Bring it on motherhood!

Kids shape their mothers.

I know, that sounds backwards. I think it’s true, though.

I’m not sure anything changes and shapes a person more than parenthood.

Have you ever looked at another person, man or woman, and just known, instinctively, that they either did or did not have children? I have.

Ok, so more often than not, I’ve met a woman and had a sneaking suspicion she wasn’t a mother. I’m also sure it’s not an exact science and I’ve probably been wrong. I’m about 100% positive I was on the other end of that assumption recently by the expression change I saw when I said something about my kids to a woman at the gym.

I’m not talking about an assumption based on age really, though. I’m talking about something else.

What is it about motherhood that just completely transforms a woman? If you’re a mom, do you feel even remotely similar to the woman you were before you had kids?

I don’t. Not at all. That person feels like a stranger.

I realize some of that might be age, but there’s been a noticeable change in my attitude since becoming a mother. Well, no actually, since I first started showing during my first pregnancy. There was a change in the responses I got from people. I’m not really sure if the “chicken” or the “egg” came first. I might have changed at that point, but that’s the first time I really noticed a huge shift in the way others treated me.

That same thing about motherhood that makes it special and sacred and beautiful, also stole something from the person I was once. Part of becoming the woman my family depends on, meant losing part of myself.

It’s a big deal. It made me feel like I had to redefine myself for a long time.

Who am I kidding? I still feel that way sometimes.

I adore my kids and I wouldn’t trade the change in me for anything. But it hasn’t been an easy thing for me. I don’t know if it’s normal or has anything to do with how long I waited before starting a family, but I have a feeling most women feel this way.

I’m different now than I was five years ago. I think I spent a lot of time this year, trying to get back to the person my husband married. I got into shape and grew my hair out thinking that if I could get back into the same cloths and wear my hair the same way, I’d feel like her again.

It didn’t work. I don’t know what I expected, honestly.

It’s ok, though. At the same time, I do not want to be that naive, insensitive, quick-to-react person ever again.

I’m really happy I tried to get the positive things back, because I think it helped me rediscover who I am now and where I’m going.

My kids have helped to shape me into a person they can look up to. I’m so grateful for this life and for all the changes. Bring it on motherhood! I’m ready.

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Comments

  1. I completely agree! I know just what you mean when you talk about losing a part of yourself, and yet not necessarily wanting to go back to the person you used to be. I think motherhood changes you, but certainly for the better. Great post!

  2. You said it sister! My priorities in life have completely shifted since having children. I don’t mean just priorities being them. My priorities about our health, diet, behaviors, finances, environment. I never would have predicted in my early 20′s what my goals and dreams would be today. Those little ones really make us think.

  3. Jeanette Santizo says:

    I totally agree with you! and I think you look great, Erika! But like you said, you are not the same person you were before the boys, and that's for all of us. Fortunately I also think our children have made us better people although I find that it is not always the case. There are some women that leave you wondering why they had children in the first place, and others that live and do everything for their children, but their children only. I like to think that becoming a mother helped me become less self centered for my immediate family but also more loving towards others' families and their children, but I see that less often than I'd like to. I guess it's always easier to love those closer to you and not care about everyone else. I think if anything it's a challenge that both men and women go through.

  4. Wow, it’s been so long since I first became a mother that I’m not sure I remember that other person. But from what I CAN remember, I think I like me much better now. Well, not the physical me, but I’m working on that. I think my husband likes me better now, too, but I think he will be happier when the physical me gets more like I was then. LOL

  5. Karen Bachmann says:

    Beautiful post…. And we know who should have never had kids :)

  6. Jeanette Santizo says:

    Uh yeah!!! ????

  7. Sheri Fermanich says:

    I feel completely myself with improvements. I made a conscious decision to hang on to myself so when my children leave home I still have a life I love. It's not always easy, but is very important.

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  1. [...] but, in the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of thinking time. It occurred to me as I wrote my last post that I’ve spent too much time over the past year trying to be someone other than myself. [...]