How Motherhood Has Changed Me

by - 2/17/2018

Tomorrow morning when Jack wakes up he will be an 8 month old!

Have I mentioned how much I love him? ;) Or how sad/happy I am to see him growing up so fast? Or how exhausted I am? Or how cute he is? Or how great of a dad Kody is?

I feel like I could write DAILY about those things ^^^

But today I am going to switch it up a little bit and talk about how I have changed since that sunny, warm June morning when I became a mom.

Last night as I was rocking Jack to sleep, instead of thinking about how much he has changed like I usually do, I thought about how I have changed in the last 8 months. Nothing in my entire life has changed me more than becoming a mother has. So many aspects of myself and my personality have done a 360 and it was so interesting to stop and look back at the specific changes I (and Kody) have noticed about myself...

More patient- You pretty much don't have a choice to be patient or not when you have a baby- you are just kind of forced into being good at it! Not only do I feel like I have gotten more patient with Jack and his neediness + unpredictability but with pretty much everything in my life- my husband, bad drivers, long lines at the grocery store, and even myself. Instead of looking in the mirror at the end of the day and being disappointed that I still am not all the way back to my pre-baby weight or angry about my stretch marks, I am (usually) a little bit nicer to myself. I would never, ever in a million years want my child to think angry thoughts like that about themselves, so it is way easier to stop being that way about myself.

More feeling for others- This one has been especially hard for me. Before I was a mom and something sad would happen to someone (death, suicide, sickness, addictions, etc) I thought it was sad but was able to shake it off and move on with my life. I don't know what it is about being a mom that has changed this but I feel like now I feel the pain of others 10000x more than I used to. Especially the pain of other parents.

Yesterday when I saw the faces of the innocent kids killed in the school shooting in Florida on the news, I almost couldn't handle it. A few days ago when I found out a sweet little girl, whose cancer journey I had been following along with, had passed away, I had to take a break from being with Kody and Jack and I had to just go in my bathroom and cry for a while. It is like those kinds of things affect me so much now that it is almost like it physically hurts.

The homeless drug addicts on the streets downtown, the high school kids who were brutally murdered at their school, the lady with her head shaved who is battling through chemo are all somebody's little baby. Somebody's Jack. To think that someone felt the way I do about Jack and then had to sit by and watch as they go through all of these things is almost unbearable.

I thought this was a bad thing, until I talked to my parents about it last week and they convinced me that even though it is hard, it can be a good quality to have. My patriarchal blessing touches on this kind of stuff and I know in my heart that Heavenly Father has me feel this way so that I will be more inclined and better able to help people and understand them a teeny bit more.

More understanding- I guess this could tie into the previous two but I have found myself feeling MUCH more tolerant and understanding towards the actions, lifestyles, beliefs and feelings of other people. Again, I think to myself 'everyone is someone's Jack'. Everyone is loved. Everyone has infinite possibility and potential and I strongly, strongly believe that about 99% of people are genuinely good and have good intentions. Everybody is really searching for happiness even though we all have our own methods of getting there. I don't get so frustrated when somebody talks bad about my religion or my political opinions or my stay-at-home-mom lifestyle. Instead, I am a little more able to see people as they really are which is good.

More cautious- While I feel more understanding towards people, I become a. The idea of a 'mama bear' is a totally real thing! I will defend my baby with my whole entire LIFE. I am so much more careful when I drive, I try very hard to keep the apartment baby-proofed, I have tried to learn baby CPR, turned my Instagram to private, and I am VERY cautious of any weirdos or 'stranger-dangers' being near Jack. It can definitely become a bad thing when I get paranoid about things, BUT I think it is usually a good thing!

More efficient- When you are single (it is my opinion) that you have 100% of your time, energy, money, work, etc to yourself. When you get married it becomes around 50% and when you have a baby it gets to about 25%. I would imagine it keeps being divided more and more with every child you have and as you go along you have to learn to be more efficient with all of your time and energy. Kody and I used to go to the gym every single day for 2 hours. Now I have maybe half that to get a workout in so I work extra hard. I have learned to run on just a few hours of sleep and still be semi-productive the next day. I have been better at making dinner from what we have at home instead of going out and spending lots of money. A total challenge, but definitely a good skill to have in my opinion!

Overall, (despite the mom-guilt and feeling like I am not ever good enough and alllll that) I strongly believe that being a mother has actually made me a much better person than I was before. I thank God (and Jack) every single day for giving me this opportunity to constantly stretch and grow in so many ways.


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