I’ve been through some stuff in my life, just like everyone else has.
Things happen to us or around us that change us, change the way we see the world, and the way we think about things.
Travelling changed me, marriage changed me, loss changed me. Anxiety did as well, and disappointment. Even blogging changed me. Learning more about who God is and what He thinks about me has certainly changed me.
Most of these things brought subtle, slow changes that became evident over time. I didn’t even notice them at first.
But becoming a mother – becoming a mother has changed me so completely and so drastically that I couldn’t help but notice.
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All the ways becoming a mother might change you
Some of these things are surprising, and some of them are scary. Some of them are probably funny… none of them are meant to imply that I’ve lost myself – if anything, I’m more found than ever.
Becoming a mother has made me less selfish
I didn’t think of myself as a selfish person before my son was born.
I bet most of us, if we think about it, would have to admit that at the heart of MOST of our choices is our own self. Even in our other relationships, I bet 90% of our actions are dictated by our concern for ourselves.
Not so, after you’re a mother. Your little person takes the first place in your heart – before yourself. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Becoming a mother has made me more aware that I’m not in control of … anything
It has made me fearful. This is NOT such a wonderful thing.
I’ve always had anxiety, and I’ve always been a little on the fearful side – so maybe I’m more prone – but having a baby throws the true lack of control that we have on our world into the harsh light of reality.
There is only so much we can do to protect our babies from the world, and that is terrifying.
Becoming a mother has meant learning to live with new kinds of fear.
Becoming a mother has changed my body – permanently
I actually came through pregnancy pretty unscathed – no stretchmarks, no remarkable weight gain… with all my clothes on, I LOOK similar to my pre-pregnancy self.
But oh my, things are different without clothes on.
My boobs, my stomach, the integrity of my core muscles (although I do hope to work on them later), the … um, the way things are … downstairs. (You don’t need details here… but believe me, my downstairs is different! And not in nice ways. Haha. You can read more about my physical postpartum experience here, if you want.)
Even my face looks older, from lack of sleep (and probably also from all that fear that I have now).
I will never have a pre-baby body again. But that’s ok. I would happily trade that body for this baby, over and over again.
But it’s also changed the way I think about and feel about my body
I grew a freaking AMAZING human INSIDE my body, and then – even though I hardly believe it now – this body brought that little human into the world. To top that off, my body sustained that amazing little human through breastfeeding – for NINE months.
I don’t just think of my body in terms of weight or shape anymore. It’s not just something to dress and it’s worth to me isn’t dependent on how it looks.
I have a powerful and awesome body – even if it’s not perfect anymore.
Becoming a mother has made me rethink my priorities
Things that were important before are far less important now. It’s funny how that works. I don’t prioritize things the same way at all. I used to REALLY prioritize holidays.
My week or two on the beach every year was at the top of my important things list. This year, I don’t even really care that we won’t get a holiday in. It’s more important to me that we spend our holiday time as a family, and that means staying home – because a baby at an all inclusive resort just doesn’t make sense.
HEALTH, for example, is a priority now.
Becoming a mother has made me more health conscious
Of baby’s health FOR SURE, but also of my own health. (I mean, I didn’t have a baby before, so really, that’s not a “change”.)
I’ve never wanted to be unhealthy (who does?), but NOW I’m motivated to make sure I stay healthy – in ways I wasn’t before. It’s easier to turn down a mars bar or submit to a medical.
I want to be here for as long as I possibly can, I want to be the one to raise my baby, I want to see HIM have babies (if that’s in God’s plan for his future). I know, I know, this is really not in my control – ultimately, God will decide how much time I have here…
But if I can do my part to make it healthy (and therefore happier) time, then I will. (And I’m pushier about my husband’s health as well. I want him to be here for our kids as long as possible too!)
AND more money conscious
I’ve always been PRETTY conscious about what I’m spending my money on, but now I find it easier to think in the long term. I’m also aware that we have more expenses, and that if I want to be able to provide my baby with a good life, I need to reign in my personal spending.
I’m also more motivated to MAKE money. I don’t want my husband to have to put in a week over overtime every month because I want him home with our babe in the evenings. (I work from home so this isn’t as hard as it could be!)
Related: How to prepare for baby on a budget
It’s given me new perspectives on my relationship with my baby’s dad
I like my husband, I liked him before the baby was born.
But seeing how awesome he is as a dad is really great for our relationship. I forgive him more quickly for his shortcomings (that we all have) because I am just so grateful that my kid has an a good dad. Good dads seem to be in short supply nowadays.
I have new appreciation for him and for our relationship.
I also want to continue to WORK on our relationship, because suddenly, modeling a good relationship is important. I am acutely aware that our relationship will affect our babe’s relationships.
Actually it’s given me new perspectives on everything. The day you leave the hospital with a baby, the whole world changes. NOTHING is the same as it was when you go in.
Becoming a mother has made me more appreciative of my own parents
I am totally blessed by wonderful parents. I know not everyone is so lucky. And I’ve always appreciated them, loved them.
But before I had my own kid I never understood the depth of their love for me, or what they went through to raise me… or even what they’ve sacrificed for me over the years. I don’t think we CAN understand this stuff before we have children of our own.
I love the new dimensions of my relationship with my mom and dad.
Becoming a mother has made me a little… boring
But it’s ok! I’m good with that. It’s boring in a good way.
It’s TOTALLY OK that I’d rather say home with my baby than put on my heels and head to the club.
It’s GREAT that I’d rather stick to two glasses of wine than drink the bottle. (And uh… also healthier!)
I LOVE that I stop to consider how truly safe something might be – before I rush right into it.
Boring is not “BAD”.
I’m a completely different person now, than I was before I had my first baby
And it’s good.
For the most part, the changes have been positive. I do hope as time goes on I’ll get a little less fearful, and I also hope that as I work on my pelvic floor I can maybe restore my bladder control to what it was before – but either way, I wouldn’t go back to pre-baby me for the world!