It would probably be easier to name the ways that motherhood has not changed who I am but that, my friends, is not the question. So here goes:
- Where I once thought only of myself, there are now four human beings I would throw myself in front of a moving train for.
- Those same human beings have made me want to jump in front of a moving train quite a few times.
- I have become capable of incredible feats- cooking, baking, homemaking in general, purely out of a desire to create a cozy, comfortable environment for my kids.
- My heart has physically grown as it swells with pride at their accomplishments and has physically ached when they are in pain.
- Walls built around my heart, out of self protection, literally melted away when my first child was placed in my arms and by the time I adopted my step son (our third yet oldest son) and then my daughter (my oldest), my heart was made completely out of mush. I am putty in their hands (and they know it)
- Yet, I am tough when I need to be. I learned it is important to me that I raise polite and contributing members of society. To raise future husbands my future daughters-in-law (*gasp* that makes me want to cry) will appreciate. To show my daughter the kind of woman I pray for her to be.
- I changed my focus thus far in life. Career advancement, my personal accomplishments seem so unimportant compared to enjoying and cherishing EVERY moment I get to spend with these future adults.
- I discovered that in order to be the best mama I can be, I have to care for my health, emotionally, physically and spiritually. This lesson took me several years to learn and I hate that my children didn’t receive the best of me during that time.
- But, I have also learned that in motherhood you can only look forward. There is no perfect, there is no magical balance that means everyone gets all there needs met every time they have one, there is no way to undo something once it has been said, no way to take back a harsh word. Mommy guilt is toxic.
- So, I choose to live in this moment with my children. Treasuring when I can, nurturing when I can, disciplining when I need to, teaching something when I can, and apologizing for the myriad of ways I screw up and hoping they learn something from those moments too.