologizing because I love the woman I am now.*
(*Boobs not included.)