When I Became I Mother
A long time ago—13 years to be exact—my life changed when I became a mother. The person that I was changed when I had my first child. My career path shifted. Things that were once important to me shifted to a completely different realm. My goals of helping the world changed dramatically to helping the world within my own home while also helping others.
I had a completely different outlook on the world. I realized you could raise children to do good and pay it forward, and the best way to start this was by leading in example. This was strength in numbers.
All the preconceived notions that I had about motherhood flew right out of the window. All the “when I become a mother” talks I had years prior became what was I thinking and doing.
Perception was completely different than the reality. Every step in life that I took became less about me and more about the children I was raising. Every decision I made no longer could be selfish. Now, all this may sound completely overwhelming, chaotic and crazy but it is the complete opposite. My children helped me to see the world in color. I thought I was happy with life before but life with my four children is happiness at a whole new level.
This is just how life has changed and it is ok in my book because life is so much fuller for so many reasons!
Gone are the days of laying on the couch for that lazy Sunday because life with children is a whole new ballgame. When they are young, you will be taking care of them and tending to their needs and as they get older you will be taking them to sports and other activities. You will never be bored because you will pretty much always have their company. This becomes something you grow to love. As they get older and you head to the store intending to do a solo food shop, they invite themselves; you find inner peace in knowing you have a fan club. The nights of relaxing alone in bed become a late pajama party where the kids invite themselves, of course.
You learn to love every dribble, giggle, smile and even the tears because every day is truly a gift!
Forget those quiet dinners of eating in peace. When you have children, it becomes a ping pong match of talk as you share stories. The children that do not want to eat request your hat to change and for you to become a chef.
Stick to your ground and feed everyone the same meal, this is a life lesson teaching them that you cannot get everything you want. Also remember to enjoy their company because they will not be there forever. One day they will be off on their own with their own family. So, smile and enjoy their company!
I thought I knew everything until I had kids. There will be many challenges as you raise them, most actually come from the differing opinions from other parents.
For example, If Susie Q. in your child’s class received a ridiculous weekly allowance, your child will pressure you for the same. Stick to your ground and do what you believe is right. Do not conform to other parents just to make your child temporary happy.
The days where you woke up, showered, fed yourself and went about your day are a thing of the past. You now have other mouths to feed and care for. Life is not all about you and that is beautifully refreshing. You have so much more to live for each day, so be thankful for your responsibilities! It is nice to be needed!
Your ambitious goals of an overtime career may shift as your family grows and this is totally normal. The scope of your world has changed, so embrace it and reframe your goal. When I was younger I always dreamed of being a nurse. I was in nursing school when I became pregnant with my first daughter and my goals shifted.
I became a personal trainer and now work mornings and nights so I can be with my children during the day. This doesn’t work like this for everyone but it worked perfectly for our life. I would not have it any other way!
If you have several children or just one, whether they fight with you or each other, rest assured this is completely normal. Although this is frustrating in the moment, this is them getting a grip on the world and forming their identity. Just be sure to push your children together so they are close and always remember you are the parent—so stand your ground!
As a parent, you become known as “Ava’s mom,” and for a while this seems like your only identity. But remember to keep yourself in this picture. You can shift your goals but keep in mind who you are.
The best way to do this is to make sure you have something you do alone that is for you. For myself, it is a short run every day. In this time, you can destress, refocus and remember where you are today and just how far you should go. Keep your head up to look at just how far you have come!
So, go ahead Mama, be proud your life, enjoy the extensions of you and relish in every lesson taught and every memory created! Smile at the life you and your partner have created!