There’s certain life events which are definitively life altering. You think of your life as two ends of a spectrum on either side of this event. For many mothers – this point of revolution is the day they became a parent.
Life before baby was fairly uncomplicated. I worked for my family business, was a fairly decent wife, daughter-in-law, and daughter. And generally just kept to myself basking in the simple joys of an occasional movie night or take-out meal.
Then came the on a loop blurred together few months of motherhood involving diaper changes, feeds, difficult to induce burps, and gummy smiles to keep you chuggin’ along.
Sure I complain about all the challenges supporting a wee little life brings, but you know what I have come to realize now that I’ve come up for some air at the one year mark. That parenthood is pretty dang awesome.
The positive changes of becoming a parent are something that no one really talks about. Aside from the obvious – having an unconditional eternal promise of love straight from the depths of your soul directly into a mini-me version of yourself. There’s also the fact that if you’re the ‘type-a’ personality type like myself – you’re not going to take your new role as a mother lightly.
Meaning in every aspect, at every moment, you will devote your absolute entire being to becoming the best in every form relevant to your child.
I quickly learned that in order to be a good mom I needed a few key factors to fall into place. They weren’t easy to come by but my oh my are they essential to keeping your marbles and being able to utilize them in the best way possible.
For starters, you need some decent amount of chunked together sleep. Not an hour here, and hour there, while blearily fumbling for the soother in the middle of the night then failing to get it into your child’s mouth hoping for just five more minutes of solitude. No, I mean actual quality disturbance free sleep. Here’s where the benefit of living with extended family comes in (yes there’s perks too).
When my body was still healing and I was recovering from the throes of childbirth I used to hand off my child for some one on one (or two on one) grandparent time in the wee hours of the morning and shove my face back into my pillow and sleep like I had never slept before.
Just those two consecutive hours of sleep were all I needed in order to feel like an actual human being again.
Then once I started getting my footing as a parent and moving about at a normal pace and fashion wasn’t so daunting – I realized I needed to feel good about myself again.
So began my trek to “shed the baby weight.” I yoga-ed, I ran, I dieted, and the results came.
It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t, but the emotional and physical improvements are enough to keep me going on this path of self-improvement.
A year is all it took for me to realize that my child has truly brought out the best in me. Aspects of myself that I didn’t even know existed are now what brings me the self-confidence and happiness to keep going and keep smiling while I am at it.
Everyone speaks of the sleepless nights and how they miss their freedom – but let’s not forget that having a kid is a huge increase of responsbility which brings about SO MUCH good in your life.
Having my son has pushed me out of my comfort zone (that started with the very first pre-natal doctor’s visit). There are very few situations in which I feel shy or anxious anymore. Before just simple exchanges at the grocery store would send my stomach into knots. Now I sincerely don’t give a shit what people think or say about me.
I wake up earlier that I ever thought I would just to get a head start to my day. I spend extra time cleaning, getting ready, eating healthy before the sun even rises sometimes just to start off on the right foot.
All these little changes are what add up to really mean something in the grand scheme of things. By changing my habits for the better, I am not only happier with my own self, but I am setting the best example for my son as well.
I never thought a tiny person would have such a huge influence on my life. But he’s the reason I do what I do and I will continue to improve myself just for his well-being! Because that’s what it means to truly love your offspring, putting them above yourself, regardless of the circumstances, and no matter how challenging it may seem at the time.