How parenthood has changed me

Can I just say this month has been crazy! From two hurricanes, to water pouring through the ceiling, to starting a new job, to mold, being sick, to mice and experiencing postpartum issues for the first time since giving birth to my son just over a year ago. It’s been….. busybody day the least.

The last couple posts have been somber ones and I wanted to something more lighthearted. I have been trying to find a balance between sharing difficult information and light reading, but… maybe your should read another blogger for that! I am not always so serious and intense. I actually really enjoy hearing people laugh and helping them have a good time. But the reality is, pregnancy and the aftermath can be a very serious thing. If you’re caught unprepared and don’t understand what is going on, it can be very scary and leave you feeling out of control, lost and confused. So, I guess I would rather you read a serious post that can be of help than to hide the reality of the situation and to tell you everything will be fine! Because the truth is, it may not be fine on it’s own, and honestly, it’s not usually fine on it’s own, we as mothers need a community, we need that help, support, fellowship, trusted environment to share the crap and the laughter all in one and everyone come out the better for it.

Motherhood may be one of the hardest things you ever do. It may be the most self sacrificing, depleting, loneliest, frustrating thing, but it can also provide you with some beautiful memories of precious moments, hilarious stories, great laughs and personal growth. There have been may signification events that have changed me and grown me but there is something about parenthood that seems to change you in a way that nothing else can. Perhaps because it’s stuck in your face and there’s no escape from it, every day all day. And you can make the choice to either grow and be a good parent or get away with as little as you can and still have your kids alright. I have been reflecting on what I was like in college and just after getting married a lot the last few weeks and I have definitely seen some areas of growth for sure. I reflected back to the depth of change brought on by other circumstances and I would say parent hood has by far brought about some of the biggest changes by far not just in myself but the way I live my life.

Ways parenthood has changed me.

I used to think it was so gross when I would see a parent eat behind their child, like eating the rest of the ice cream from the spoon before dipping it again. It wasn’t the double dipping, it was putting the left overs on the spoon in your own mouth! Now I find myself doing the same thing!

My sweat now has a sweet odor to it from breast milk. It makes me happy.

I now remind other people to “say thank you”….. 🙄

My friends think I’m a minimalist, and I am but, I’m not. I just don’t want my nicer things to get broken, chewed up, peed on, destroyed, or disappear!

I have SO many more reasons to hate carpet!!!

I’ve always been able to eat more than my husband; people never believed me and thought I was a pig for taking so much food. Now I take three plates at a time and use the excuse “I have kids!” But still usually end up eating most of it myself anyway!

I used to sit alone in my car for forty-five minutes or more after coming back from wherever especially when the weather was nice and just sit there thinking with the windows rolled down. It was bliss!! My car was my safe space. All my space that no one would come in without my saying so. (I had a pretty beat up car, no one would feel it worth breaking into. I loved that old beat up thing though! We went through so much together!) Now I think about how I can spend as little time in the car as possible!

I have put off a lot of my dreams and hobbies, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten them or left them. In fact, I’ve had time to really think about focusing them so that when I am actually able to put them into motion, I have more of a clear vision and line of direction than before. (When you can’t do Anything you really figure out what is the one thing you really want to do when the rare opportunity allows you to.)

I can shower, get two kids ready, and grocery shop in record time!

Winter is a whole new ball game. I used to love winter and the changing of seasons. Now…Winter is a nightmare; from the coats and extra things to carry, to germs and “don’t touch!” Looking forward to social gatherings with excitement and dread. Yay people!!! Oh no, people!

Sometimes I wonder if the “old me” will ever creep it’s way back out. Will I ever get to live feeling like that individual who was confident, bold, strong and sometimes a little reckless? I can feel it there waiting patiently and quietly at times for the right time to come back. Sometimes it will scream and bang against its cage begging to be freed. But I know deep down, even that side of me will never be the same. There is a maturity that comes from parenting. A solidity that establishes itself deep within the center of your being that can rise higher and deeper when called upon. A stronger determination to do what is right and be the best version of myself, hoping to leave a legacy worth following. There is a better understanding of the richness of a single moment and the importance of soaking it in as much as physically possible; forgetting the bad ones and holding on to the smiles, the silly made up words, the sleepy faces, the firsts, and the lasts. There is a great shift in priorities; somehow the importance of a neat freak gets over turned by the playful moments of a self entertained child. And then on top of it all there is a deeper understanding and greater respect and appreciation for my own mother and grandmother. Memories of frustration towards my mother turn into “I understand now!” I get some things better, understand certain actions or calls made about things I wouldn’t understand until becoming a mother myself.

Overall, I would say motherhood has changed me for the better and is continually forcing me to evaluate parts of myself I don’t like, causing me to consider just how much I am willing to sacrifice and change. And no, it does not make you a bad mother for debating if you Really want to sacrifice or not. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person for wanting to get away with certain things. It means you’re human! You have limits and it’s okay to accept them and admit them. Asking for help from a community of others who understand helps fill the gaps and give you a break, the encouragement you need to know you’re doing a good job and not alone.

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