Having a baby really does change just about everything in your life. Sure, you are still the same you after you push the equivalent of an 8-pound bowling ball out of your lady parts. But your life has been definitively altered.
Having a baby can create a line of demarcation in your life. You had a pre-baby life and now you have a post-baby life. Same life, but so much has changed.
There are those who would have you believe that your life does not need to change after having a baby. They want you to think that you will be able to pop back into your old life after giving birth as easily as you pop back into your skinny jeans.
I'm here to tell you, that's not the truth. The truth is that your life will be forever changed from the moment you see the two lines on the pregnancy stick. However, that is not a bad thing. Your life will change in amazing ways the likes of which you could never even think of before.
6 Ways My Life Changed For The Better After Becoming a Mom
1) I wasn't first on my list anymore.
As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I had to start thinking of the baby first. I stayed away from cold lunch meat and took the doctor's advice against going horseback riding. I focused on getting my asthma under control — because it wasn't just about me anymore. The things I did affected another human being. Being less selfish was one of my greatest benefits of motherhood.
2) I learned to appreciate silence.
After listening to kids cry and whine, and tell me the story about what happened at recess in every excruciating detail, I now find myself really appreciating the silence when they go to bed. Instead of filling my environment with noise, like I used to before having kids, I now sit in silence and feel the rejuvenating energy it can bring.
3) I am gentler with myself.
I've always been competitive and pushed myself to be the best I could be in everything I did. An A wasn't good enough. I wanted an A+! I was always reaching for some unattainable goal of perfection, or at least excellence, in everything.
After having kids, I have learned that it is good to be motivated, but I don't have to push myself so far. When I look at my kids, I realize they are perfect not because of what they do, but because of who they are. I now know that I don't have to have the cleanest house, or the best looking wardrobe, to be happy with myself.
4) I have a new appreciation for my body.
How can I not have an appreciation for a body that has produced life ... four times? I still marvel at how something the size of a mustard seed can grow, develop, and be nurtured inside of me for nine whole months. Sure, my body looks different than it did before having kids. I'm OK with that, though.
5) I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.
I never thought I could subsist on two or three hours of sleep for months on end. Before having kids, I would have thought that's impossible. But it's not! The strength I needed to carry each of my children, birth them, and then go through that rough, newborn period is impressive.
I've jumped into pools fully clothed without a second's thought to reach a child who had fallen in. I've darted into traffic faster than Superman to snatch back a wandering toddler. I've taken care of four kids while the flu was kicking my butt. Yes, I am stronger than I thought I could be.
6) My heart has grown two sizes.
Like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the day I looked at the face of a child my husband and I created, my heart grew two sizes. It swelled in my chest with pride and joy, and also with a very real fear of loss of this precious being. I never knew I could love someone so deeply, so instantly, so completely, but as soon as each of my children had taken their first breath, I was wholeheartedly in love.
So yes, your life will change after having a baby. But it can change for the better. Motherhood can help you become the woman you always wanted to be. It can shape you, and define you, and give you a purpose for living, if you let it. Simply embracing the changes, instead of fighting them, is the key to a more peaceful transition into motherhood.
Edited by Jody Smith