Last weekend I celebrated my 32nd birthday. A new year of life always brings much reflection. I realized how much I’ve learned about myself from my last birthday to now. A lot has changed in my life recently, thus changing how I operate in certain ways. Bringing my daughter, Kamara, into the world last year has helped me to learn a great deal about myself. Becoming a mom has clarified many aspects of my personality and perception of the world. Here are 5 things motherhood has taught me about myself.
I’m extremely protective. As a big sister, I’ve always known that I was protective to a certain extent. Even with my friends I’m somewhat protective. Since becoming someone’s mother, my need to protect is on a whole ‘notha level! At almost 9 months, my daughter is supremely ambitious. She is standing on her own, scaling the ottoman in my living room, expressing a curiosity towards the doggy door and reaching for EVERYTHING! I know I need to let her explore a bit, even stumble and fall… but her gentle topples and shaky stance rocks me to my core! lol I watch her like a hawk during playtime and try as hard as I can to prevent her from hurting herself. The same holds true for my view towards her contact with germs. I hate feeling like she’s exposed to dangers seen and unseen. She’s a tough cookie though so I’m trying not to be so type A when it comes to this.
I love to plan ahead but can thrive on the fly. The Virgo in me loves and frankly demands planning ahead. I need things calendared, to-do lists prioritized by level of importance and a general forecast for the weeks and months ahead. Since becoming a mom, this has in some ways heightened. Mostly due to the fact that I am now responsible for another human and I can’t just get up and go wherever I want to all the time. It takes a lot to make arrangements for the entire or get everyone situated for an activity. Not to mention sometimes calling in my sitter (ie. Mama Pam who is living her BEST retired life and tends to be booked and busy herself!) My house is child proofed and looks a lot like a daycare most of the time so random pop ups make me uncomfortable. However, I try to remain as flexible as possible because variety is the spice of life. I am still open to spontaneous flights of fancy and when called to it, I rise to the occasion.
I’m resilient AF. I have been through a few challenging yet defining moments in my life, but my JOURNEY to motherhood takes the cake. Having endured a pregnancy loss in the past, followed by a challenging pregnancy that left me in the hospital for three months and delivering via an emergency c-section, showed me that I am very strong willed and can handle whatever life throws at me. Did I mention I was admitted back to the hospital postpartum AFTER bringing my baby home?! I stayed overnight with my newborn and husband in the same room that I was an antepartum patient in one night as medical staff monitored my blood pressure because my body was retaining water like a puffer fish. This is caused my blood pressure to become elevated to the point of concern. Through it all, I give God the glory for an ultimately favorable outcome and for molding me through my experience. Of course I had my moments… but true to form, I maintained my joyousness and optimism throughout the most challenging time of my life. “God is with her, she cannot fail.”
I look on the bright side of everything. With my testimony above, I can honestly say that so much good came out of my journey to motherhood. My faith was strengthened and so was my marriage. I got to really see the stuff my relationship was made of. I got to see who around me was really supportive and I got to understand and better appreciate my own strength. I tried to find reasons to laugh and express gratitude as often as possible throughout. My friend said to me jokingly the other day, “Girl, it could be the end of days and you’ll be like – well we might as well enjoy it!” I look at each day as such a blessing, more than ever before. I’ll never take the way the sun feels on my face for granted because I know what it feels like to not have that feeling for three months straight. Watching the seasons change is probably one of the most subtle yet rewarding observations of nature in our human experience. I was in the hospital on this day (first day of fall) last year. If you know me, you know I’ve always been as festive as they come. Oh but now!…
I absolutely love being in my home. I have been intentional about creating a home space with my husband that is rooted in peace, love and joy. We have achieved such a space and I am very grateful for that. I don’t get restless or bored at home. I couldn’t say this about 6 or 7 years ago. Home feels so good. I’m able to entertain and be entertained in my home beyond what I could’ve imagined prior. I used to be such a busy body! I’m so glad I’ve matured to appreciate the little things like cuddling up under a blanket with my sweet little family to enjoy a movie or drinking coffee from my breakfast table while writing for this blog and enjoying the natural sunlight that enters my home. Or sitting in my backyard on the patio set and watching the sun set over our lake while enjoying a glass of wine. These have all become weekly objectives that I love.
Motherhood is everything I dreamed of and more. It has made me a better person. It brings and indescribable amount of love and joy into my heart and home.