26 March 2017

Did becoming a mother change me at all?

I sometimes think about the ways becoming a mother has changed me. I once heard a beautiful Bengali quote, which says that the day a baby is born, it is not just one but two people that are born. A child and a mother.


new mum giving a kiss to a newborn girl



I gave birth nearly four years ago and in a way I am a new person. I am a mother. I am something more than before. Becoming a mother did change me in some ways, and over the years I have grown more. 

But in another way, I am still me. Being a mother has not fundamentally changed me, not my deepest sense of self. Nor has it, rather unfortunately, corrected my character flaws or made me in any way a better person. 

I am still the same old me. The one who comes up with great plans to do all kinds of things, but rarely ever manages to finish them. The one who has bags and bags of unfinished craft projects. The one who constantly looks for a step up somewhere, somehow, as long as it is a step up. The one who is like a dog with a bone when she wants something - including winning an argument. The one who should sleep, but gets distracted by a variety of things until 3AM. The one who would be happy doing pretty much anything in life, but who doesn't have a real passion for anything particular. 

I am still all that. 

It is not all perfect, and it is not all pretty, but it is what makes me, warts and all, me. 

What took me by surprise was the anxiety. As soon as pregnancy became something more tangible than just a thought, I got anxious. What if I didn't eat the right things? What if I accidentally consumed something harmful? What if I fell on my stomach? What if I lifted something too heavy? Gradually, the anxiety just increased and increased. It reached it fever point not long after my daughter was born. Amongst many other things, I spent hours and hours worrying over our impending death in a car crash, and of course me being me, learning also all about the best types of car seats and car seat placements to protect our precious cargo. They are rear-facing until four years old, and back middle, back passenger side, back driver side and front passenger in descending order of safety by the way. 

Perhaps it is part of being a new parent. This thinking of all kinds of possible but highly unlikely scenarios, and how to steer clear of them. But can you ever be totally relaxed as a parent? Probably not. I cannot think there will ever be a time when I won't worry over what my child is doing or if she is safe. 

Other ways it has changed me is that I finally have a real reason to try and be better than I was before. One word describes it the best. Motivation. 

I am more motivated to try more. I am more motivated to push myself more because it is not just for me. It is for us. It is not just about trying to do something for myself, but it is about choosing things that I know are better for us as a family, and things that I want to do for us. It is not so much about thinking purely about what I want to achieve, and how I want to achieve it, but how it will benefit us as well. The simple life sometimes feels like, well, it would be a bit more fun. To relax. To not take everything so seriously. Watch a bit more TV. Laze around a bit more. And at the same time, I know that if I don't do the right things at work, at the gym, at home, it won't be just me who won't be going anywhere. It is all of us. 

And perhaps the biggest thing of all... Before having my child I never really knew what it meant when people would say they would lay their life for someone. It was an abstract concept. After giving birth I finally knew what that meant. The willingness to lay your life down in a heart beat, with no questions asked. That is what really makes me a mother.  


dad and mum cradling a newborn daughter


So what was born then that day, nearly four years ago? A tiny little daughter, growing cheekier day by day. And a mother, much the same as before, but also more anxious and more tenacious, and one who loves her child more than life itself.  


How did you change when becoming a parent? 





12 comments:

  1. I grew up when I became a mother. I developed a sense of perspective. Learned what mattered.

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    1. Yes, that sense of perspective is something I gained too. I can brush off many things I would previously been annoyed about as they just aren't that important.

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  2. These are the most beautiful photos and I feel as though I have changed so much since becoming a mother. Underneath it all is the girl pre child, but I have a voice that I never had before and I can never switch off x #TheOrdinaryMoments

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    1. Ah that never switching off is so true! I am always in the mummy mode, always thinking of the next steps and what mischief she might be in if she is a bit quiet...

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  3. Samanlaisissa ajatuksissa olen myös ollut äidiksi tultuani. Omaa lastaan haluaa varjella kaikelta pahalta, miltä pystyy, ja samaan aikaan haluaa tarjota kaikkea parasta, mitä voi. Ne on aika voimakkaita ja elämää ohjaavia tunteita. Ja sillä lailla yllättäviä, että ei kyennyt ajattelemaan niiden voimakkuutta ennen kuin todella tuli äidiksi.

    Toisen kerran äidiksi tultuani olen koettanut vaalia positiivisuutta ja uskoa hyvään. Suhteeni Luojaan on nyt eri tolalla kuin ensimmäisen lapsen kanssa. Luotan Jumalan varjelukseen tässä maailman ajassa, sen lisäksi, että ennen kaikkea on usko ja toivo iankaikkisesta elämästä Jeesuksen sovitusyön tähden. Jumalan rakkauden suojassa on myös helpompi rakastaa omia lapsiaan, molempia yhtä lailla.

    Siunausta elämäänne, ja hyvää sikäläistä äitienpäivää!

    t. Tiina

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    1. Kiitos siunauksesta :) Ja äitienpäiväntoivotuksesta! Oli ihan kiva päivä ja sain pari lahjaakin :)

      Näinhän se on että ne tunteet olivat todella yllättäviä. Kyllähän niistä aina aikaisemmin kuulee muilta ihmisiltä, mutta sen ymmärtää ihan eri tavalla kun ne tulevat vihdoinkin omalle kohdalle.

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  4. What a beautiful post and such beautiful photos too. Motherhood has changed me completely. It has made me a better person and has made me appreciate life a lot more too. x

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    1. Definitely - I appreciate life, and the simple little things a lot more. I have much more laughter in my life now too!

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  5. I can relate to the anxious feeling I definitely got as a mother as I realised what complete unconditional love really was x

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    1. The anxiousness can be really bad. I think especially when you are a new mother and with all the hormones too it makes it even worse.

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  6. This is just so beautiful. I think becoming a mother changed me a lot too - but I'm the same in lots of ways as well, not perfect in any way. I think motherhood is sent to make us anxious too. Beautiful post x

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    1. Thank you :) I guess you can't change who you are but motherhood does add so many new layers, and just that life experience that makes you appreciate new things more.

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