My oldest daughter is turning nine tomorrow. It’s unbelievable to me. I can’t seem to figure out where the time has gone, but at the same time it feels like it was a lifetime ago. I am not the same woman today that I was then. Nine years ago I looked into my daughter’s eyes for the first time, and my life, and everything about me, changed forever. To say that I was not prepared to be a mother would be an understatement. For so many years I longed to be the person that I was before I became a mother, and it was only recently that I realized that the person that I am now, is the new and improved version of myself, and I like the new me.
I have changed in so many ways. In some ways, the changes have been for the worse. I am not as care free as I was before becoming a mother; I worry more and I tend to over-think things that don’t need to be over-thought. I am not fit; I have always struggled with this aspect of my life but since becoming a mother it has become more difficult. I find it difficult to carve out “me time” and at the end of a long day exercising just doesn’t fall high on my priority list. I am less career oriented; I am much more complacent to simply achieve the status quo rather than striving to reach the stars like the younger version of myself did. I am very emotional and cry easily; before motherhood I was not as affected by things in my surrounding environment. I recognize these weaknesses, and I strive to improve upon them, but I also understand that I am not perfect, and have learned to let myself off the hook sometimes. Self-improvement takes time, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Mostly, though, the changes have been for the better. The new me is more caring, more loving and more compassionate; I feel deeply for others and am genuinely concerned for other people’s well being. The new me is less selfish, and more thoughtful; often putting other people’s needs before my own. I am more patient and kind; I understand more and judge less and accept people for who they are, rather than who I think they should be. The new me is more organized and more focused, which allows me to be more efficient and more productive. I am always amazed at what I can accomplish when I am childless for an hour. I am more appreciative of all of the little things, and less materialistic. I understand that true happiness comes from a place that money cannot buy. I see the beauty in (almost) anyone, and know wholeheartedly that beauty is so much more than what we see on the surface. The new me is fiercely independent. I know with every ounce of my being that there is nothing that I cannot do when I put my mind to it.
Becoming a mother has changed me, but instead of longing for the woman that I was before I had children, I am so proud of the woman that I have become. I strive to be the best that I can every day, as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister and as a friend, but I forgive myself of my imperfections and embrace my opportunities for growth.
My oldest daughter is turning nine tomorrow, and I owe so much of this to her. Becoming a mother has changed me, and I am so grateful for that.