I Like Myself Better As a Mom

I Like Myself Better As a Mom

Lately I have had several friends become first-time moms. I’m absolutely obsessed with all of their precious babies, of course, but what I have found most fascinating is watching their personal transformation. I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching my friends become mothers!! It’s so beautiful to see these women enter their new role and become more loving and strong than ever before. After this realization, I found myself doing some personal reflection and acknowledging that I have transformed as well. My 4 year old and 18 month old have changed me forever and I can honestly admit that I like myself better as a mom. Here is why:

Old Anna was self-absorbed. This is typical. I was 24 when I became a mom, so really I was just in a stage of life where everything had been about me. I was starting to get the hang of considering my husband’s needs before my own when BAM! Pregnant. (Granted, we had been married 2 years… What?? I’m a slow learner sometimes.) The new me has two littles and a husband to care for and often my needs come last, but guess what? I LOVE it. {Most of the time.} I find so much joy and fulfillment in meeting their needs and using my abilities to help them grow and thrive.

Old Anna lacked compassion. I always thought of myself as a compassionate person, but motherhood whipped me into shape. Now, when I hear a screaming child in a store and see the mom acting like she has no idea, I get it. When a friend with kids cancels plans because she’s too worn out to meet me, I get it. When a mom posts 125,000 Instagram pictures of her children and wants me to appreciate every single one of them, I get it. I strive to reign in my judgments and connect with people where they are. Especially moms. Because lets face it, motherhood can be straight up embarrassing with a side of humiliation (see next paragraph).

Old Anna cared too much about what others thought. If you knew me pre-motherhood, I would guess that you liked me, and if you didn’t, then I guess I failed. I was a chronic people-pleaser. I loved being all things to all people. But when you’re in charge of two small humans something’s gotta give. I don’t care too much anymore. Image? Gone. I wipe butts, drive a minivan, go to Target for fun, and plan everything around nap schedules. Old Anna would be mortified- SCREAMING toddler in the restaurant throwing crayons? She’s mine. Rambunctious boy racing through the grocery store acting like the Hulk? He’s mine too. They are loud and annoying and I’m sure they are irritating people all across the metro, but I’ve got to laugh it off and survive the day. So if you aren’t feeling this hot mess of motherhood insanity that I’m sportin’ on the daily, then I bid you farewell.

Old Anna didn’t understand sacrifice. I always wanted kids, but I didn’t really understand how much I would have to give up for them. Breastfeeding? More like boob-slave. Stay at home mom? More like, “I have a college degree and used to work but now I can tell you exactly how to navigate the Oklahoma City Zoo”. I’ve given up great nights out, pretty much all of my hobbies, friends, good jobs, and a heck of a lot of sleep and money for those two little boogers. But I still feel like the lucky one to be their mom. How does that even work??

Old Anna took her husband for granted. I was a decent wife pre-kids. But I’m a better wife now because I am overall a better person. I use that newly adopted compassion toward my husband. I care less about keeping other people happy and more about keeping our marriage strong. I have made it a point to sacrifice some things that are important to me and I can see that he is doing the same thing. There are many times when I still act like a brat, but I am so thankful for the perspective and grace that motherhood gives me in our relationship.

Y’all, this mom thing is no joke. It really is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m only four years in! I spend my energy and efforts every day trying to grow and shape my children into loving individuals with strong character, and wouldn’t you know it? They are doing the same for me.

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