Becoming a mom is truly life changing. I often hear the expression, “people don’t change,” but I couldn’t disagree more. Being a parent has changed me in so many ways. A very good childhood friend of mine is now my brother’s fiancé, and they just had their first child a few weeks ago.
Right now, I’m in Henderson, NV visiting my family with my two girls. Last night I got to visit with my brother Derek, his fiancé Kelly (who I’d just like to point out was my friend first) and their new baby boy, Wyatt. It was so cool to see my older brother and one of my great friends parenting together and watch them care for their new baby boy. Watching them last night got me thinking about how much parenthood can change a person. I started thinking about the person I was before I was a mom and I can attest to the fact that I have changed and I’m still changing. Here are five totally random ways being a mom has changed me.
1. It made me a clean/neat freak. I don’t know why. I think it started at the end of pregnancy with nesting and it just never left. If you knew me as a kid or even a college student, my room was usually a bit messy and clothes were strung around the room from my many outfit changes. I am not that person anymore. I love, need, and appreciate cleanliness and order. Of course, I have two young kids, so messes are made, but I definitely make sure we have clean up time when we’re finished. I am no longer the person who says “I’ll get to it later.”
2. It made comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. Pregnancy and motherhood changes your body and so many other aspects of your appearance. The other day, I watched a video of me in the L&D room getting ready to give birth to my first daughter, and I seriously made my husband turn the camera off for a few minutes so I could put a little make-up on. I couldn’t believe how ridiculous I was being. Before kids, I would have never left the house without make-up, especially mascara. Now it’s pretty rare that little black wand meets my eyelashes and it’s awesome. Feeling pretty bare-faced was liberating and something I really hadn’t experienced in my adult life. Make-up used to be a daily routine for me and it’s not anymore. I’m totally fine with that. Motherhood has made me love myself so much more.
3. Motherhood made me hate myself. Wait, what? Yes. It’s made me love myself, as stated above, but for a while it made me hate myself and feel totally insecure and inadequate. After I had my second baby, I had some baby blues and they didn’t go away. It took me a few months to realize that I was experiencing post-partum depression. I was being so hard on myself and setting ridiculous standards that I couldn’t meet, and it broke me down. I felt like a total failure. Once I realized what I felt wasn’t normal, I found a great therapist and we talked through it all. She helped me reset myself and I got better.
4. Motherhood has made me laugh in the face of bodily functions. Before being a mom, I’m pretty sure my husband thought I didn’t poop, or at the very least went to the supermarket every time I had to go. I was really secretive about a very natural bodily function for whatever reason. However, after being pooped on, peed on, puked on, and having boogers wiped on me, my view of bodily functions have totally changed. Everyone poops. Period, the end. I will never hold it again, nor will I ever have to plan elaborate secret operations to go poop again.
5. Motherhood has taught me to go with the flow. At first, motherhood made me really uptight. How could you not be?! You have this tiny human to care for and you do everything with extreme caution, because you’re so afraid of messing up. Now that my kids are a little bit older, I’ve become a lot less uptight. In my world, things used to be black or white, but now I allow some gray and it’s awesome. My kids have taught me to relax and enjoy each moment. I’ve learned that my kids are totally different and need different things from me, because of course, parenting could never be one size fits all. And perhaps the biggest lesson they have taught me is to not put time and energy into things I cannot change. This is something I struggled with my whole life. I don’t want to be that example for them, and I want them to learn early on that it’s not worth stressing out over little things or getting angry over something you can’t change. I’ve learned to go with the flow and I have learned what matters. I just want my kids to be happy, healthy, loved and given the opportunities to learn and grow. I want us all to go with the flow and enjoy this beautiful life.