I spend a lot of time in the park. Serious amounts of time in the park, trying to entertain my rather spirited 2 year old. And while I’m there, I can’t help but notice the other moms. Who are they? Where have they been? What was their life like before they had kids? Have they ever danced on a table or climbed Mt Kilimanjaro? I always find myself wondering about their internal life as they watch over their offspring in the sandbox or push them on the swing.
So I decided to start a regular series on the blog in the same spirit as the wonderful Humans of New York, called “Moms of the Park”.
Becoming a mom is a life-changing experience, that goes without saying. When Chiara was born, it felt as if we gave birth to each other. She was new to the world, but so was I. New to this world of motherhood and of being completely responsible for the needs of another human being. It is amazing and daunting and utterly exhausting. I’ve experienced the biggest highs and the lowest lows of my life. But I’ve also felt a part of this amazing sisterhood filled with incredible women. I was lucky enough to be a part of a mother’s group and so that’s where I found my first subject.
Let me introduce you to Katie!
Name: Katie Gowan Child: Hudson, 2 Occupation: Manager, Credit Processes at Royal Bank of Canada Her style in 3 words: Preppy, colourful & glam (think Kate Spade)
What is one thing about your life before you had Hudson that you would want him to know about you?
“It doesn’t really change pre-mom & post-mom, but I do want him to know that my career is important to me. I was set on my career path prior to having Hudson and then I went through a period where I thought that my career wasn’t so important. Now that I’ve gone back to work, I want him to see that I’m still working towards that goal. I was working towards it before and now I’ve gone back to it. I want him to be a part of it and recognize me for that.”
Is there something that you don’t want him to know?
“It’s not that I don’t want him to know (and I struggle with this), but how much do I want to tell him about not knowing that I was having him? (Side note: Katie was 32 weeks along when she found out she was pregnant. They hadn’t been trying. Surprise!) So I struggle with how I’ll tell him or how much I’m going to tell him. Obviously now that I have him, he’s the most important thing in my life. I don’t want to hide anything from him, but how do you explain that? It’s kind of difficult. Without making him feel any less important than he is to me.”
What would you say that your mom “super power” is?
“Getting him places on time (using public transportation, no less!). Especially on maternity leave, I had it figured out. Like the scheduling and timing things – if I had an activity, I put a 2 hour reminder on. I just thought ‘I’m going to do it’ because it was the one thing I could control. Even now that I’m working and it is a bit more difficult, when we have something on, we make sure to be there on time.”
Did you have a mom identity crisis?
“I had more of a mom identity crisis when I went back to work, I think because I was thrown into becoming a mom with only a couple months notice. There was no chance to even come to terms with it, it was just like ‘this is happening, I’m a mom, baby’s here and go!’ But then going back to work it was like ‘how do I find who I am as a mom and then now how do I incorporate myself back into my old world?’ That was a big challenge for me. I think that took a long time. That was the bigger struggle for me. Some people struggle with just the idea of becoming a mom, but I didn’t have the time for that.”
How did you find your way back from that?
“Prepping to go back to work, style was a huge part of it. Buying things without having to keep Hudson (and breastfeeding!) in mind. I had to have clothes that I could wear to work again. And then buying accessories and things that made me feel like an individual again. I did gear up a lot to go back to work and to find my identity there again. And travel, that was a big part of figuring out who I am again.”
Let’s talk about that. You took a solo trip to Thailand. How was that for you?
“It was OK from a ‘missing Hudson’ perspective because I FaceTimed him morning and night. And so it was almost like I was just at work during the day but I was actually in Thailand. So I got to do something that I really wanted to do but it wasn’t a big disconnect from him. And I still felt like I got to find out what he was up to during the day. Obviously, it wasn’t the same as being there every day but it was nice to just do something for me.”
What was it like to be just focused on yourself for that time?
“It was nice! It also helped me find who I am now. I got to do some soul-searching and I had never traveled on my own before. I was part of a group, but they were people who didn’t know me. It was nice to see how I am outside of my family. It helped me find myself a little bit. The biggest take away for me coming back from Thailand was that it’s ok to do something for myself and to be a little selfish every now and then.”
Do you know a great mom who should be profiled in my next post? Are you that mom? Drop me a line!
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