As I was stood watching the parade at the Magic Kingdom, my eyes teared up and my heart swelled as I saw their sweet smiling faces and hands waving at the characters. They were so full of joy as Merida, Rapuzel, Tinker Bell, Elsa, Snow White, and all of their favorite princesses waltzed by. They were in awe just as I was, completely dazed as I marveled that I actually have children, two of them, both miracles and both the center of my world.
It’s hard to believe it’s been over six years since I became a mother. Something I never even wanted as a teen and then what I immediately craved right after I was married. Though I always dreamed of a successful career, boy did that biological clock tick loudly. But who knew the trek to motherhood would be almost impossible, and the conception and deliveries so incredibly difficult?
But now that I’m here, a veteran of the baby years and a newbie to big-kid-land, I’m shocked at the person I’ve become. You know, the one that cries at Disney each time we visit. The one that checks on the girls and kisses them every night before I go to bed. The one that puts her children first, sometimes to the detriment of herself. Gone are the party days, the sleeping in, and the shopping on weekends just for fun…replaced with potty training, never ending laundry, and well…little to no sleep. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Those little girls with joyful hearts and spirits are more important than the air I breathe, and I am supremely lucky to hold the title mom.
I often ask athletes and celebs during interviews what has surprised them the most about parenthood – and when they turn the question back on me I always say how much it’s changed me. I am a work in progress, but I am most certainly a different person than I was before I embarked on our infertility journey over thirteen years ago.
10 ways motherhood has changed me
- I finally understand what patience means, and though I’m still impatient by nature, I now know how to count to ten and breathe before I react. (Well…some of the time.)
- My career is on a totally different trajectory and I’ve accepted it, and am happily walking down my new path.
- Going with the flow has taken on a whole new meaning. Nothing goes according to plan in this new life, and expecting the unexpected is crucial for our sanity.
- Perfectionism is not allowed in the mom-world, learning to be OK with less than perfect is beyond hard…but so utterly necessary.
- Supermom is a myth. Thank goodness I learned the truth and she doesn’t need to exist!
- Sleep is no longer a necessity, but a gift.
- Guilt exists. Enough said.
- Pony tails are the mark of a successful morning. It means you actually had time to get ready.
- Coffee is my new best friend. So is wine.
- Most importantly our children are our mirrors, and they make me want to be a better person every single day. Less judging, more positivity, a healthy self image…it’s amazing to me how much we grow into ourselves once we have children.
Parenting has given me a greater purpose and is the most important job of all. Children are our sponges, and we need to fill them with love, light, and positive examples, even if it means really examining our own lives and bettering ourselves in the process. Some may say I’m boring, and need to get out more – but I think I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. Muddling through this motherhood journey and sharing little pieces I learn along the way.
This post also appeared on The Huffington Post.
Beautifully written and all so true, my friend. Especially, the coffee.
Love love love this! You are beautiful, inside and out, and it shines through this post in every word.
Well said Kristen. There is no facet of my life that hasn’t been changed or molded by my being a mother.
Love this and I too cry during Disney parades and character meet & greets at Disney when my girls have the biggest smile on their face to see their favorite characters!
Patience. Ditch the perfectionism. And yes, coffee!
So well written! Motherhood is life-altering. Beautiful picture of you and your daughter.
This is PERFECT!!!! I know, I know no perfection, but OH just a little choked up here. You said it so eloquently, and yes, yes, yes to # 9…. I am looking at my oldest with awe and wonder as she sets out on her own journey, and I hope that it is an amazing one.
You got this ALL the way….. Bravo! 🙂
Dana @ Pellerini Proclaims says
Beautifully said! #10 sums it up so well!
Aw! Happy Mother’s Day to you!
I cry at Disney now too – so very much. We have gone two years in a row, and I believe it’s going to be a regular thing for us.
There are only two things on your list that aren’t so for me, but I WANT them to be.
I have very little patience still, but I’d like to believe I have more than before.
And I can’t do coffee or wine still. Sad!! Stupid sensitive body.
Tove Maren says
So beautiful- I get teary-eyed too when we go do things for/ with the kids. Disney is magical! – especially at the end of the day when you leave!
Motherhood is definitely about doing things for others!
I know! I just am still in awe I’m a mom! Wait til’ I show you the video my husband made…
I CRY ALL THE TIME. Motherhood will do that to you.. i always think it’s because “my cup runeth over…” see, by gaining so much we then have everything to lose!
I know right?! I cry all the time too – and I love that quote “my cup runeth over…” Hope Floats!
Allie Smith says
Sleep is no longer a necessity, but a gift – oh, yes. I’m still trying to get the whole patience thing, though – 14 1/2 years later! Sometimes I think I have less:(.
I’m with you – I swear! It’s so hard….
Melissa @One Mother to Another says
I love all of these, but especially #10. It’s amazing how our children force us to grow into the people we always wanted to be. Being a mother has given me such great perspective on the important and the trivial. Great post Kristen!
Thank you and yes it’s so true. They make me different every day…
The Blossoming Bump says
This is such a cute, heartfelt post! I’m totally there with you when it comes to the perfectionism point – took me a while admittedly, perhaps a years or so after my first was born where I insisted on stressing over the details of life still. The cloud is lifting with number two now though, I’m I’m finally chilling the heck out! 🙂
Carly @ theblossomingbump.com
I hope you had a wonderful mother’s day! Love the quote too…so so true,
This is a beautiful piece. I, too, cry every time I’m at Disney and also in the oddest of places. I get sentimental often thinking about how like you, my child is a miracle for a number of reasons. And with your post, I’m tearing up hoping I’m a better person and role model for my son. I excel in the love and nurturing, but not so sure I score high with patience. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Yeah patience is a tough one! Thank you so much!
Very well written and touched my heart <3