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Becoming Boutique is here to celebrate all that you are and all that you are Becoming on your motherhood journey.
The Lost Become Found
by Monique McCoy
Have you ever found yourself in the great misfortune of being sent to an elementary school lost and found? If you have school-age kids, I would wager to say that you have experienced this vast land of the forgotten. A purgatory of sorts for water bottles (oh, so many water bottles), lunch boxes, sweatshirts peeled off in the heat of a game on the playground, unraveled hair accessories, and even pants! If we are not careful, our identities as uniquely worthy beings can be scattered and fragmented like the favorites hanging lifeless and forgotten from a cardboard box labeled “Lost and Found”.
Have a Game Plan
Right or wrong we were those “all in” parents. Playing offense, defense, and special teams from the first snap of the game. I had been given the starting position of mom, a franchise role that I had wished for my whole life. I wasn’t about to sit on the bench! Year-round athletes, we organized our schedule around our passion – our children. Juggling and staggering our career aspirations with part-time work to maximize our chosen lifestyle, all the time was family time.
It wasn’t until I emerged from the toddler haze that I looked up long enough to see that I was lost. Just like my kindergartner who stamper out of the classroom last year with her hair disheveled, backpack half-open, and a big smile on her tired face, I was blissfully plowing through the days, soaking up all the newness, wearing myself out. I did so without taking inventory of who that self was.
Initial Your Identity
At the end of many a schooldays, I watched as moms and dads collected their children at pick-up. Reconnecting with their hearts living outside of their bodies. Smiles of relief brought life to parents’ faces like a defibrillator bringing the natural rhythm back into their existence. And without fail, we would ask our respective child, where is your ________? This question was usually met with a blank stare. It didn’t matter that it was -10 degrees out. They had no idea where they had left their coat. And even though it was the third water bottle of the week (and mind you it was only Tuesday), they couldn’t recall where they took their last stip. So off we went to search.
The first time that I ever ventured to our school’s lost and found it was in search of a darling little cardigan that I had just bought for my daughter. I expected to find a small box labeled “Lost and Found” and instead I found a whole hallway of the once loved but now discarded. To make it worse, our school has a uniform so each and every logo-embroidered piece of apparel was practically identical at first glance. It occurred to me, walking through this graveyard of children’s items, that the Lost can become Found. The items that were most quickly retrieved were those that were not only loved and cherished but that was intentionally preserved.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or a vet that has been around the motherhood block a few times, I encourage you to take the time and intention to define who you are – without the label of mom. Embrace the ‘me’ and ‘mommy’. Take the time to stitch your initials on each and every characteristic that defines your being. Do this as early in your journey as possible or right now. This will serve you as you transform. Allowing you to pour your everything into your family while saving all that you are for you. If we take the time to not just check self-care off our ever growing to-do lists, but really practice self-love, self-exploration, self-reinvention, then we can become found.
Become a Mommy Guide
If you are among the fortunate to be firmly grounded, let us be. Be in community. Be real. Be open. Be willing to share all that you are and all that you are becoming with the next mother so she too can be her intrinsic self.