Five Ways How Motherhood Changes You
As I sit on my couch, I watch my children with pure bliss. I still cannot believe I am a mother. A mother of four beautiful children. Nine years ago, I began my motherhood journey. Motherhood touches each mom in unique ways. For me, motherhood has been a life-altering experience! The moment that I had my first child, I knew motherhood was my calling. With each child, my heart expanded to make room to love yet another person.
When you are a first-time mom, people often say that your life will never be the same after giving birth. This is 100% accurate! Motherhood is forever; it just evolves and grows over time. There are a number of ways that motherhood changes you!
However, I am writing about five ways that motherhood changed my life and ultimately could change yours.
1. Mommy Brain
Just do a quick Google search for ‘mommy brain.’ There are several articles expressing how it starts during pregnancy and continues through motherhood. This term refers to memory problems, poor concentration and absent-mindedness. Let me tell you, this is very much true. Now, I am not saying you lose brain cells and cannot remember anything once you have a child. Mommy brain does not last forever and the forgetfulness does decrease over time.
I have three ways to help remember everything. My daily planner helped me keep track of my workload and day-to-day activities for all. A large calendar in my bedroom and the Google calendar on my phone helps keep track of family and friend birthdays, family appointments, ingestion of vitamins & medications, kids’ school schedule, my work deadlines and other stuff. In addition, I use planners and calendars to jot down important reminders.
2. Mom Instinct
Holding a baby for the first time will lead to a range of emotions! You are a mother. No longer will you only worry about yourself. You are responsible for another life. You will have to take care of this child and fulfill all of his/her survival needs. The survival needs are shelter, food, clothing, medical care and protection from harm.
Providing the survival needs begin as a newborn and will last until adulthood. Therefore, it is important to know that mistakes will happen, but you should trust your mom instinct. Not one is perfect. There is no perfect mother. As long as you are a present, willing to learn and a support system for your children, you are a good mother.
Pacifiers. If you research, motherhood sites swear by a pacifier for an infant to help soothe them. I have mom friends who have children who use pacifiers and love them. My pediatrician even recommended getting one to help my baby sleep at night. When I had my first child, I was worried about him not taking a pacifier like other children. Then, I realized my child does not need one and it is okay. By my fourth child, none of my children wanted or needed a pacifier!
3. Pure Exhaustion
A Mother Tired is a new type of tiredness. As a new mom, you will have no idea how tired you really will be after having a baby. Pregnancy is the initiation phase of pure exhaustion. Waking up several times in the middle of the night to urinate gives you a glimpse to having a newborn. Newborns, infants, toddlers or even school-age children could wake up various times throughout the night. Every child is different. Regardless, sleep deprivation will be your new life. You learn how to survive on less sleep. You will still be productive on less sleep. This does not last forever, things will gradually get better. One day you will have that 8+ hours of sleep that you remember pre-motherhood.
My first son was my worst sleeper since birth. He would wake up many times to feed or get a diaper change. He is also the hardest to fall asleep. Fast forward, he is still is my night owl, but at least sleeps through the night at 9 years old. My first daughter is my best sleeper since birth. She started sleeping through the night since 4-5 months old and falls asleep without issues at 7 years old. Currently, I do not get 8 hours of sleep because I have a toddler and infant, but one day! 😂
4. Mama Bear
Becoming a mother can make you protective of your children. Safety is always on your mind and it is imperative to use this instinct wisely. As a mama bear, you are more aware of your children’s feelings, dangerous situations, and any sickness. You will become your child’s protector and advocate. An effective mama bear will know when to stand up for our child but not cause unnecessary drama. An effective mama bear will support their child and know when to let their child develop the skills to handle situations by themselves.
One day, my daughter told me a classmate pushed her in the hallway. My mama bear instincts quickly kicked in! First, I told my daughter do not let anyone touch her and to speak up if it happens. She must always tell her teacher what happens in class. Then, I called the teacher to inform her of the situation. The teacher told me that this student is a problem in the class and she has already informed the parent of prior issues. She emphasized that she will talk to the student and the parent again to remedy the situation.
5. Priorities Shift
The power of motherhood gives you a new perspective on yourself, friendships, career, marriage, day-to-day tasks and the future. Your priorities in life does not change after having a child, it is just an adjustment from most important to least important. There is no longer worrying about yourself, it is about you and your children. Priorities shift because your kids become PRIORITY. Before kids, morning routine would include a long shower and Target run. After kids, morning routine includes making sure the children brush their teeth, eat breakfast and get ready for the day. You are super busy now! You can still enjoy life as you once did; you just have to prioritize when everything happens.
Taking showers at a certain time does not happen. It happens when the kids are busy or asleep. I take a shower when I can be alone and not hear ‘mommy’ or a knock on the bathroom door. Pre-pandemic, I loved going out to eat or doing happy hours with friends. The difference is that I always scheduled in advance my night out with friends. I have to make sure either my husband is off work or a grandmother can watch the children.