It’s a brand new week, and a fresh start.
Time to rally up the motivation for me and get things done!
Today I thought I’d share a little bit about how becoming a mom changed my life. When I was pregnant I didn’t think that birthing a tiny human would change my outlook on life too much. Sure, you hear stories about how women become moms and there’s this revelation that happens, but for some reason I didn’t think that was going to happen to me.
I was pretty much 100% wrong.
The 5 Biggest Changes: Becoming a Mom
There certainly are more than five things I could list, but these are biggest changes I have, by far, experienced as a first time mom.
1. It’s not about me anymore
The first night with my daughter really solidified this for me. She was up every 45 minutes and I hadn’t slept in 3 days. Somehow… that was okay; I cried a few times and moved on. There was no sleeping whenever I wanted or eating when I was hungry. My life revolved around my tiny, fragile, hungry newborn. I found time to nap with her sleeping on my chest, and I ate every meal while she rested in my arms; there was nothing better.
Suddenly the inconvenience of it all fell away and I realized that this stage wouldn’t last forever. I learned to enjoy the tiny moments of peace while she snoozed with me on the couch, even though I should probably have taken a shower or washed the dishes.
It’s hard to explain. It’s like there’s this inner turmoil and battle raging inside of you. You know that there are things that need to be done, and you could certainly find a way to make them happen. But the other part of you wants to soak in all the baby snuggles you can.
My best advice to new parents is: pick two or three things that absolutely have to get done on a daily basis and devote the rest of the day to your newborn. Mop the floors in two or three months; honestly I haven’t vacuumed our couch in about a year.
2. My relationship with my husband changed
This one is extremely hard to explain. We were pretty young when Kenna was born – I was 22, and Jonathan was 24. We still had our less-than-grownup tendencies. Becoming a parent has this magical effect on you that forces you to act more like an adult. Since having Kenna, I appreciate my husband’s hard work and willingness to spend 40+ hours each week away from home. He works so diligently away from home so that Kenna and I are able to spend our days at home – together.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep my focus on the gratefulness… in the middle of temper tantrums, and when teething brings my day to a halt as I have to wear Kenna all day. He brings it all back into focus as he leaves the house in the morning. I am Blessed beyond words.
Now, I won’t sit here and lie and say that it’s all perfect. Nobody gets along 100% of the time, that would just be silly. We have some little tiffs here and there, and some of them are about baby-related things. I can attest, however, to the fact that becoming parents has increased our patience.
3. Everyone relies on me
Now this can go two ways:
a) I could feel a sense of accomplishment and thankful for the fact that I am responsible for a tiny life, or b) I could let myself be overwhelmed, encumbered and burdened by this fact.
I’ll be the first to admit that it can be a real pain to have to think so much about everyone else; this is why it’s so important to take time for yourself, mama. You spend all day giving; make sure part of that giving is back to yourself as well.
I try my best to feel proud of my necessary role in my daughter’s life. On days that I find myself focusing on this fact, I have far more patience, and the ability to tolerate anything she throws at me (figuratively and literally).
4. My body will never be the same
If you aren’t already aware, I’m currently working my butt off to lose the ~40 pounds pregnancy lovingly bestowed upon me. It’s hard work, and it doesn’t come off as easily as it went on, that’s for sure. Stretch marks are strewn all over my skin, and the mom belly is unforgiving. My joints, especially my knees, pop when I move, and I won’t even get into how much your boobs change after you wean your baby. I made a post about postpartum body image a little while ago; if you’re interested in my emotional approach, check out this link.
The toughest thing about these changes is that it takes a great deal of self-understanding to get past them.
I spent several weeks depressed about how I looked. I wasn’t ready to make a huge health commitment yet; my traumatic c-section had rendered me scared to look at my incision, so it took forever to heal because I wasn’t cleaning it properly. I also had piercing phantom pains whenever I moved a lot for 5 months after Kenna was born. I just wasn’t in a place to increase my activity level to lose weight.
Instead, I decided to view my body differently.
I chose to see my current reflection in my daughter’s eyes as “Mom”. I had never looked any different to her, and this made me realize that, for now, my being 40 pounds heavier than necessary was okay.
Sometimes you just need to take a step back and turn the issue on its head. View it from a different angle, or through the eyes of your beautiful newborn.
I’ve known love in my life. I had a strong family that I grew up in, and I love them to pieces. I fell in love with my husband at 19, and it was the greatest thing to happen to me.
Then my daughter was born.
Becoming a mom rewrites your definition of love. It evolves and changes with each passing day you spend with your child. You discover new ways to look at people, and even more new ways to love them. Love becomes more than an emotion – it becomes a foundation. Everything you do is suddenly grounded in the hopes that you can raise a great person. You worry out of love, you accidentally yell because you feel so much for your kids. You cry when they hurt themselves, and you cry when they accomplish something new.
Being a mom is love.
I’m proud to be a mom! What’s your favorite thing that’s changed since becoming a mom? What’s your least favorite thing? Let’s chat and lift each other up!
Until next time,