5 Ways Motherhood Changed Me for the Better... and 4 Ways It Didn'tAlice Gomstyn
While many are ringing in the new year with resolutions on how to change themselves, as a mom with a baby and a preschooler, I know I’ve changed a lot already. Of course, in many ways, I’ve also stayed the same… because I’m dependable like that. (Or, you know, stubborn.)
In what ways has having children changed–or not changed–you? Have the changes been for the better, for the worse or, as in my case, both? I hope you identify with some of the items on my list. If not, please don’t judge or mock me because I will not take it well and, in retaliation, may pelt you with pointy nacho chips.
The More This Mommy Changes… 1 of 10
...the more I stay the same.
I’m More Confident 2 of 10
Realizing I'm capable of taking care of another human being was a major confidence booster. If someone asks me what I've accomplished at the end of a day, if I'm at a loss, I can always just hold up the baby and say, "This guy! Have you ever seen a cuter accomplishment? Didn't think so."
…But Old Insecurities Remain 3 of 10
The doubts that have dogged me since adolescence don't show any signs of disappearing. Back then, my worries sounded like this: "Did I say the wrong thing? Do the wrong thing? Wear the wrong thing? Smell like the wrong thing? Do my friends like me? Does anyone like me? OHMIGOD WHAT IF NO ONE ASKS ME TO PROM??" These days, it's pretty much the same neurotic inner monologue, minus the prom thing. If some teen asks me to prom now, I know I must definitely be wearing the wrong thing.
I’m Physically Stronger and Have Greater Endurance 4 of 10
Need someone to lug a 26-pound baby for six hours? I'm your girl. Time to stay up all night 'cause a certain little guy doesn't feel like sleeping? Just let me down a Diet Coke and I'm good to go. Looking for someone to run up and down a flight of stairs 30 times while carrying children, sippy cups, diapers, pants and a bottle of heavy duty stain remover? Put me in, Coach!
…But I’m in Lousy Shape Otherwise 5 of 10
Chasing children may be great aerobic exercise and lifting a heavy baby has certainly built up my biceps, but neither is enough to compensate for the fact that I don't sleep nearly enough and don't do "real" exercise with any regularity. I'm hoping to change that soon, but in the meantime, don't ask me to join your marathon team... unless it's a snacking marathon, in which case, pass the Doritos!
I’m More Compassionate 6 of 10
Especially when it comes to parents toting children, I'm far more likely to open doors, give up seats, pick up dropped mittens or, at the very least, shoot a sympathetic, "Sorry, been there!" glance.
…But I’m More Fearful 7 of 10
Every single tragic and frightening news story hits me so much harder than before. I want to protect my children from everything and the fact that I can't terrifies me. It also sometimes leads to stress eating. (Did I mention that I'm in lousy shape? Please pass some more Doritos.)
I Live in the Moment 8 of 10
When I see my grandmother showing my preschooler how to peel an orange or watch my two boys hug and giggle on the living room rug, I inhale the moment, willing myself to etch the memory into my brain forever and ever. No pressure or anything, Brain!
…But I’m Still a Workaholic 9 of 10
I thought leaving my full-time job and working from home instead would somehow make me more relaxed about work. NOPE! When I'm not getting googly-eyed over my adorable children, I'm thinking about work. Sometimes even when I am getting googly-eyed over my adorable children, I'm thinking about work. I know most work-at-home moms--and most working moms, really--struggle with work/life balance. At this point, I'm not even aiming for balance. I just want to be able to get through an entire Dr. Seuss book without jonesing for some smartphone-zing.
I Have Better Hair 10 of 10
I won't say how often I wash my hair these days, but it's definitely not as often as I used to. Who has the time? But I think washing it less has made it healthier! I know that having nicer tresses doesn't really make me a better person in the humanitarian sense, but when I am having a good hair day, it puts me in a better mood and makes me more fun to be around... not to mention the fact that my glossy locks (I hope) distract from the bags under my eyes and the nacho crumbs on my shirt. Pantene commercials, here I come!
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