The person I was pre-kids probably wouldn’t recognize or understand the me of today.
Did you get that?
My kids changed a whole lot about my life, but that’s not all they changed. They changed who I am at a very base level. It was subtle enough that I couldn’t put my finger on what had changed for a long time. I just felt kind of…. well, crazy.
Andy and I watch the show “Parenthood” regularly. It’s one of the few shows we both get the same amount of enjoyment out of. I could probably write a whole other post on the TV remote battles that happen around here.
Last night’s episode focused a lot on the character Julia. She recently quit her all-encompassing law career to spend more time with her kids. At one point in the episode, she lashed out at her husband for taking an amazing career opportunity. At that point, Andy turned to me and said, “What’s her deal? She’s going crazy!” and I smiled. Though I totally understood his perspective, I also knew exactly what Julia was going through. She was having an internal battle with herself over wanting to stay home vs. feeling completely out of her element. In that moment, I realized how much I’ve changed over the past year or so.
I remember the career oriented woman I was even a year after my decision to stay home with Dylan. I felt like such an outsider at every.single.playgroup I attended. I constantly thought about returning to work. I remember feeling awkward and disconnected and like I didn’t know what to talk about with other moms. I put up walls because I felt like I didn’t belong.
At some point over the past few months, though, that changed. I’m not exactly sure when or how, but it did. My friendship with Diana and other local moms definitely helped me feel accepted. Thank you ladies! I also think part of it is not having the time or energy to over-evaluate every decision I make about my kids. Things that were important when I only had one child, just aren’t anymore.
Maybe even more important than those reasons, though, is time. Oh time. It’s a game changer. The longer I do something, the less I question my ability. I mean, it makes sense. Practice makes perfect, right?
Motherhood changes a lot anyway, but the shift from a corporate career to stay-at-home-mom is a huge one. I sometimes wonder if I would have been better off adjusting to staying home prior to having a baby or adjusting to motherhood prior to leaving my career. I don’t think so, though. I’m not sure it matters how gradual the transition is or not. What matters most is knowing what your priorities are and staying true to yourself.
Bottom line? You can prepare all you want for kids. You can save and buy the “right” house and read a million parenting books, like we did, but only time, experience, and faith will equip you as a parent. I don’t think anyone really knows who they’ll be after kids. Also? I’m thankful to God for that.