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.