I remember having conversations with my older sister Dasy when we were kids. She always dreamed of being a mom and having a family. She always loved kids, which is why she's been a preschool teacher for 18 years! I, on the other hand, always dreamed of having a career and traveling the world, children were never part of my picture. I broke up with my ex boyfriend (an 8 year relationship) largely because he desperately wanted to have children and I could not make that big of a commitment. When my husband and I were dating, I said to him that if he wanted to be in a relationship with me, that I had to be enough. That there was a large possibility that we would not have children because I simply didn't want them. He stayed.
I've always been an independent traveling career woman. I've lived in major cities including Miami, Chicago, and New York and have traveled to 16 countries in 4 different continents, many times by myself. My work has always been my passion. I studied to become a fashion designer and along the way I ended up teaching, designing Halloween costumes, and traveling. This is who I was.
That all changed when I had Victoria, my daughter. I didn't accidentally get pregnant, I chose to get pregnant. I had been with my husband for almost 8 years when I decided that we should start trying. I'll never forget that day, I bought a monkey baby onesie with hearts, wrapped it, and gave him the news that I was ready. He had tears in his eyes. I was 35.
We welcomed Victoria Grace Trayanov on March 27, 2015 at 2:09am. My life changed and I lost myself. How about you? Do you or did you feel lost?
I lost part of my identity and I became angry.
I have always been a very strong minded person, very clear of my goals, and where I'm headed. After I had my daughter, everything was a blur. I was physically in a lot of pain. I was mad at my body for not being a strong enough mom. I was mad that even though I needed the break, I was laid off from my job. I was mad that even though I said motherhood would not define me, there I was, pushing a stroller, obsessed over baby products, and worrying about being a good enough mom. Do you worry?
I lost my independence.
I couldn't just hop into my car and go for a long drive, or go on a spontaneous hike with my dog Hope, or go see our friends play music at midnight. My business trips stopped because there was no official job and I now had to worry about pumping milk and changing diapers. Did you lose your independence?
I lost part of my brain and my body.
Not literally, but my brain started to work differently and I did not like it. I was forgetting simple things, like packing the wipes, doing odd things like trying to put a leash on my 1 year when I meant to walk the dog, and my hormones were out of control. I was (still am to an extent) moody, I cried a lot, I had gained a "back belly" (who gets fat in their back? I did), I was tired, peed when I wasn't suppose to pee, and sex was the last thing on my mind. Did your body change too?
I lost friends.
Well, the honest truth is that my relationship with friends without kids did change and I found myself all of a sudden with less things in common with them. Did you lose friends?
I grieved for the things that I lost but what I gained far outweighed what I lost and my newfound wisdom, well that was just the icing on the cake.
What I gained
I gained a new sense of purpose.
Before I had my daughter, I simply enjoyed MY life to its fullest it was a very egocentric lifestyle and it was great, but it lacked clear purpose. After I had my daughter something ignited inside of me and I could not turn it off. My purpose became very clear and 3 words resonated with me unlike never before: Connect. Create. Carry On. Mi hija (my daughter) gave me a purpose to create my legacy: to empower others through my personal experience and growth.
To Connect with others on a personal level.
To Connect with myself and that meant connecting with my roots and heritage but also connecting with myself in a spiritual way.
To Connect with my family, because they mean the world to me.
To Connect with my daughter because I want to build that trust and open communication.
To Create new memories and experiences.
To use the gift that I've been given to Create for others.
To Create with my child because creativity is very much a part of my life.
And finally to Carry On the great things that were passed down to me from generations passed and share them with my daughter and that she can Carry On what she learns from me to her children.
Whether it's through parenthood, Mi Legasi, through this blog, The Latina Mom Legacy podcast, supporting fellow entrepreneurs, or being a supportive friend, family member or wife, I now understand that what brings me the greatest joy (besides mija) is to help others on their journey to Connect, Create, and Carry On.
I gained part of a new identity.
I am still a rockstar, concert loving, travel loving woman, but I have gained the title of mother to add to my identity and I am so proud and honored to be a mom. Though it does not define me or my life it is my biggest responsibility in life. She is the light of my eyes and soul. The love that I have for her is beyond words or worlds.
I gained new friendships and made stronger bonds.
My relationship with my mom strengthened after I had my daughter and I love that. I've also made new friendships with other parents, entrepreneurs, and empowered people on their journey and my friendship with friends with kids has become like an extended family.
I gained mental strength.
Though my body isn't the same and I gained some extra curves, I am stronger mentally. I can juggle more things than I ever thought possible. Though I still forget some things, I can now remember crazy odd facts. I am more fearless than ever. I have more faith in that higher power bigger than all of us. I am determined to succeed despite failures because I have a daughter who sees the very best and worst in me and I want to be a good role model for her so that she too can grow up to be fearless and determined.
What did you gain after becoming a parent?
I don't think a parent can say that they didn't change after becoming a mom or dad. It does change you, whether you want to change or not. It has taken me years to regain my sense of self and I continue evolve. Give yourself time to find yourself again if you feel lost and it's ok if you do change. If you feel depressed or overwhelmed with it all don't be afraid to ask for help or get help. Don't worry about what others think of you, just focus on what feels right in your heart and gut. Remember this is your journey and your maternal mental health matters!
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