In 2016, Ali Wong made headlines when her comedy special, “Baby Cobra,” aired on Netflix.
At the time the show was filmed, Wong was seven months pregnant with her first child. This was noteworthy since, as Wong herself discussed on stage, it’s quite rare to see a female comic perform while pregnant.
As Wong also deftly noted, it’s difficult to even think of a time a well-known female comic has ever been pregnant (aside from Joan Rivers, and more recently, Chelsea Peretti).
Whether you appreciate Wong’s comedic style or not, she spoke a lot of truth about what motherhood can mean for the careers of female comedians, and women in general.
But there was one line from her show that stood out to me.
As Wong segued from describing the way a woman’s life is affected immediately after giving birth to talk about how her fellow female comic friends discouraged her from having a child, she joked, “so, I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me.”
Her remark was funny with perfect comedic timing, of course, but it also carried a serious weight of truth: the uncertainty about what exactly becomes of a woman after she becomes a mother.
That’s the one question every woman asks herself before she becomes a mom: “What’s going to happen to me?”.
What’s going to happen to me? Who am I going to become?
Will I still like the same things?
Will I even be able to participate in the activities I enjoy?
Before you have your baby, the question looms like a great mystery, and not always in a good way. You wonder just how you’re going to manage motherhood among the myriad of other obligations in your life.
A woman can be happy, excited, and grateful for her baby and impending motherhood, but still wonder just exactly what it will mean for her as a person.
The query is one first-time moms ask themselves, but it’s also one experienced moms ponder before adding another baby to the mix.
Only then, it’s not just “what’s going to happen to me,” it’s also “what’s going to happen to my firstborn?” and “what’s going to happen to our family dynamic?”.
You sense that your life is bound to drastically change again when you become a mother to another little human, and you know that you’re going to be challenged in ways you weren’t the first time.
So, if you’re asking yourself that universal question and wondering just what will happen after you have a baby, know that you are going to be OKAY.
Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will be challenging.
If you are becoming a mother for the first time, your life is going to change, and you might not recognize yourself right away after your new addition arrives.
Sleep deprivation is the worst. Being constantly needed is draining.
You may look at the rest of the world carrying on and wonder how that’s possible when everything in your own life looks so different.
But underneath it all, you will still be you.
Only, you’ll become an even stronger version of yourself.
No, your life won’t look exactly the way it looked before you became a mom. But you can still forge your identity as a mama warrior plus.
You can be a mom plus have a career.
You can be a mom plus run marathons.
You can be a mom plus start a business, take a walk, read a book, or whatever else you enjoy.
No, it won’t always be easy, but the struggle will make you more grateful and even prouder of your accomplishments.
You will appreciate 5 minutes of solitude and a hot cup of coffee like nobody’s business.
And if you ever doubt yourself, look at the other strong mothers you know and respect. Look to the moms with kids in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
They’ve been where you are. They survived, and they have the awe-inspiring wisdom and wicked sense of humor to show for it.
So, don’t be afraid to ask what will happen to you after you become a mom–but don’t be afraid to find out either.