20 Jun What I’ve Lost Because of Motherhood
Motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood it’s no secret that it changes your life. You are hit with a new life that comes on faster than that feeling of falling we sometimes get when we are drifting to sleep and get a jolt. We quickly look back on a life, an “us” that we once knew that suddenly just doesn’t make sense and as the years go by thoughts of the “old me” seem to fade farther and farther away and we realize all that we have lost because of parenthood. I’ve lost so much since becoming a mother and I have never been more grateful.
I’ve lost the ability to sweat the small stuff. I now walk around with more gratitude for each day I’m given than ever before. Every day carries with it a weight of meaning and purpose. A longing for tomorrow and the day after that just to be here and be with my children, my family and my friends.
I’ve lost the need to care about other’s opinions of me. Maybe it also comes with age, but motherhood has taught me that the only opinions that matter are my own. It’s funny because most of my life the thoughts of others have weighed so heavily on me and determined my self-confidence. Yes, as I said, some of this change comes with age but I’ve never cared less than I have in the past two years and that is incredibly freeing.
I’ve lost the need for materialistic things. The time, and money, I used to spend on “things” prior to becoming a mom seems so selfish now. Trust me I do a very happy dance any time I get to go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls kid free, I’m that kind of girl, but there is a clear definition now of “need” vs. “want.” I now find myself going to stores and checking out the children’s section first. When I get to the counter I often put things for myself back to ensure they get something special and it makes my heart smile. Their wants will always be my need.
I’ve lost the devil on my shoulder telling me “I’m not good enough. I’m not enough.” In all of the chaos and darkness that can be called motherhood there is a fierceness and a fire that it gives to us, that it has given me. We are responsible for raising tiny humans to be good, kind, loving, respectful and self-assured and just one unprompted hug from my boys tells me that I am enough to them. I have come to realize they love me for me, in spite of all of my flaws. It took a very long time to get here, and something I will struggle with from time to time, and admittedly the postpartum depression and anxiety was, and is, one of my biggest hurdles but I have made it quite far and look back on the journey with a profound gratitude.
I’ve lost the need for perfection. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in this world will throw that out the window faster than parenthood. Life has become messy, sticky, quite dirty and unpredictable and truth be told I wouldn’t have it any other way. Motherhood has helped me let go of that need to be “perfect” or at least what I thought was perfect at all times. It has forced me to pause each day and embrace the mess and the chaos and I have found it is far easier to jump into that pile of yuck than fight it and truth be told I’m more at ease with it than I thought I would be.
I’ve lost the necessity to hold on to the fear of myself. I’m here and I’m doing it. I’m making good decisions for my children and for my family. I’ve survived all of my bad days and I’m slowly growing a strength I never knew I could but so desperately needed. While I still look in the mirror and wonder who I see I no longer fear opening my eyes in the mirror. I know my hard, I know my great, I know my heart and I’m slowly making friends again with that thing called my brain, but I no longer fear who I am and I owe it all to motherhood.