Every new parent has been approached by someone at some point and asked: “how is parenthood?!”
As new parents, we say things like “oh, its so wonderful” “It is absolutely amazing” and “OMG unbelievably fantastic”. While all of these things are 110% true, we usually don’t say anything more. Why? It is hard to dive into all of the emotions that come with being a parent–new or seasoned. It IS wonderful, but it is also messy and ever-changing.
The other day, I was asked a simple question. It wasn’t the normal “is she sleeping through the night?” or “when are you going to stop breastfeeding?” It was a question that caught me by surprise; one I haven’t honestly ever spent time thinking about.
“How has motherhood changed you?”
At first, I thought of my energy level. I once had the energy level of the damn energizer bunny. Seriously. I could wake up at 5:30, work out, shower, put on makeup, do my hair, kill a to-do list, and make a list of more to-dos all before 8:00am. I would take on the day with enthusiasm and grace. I would smile at strangers. I would get home and still have energy to do ALL THE THINGS. Now, I’m happy if I remember to put on deodorant, eat at least one meal, and not kill anybody by the end of the day. So, it is safe to saying being a mother changed my energy level.
Then I thought of how being a mother changed my body physically. And my mental health. And my personality. And my career. And my emotions.
I thought of how being a mother made me less in control of my emotions. I can’t watch a stupid diaper commercial without tearing up. How I can’t easily put clothes in the “too small” bin. How I cry on every major holiday because I’m all of a sudden a giant sap with too many mushy feelings.
Then I thought of all of the ways I have become a better person because of motherhood. I listen better. I am kinder. I am more fierce. I am more protective. I am not afraid to say what needs to be said. I am all of these things because while I am still just Katie, I am also now Chesnie’s mother. I am her role model; the one she is watching 24/7. I am the one she learns from. I am the one she looks to for comfort.
Motherhood changes you into the person you’ve always wanted to be–for better or for worse. It changes your outlook on every situation. It brings out sides of you that you NEVER knew you had. You are forced to slow down, to be patient, to feel deeply.
So, my response to “how has motherhood changed you?”
Motherhood has changed me, drained me, and challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally and I’m so thankful that it has.