I remember before I had kids, waking up slowly, enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the news. Then I’d take a nice long shower, get ready for my day in peace, and finally drive myself to work where I would look forward to coming home and relaxing at the end of the day. Or if I had the day off it would feel like I had the world at my disposal and I could do whatever I chose that day. That freedom is something that I didn’t realize I would crave and miss so much.
After I had kids, my focus, mindset, and lifestyle completely changed. I would go as far as to say that I became an entirely different person. Even my body was “ruined” in my eyes. Where I was once lazy, loved to binge watch shows and spend an entire day on the couch, or go out and party all night until the sun came up, I was suddenly thrown into this life where I could not prioritize myself or my needs at all. If I wanted to do something I would have to find a babysitter, and even after I did that, I would feel guilty for wanting time for myself. My husband worked full time so the days felt so monotonous and I would count down the minutes until he got home so I could have some help and any kind of a break from the kids.
When the kids were babies I remember not even being able to sit down and watch a show at the end of the night which made me so upset because that is always something my husband and I did at the end of every day prior to having kids. Things changed so drastically it was like my whole world shifted and I didn’t even recognize my own life anymore. Every summer my husband and I loved to go out on our boat and spend the day on the water. Once we had kids I didn’t even consider that a possibility. The thought of being out on the water and possibly getting stuck out there with the kids was almost like my worst nightmare. I couldn’t read books because god forbid I focused on anything other than the kids. I also felt like I couldn’t leave the house because it was such a production. So it was almost like all of the things that helped make me, me had disappeared.
But how do you explain that to someone when, in their eyes, it doesn’t seem like all that much has changed? That was one of the things that came up between my husband and I. He could not relate to what I was going through at all because his life had barely changed while mine took a 180 turn. I didn’t feel comfortable venting to anyone about how I felt because I thought it made me seem like a bad and ungrateful mom. Looking back, it is so upsetting to recognize how hard I was on myself. How many nights I went to bed thinking I was a terrible mom. Why did I beat myself up so hard?
Now that I am out on the other side and my kids are older, I am able to do most of the things that I enjoy again. I am reading again, my husband and I are finally going to enjoy the boat this summer, and each night after the kids are in bed we are able to sit down and watch TV shows together. Leaving the house does not cause me to spiral into an anxiety attack anymore, and it is not a huge production to get the kids out the door. These small things in my life bring me immense joy and I grateful that I can do them again.
Becoming a mom has made me who I am today. It has made me more confident, resilient, patient, powerful, and strong. So many aspects of my life changed with motherhood, but all of them have changed for the better. My kids help me grow each day without even trying; they are my reason for getting up in the morning and they make everything worth it. There are so many daily struggles that come up in motherhood, but also many beautiful little moments that remind me how lucky I am to have been given this blessing of being their mom.