Man, let me count the ways huh? This is definitely one of those things you can’t fully comprehend until you go through it yourself. I envisioned so often of what life would be like with a child that I completely forgot what I would be like? Would I be a completely different person once I was a mother? And now, nearly two years into this mom gig I can safely say the answer is yes and no. I’m definitely different but I’d like to think that my core remains the same, simply more fired up and pronounced than ever. Let me explain, I’m a badass bitch basically. Now, I’ve probably been a badass bitch for a while now, but my own insecurities and hang ups didn’t really allow me to bring out my inner ferocity till now. But birthing and raising a human had a profound impact on me. It allowed me to finally see myself in a different light.
I have never felt so strong and empowered but at the same time vulnerable and terrified. I love my daughter fiercely, truly a love I never could have imagined before having her, and the changes I’ve experienced have been undeniable. Seeing her blossom and grow into the wonderful little girl she is has been awe inspiring to say the least. But of course, being absolutely terrified of something bad happening to your child is now just one of the millions of worries you have as a mother. This line from the beautiful song by Brandi Carlile sums up exactly what motherhood feels like:
“Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind. You’re tethered to another and you’re worried all the time.” – Brandi Carlile, The Mother
I’m stronger, both inside and out. I don’t care as much about what others may think (aka really could care less) and take ownership of my thoughts and emotions. And I can lift up a 26-pound toddler while juggling groceries like it’s nobody’s business. But I think my favorite change since becoming a mother has been my own confidence and belief in myself. I’m so much less concerned about other people’s opinions. On the contrary, I have found courage in my own convictions. It’s like having a child crystalized these feelings within me. I know what I like and don’t like. I don’t have time to waste playing games and being childish. I also don’t have time to beat around the bush, I’m much more direct since welcoming my daughter. It’s been an incredibly empowering experience for me.
I think these changes are a result of my own maturity as well as a deep desire to provide an excellent example of womanhood to my daughter. One of strength, resilience, integrity and compassion. I want her to be raised knowing that she can and will do anything she puts her mind to. I certainly don’t have it all figured out but I’ll be damned if I don’t provide a great basis for my daughter from which to learn and grow from. I’m stronger, more empathetic, more direct and confident. Motherhood has brought out all of this in me and then some. I don’t think women need to be mothers to show these traits, but for me, motherhood was the catalyst that brought out all the qualities I probably had all along but was unable to embrace in an authentic way. Of course, like anyone I still have my insecurities and worries but somehow I’m able to surpass them. I look at my daughter and see the power of my strength manifested in the physical form of a sweet almost two-year-old.
Motherhood is a journey full of highs and lows but at the end of the day, it’s the most magical experience of my life. I’ll leave you with another great line from Brandi Carlile’s song and something that couldn’t be more true, the beauty of motherhood is being able to see the world (including yourself) through the eyes of your child. It’s a beautiful thing really and when you stop and think about it in that way it will instantly bring some-much needed perspective into your life. I can confidently say that has certainly been the case for me and I look forward to even more changes as I continue to grow and learn from this monumental role of a lifetime: that of being a Mama.
“Oh but all the wonders I have seen I will see a second time, from inside of the ages through your eyes.”
Photo by Anna Ball