My life had a recognizable shape, one that I liked. After my daughter was born, it shattered. Well, it was a free-fall of spinning chaos—my body bleeding and in pain, my eating and sleeping disrupted out of all semblance—until I came to the conclusion that it would never be the same again.

When I looked around me and realized that nothing would ever be the same again, my life was shattered like a precious crystal bowl that could never be put back together.

I stared around me, with no time to myself to construct a cogent thought, horrified at the sparkling ruins of my life.

Did it get better?

Better is a strange word for it.

I got stronger, better able to endure the lack of sleep. I bled less and less, and was able to walk further and further.

Eventually, I changed the metaphor. I thought of myself as pinned in place.

When I was a kid, we’d had this washing machine that spun so hard it moved across the floor. I thought if myself as that washing machine, like a scattered and over-horsed engine that needs to be fixed in place to focus its power.

Maybe that is what my baby gave to me: less freedom and more focus.

My husband and my daughter are off having and adventure, going to see the eclipse. It was a last-minute thing, and I didn’t feel like I could take the time away from work to go.

So I find myself alone for a few days. And although the first two days were very busy with projects, by the third day I found myself at loose ends.

And I remember what I thought those first few months. When my baby was so terrifying and new.

And how it’s different now. I wonder if other mothers were more willing to give up their previous lives and didn’t think of them as a precious thing like I did.

As I’m alone this week, I am realizing I don’t want that life. I don’t want to live alone. The anchor points of motherhood serve a purpose.

Motherhood is a transformation.