Dare I say it, Motherhood can be FULL of negativity. The second I fell pregnant with Rory people wanted to tell me the good, the bad and the ugly. Telling you birth stories to put hairs on the back of your neck (okay, I do have one of these to tell, but I keep it on an ask and answer basis). Scaremongering about a lack of sleep and telling you that your life is over. There are Instagram Stories full of mothering meltdowns and screaming babies and whilst I am all for “keeping it real”, sometimes it’s nice to just think about everything that is right about Motherhood.
On the 1st November 2016, I gave birth to Rory. He wasn’t the only person born that day though. I feel like it was the day I was also born. Born as a Mother. As the person, I will be for the rest of my life. It unlocked a part of me that I didn’t know existed and a part of me that I love.
Here is how Motherhood has made me a better person.
It’s made me want less.
Stuff. I used to LOVE stuff. Going into shops like Urban Outfitters and Anthropology used to send me into some crazy frenzy. “Must. Have. Another. Friends. Reference. Mug” Like so many, I believe stuff filled the void and would make me happy. Alas, the happiness never came and I would always need more. (The stuff did make some great Instagram posts though so it’s not all bad.) I’ve swapped OD’s Designer Clothing for Primark and now I’d much rather be spending my hard earned cash on designer kids clothing.
When I became a Mama, this void just closed and I suddenly found myself not needing a thing. I was so completely satisfied with my lot in life and it was lovely.
There are two extremes to this, and there certainly is a balance to find. Although I no longer crave things, I do believe there is a place for treating yourself. Treating yourself is super important otherwise you can start to begrudge situations and circumstances. That’s how it feels now though, it’s a treat. I don’t feel guilty for spending too much money on unnecessary belongings because they would have been considered and planned for.
I don’t compare myself.
It’s so strange that in quite possibly the most judged environment, Motherhood, I feel more confident than I ever have. I have absolutely no desire to compare myself as a mum. I am confident in my decisions and how I help my family. I look at my child and I could burst with pride for what an incredible human he is. I am so proud that I made him and raised him and I would never compare. Sure he could be a better sleeper, but everyone has there downfalls, right? I don’t see the point in comparing myself to Sally from baby group whose baby sleeps 12 hours a night because I know full well that Sally will have her own gripes and issues. Even if Sally doesnt have issues, I just don’t have the headspace for it anymore. I think in so many ways, Motherhood can have a positive impact on our mental health because it reduces that thinking place.
I am so caught up in making sure we have enough milk and nappies that I haven’t had the time to think about negative thoughts. This does come with ‘being busy’, Motherhood can also be a very thought triggering thing when filled with lots of alone time (and we all know the default at times can be, being alone) so I do try and make sure we are quite busy with plans even if its just getting out the house for a walk and a trip to the library.
It got my sh*t together.
Something had too right? This is probably one of the things that I love about being a Mum the most. It unlocks this “thing”, this superpower. This all-new place that you didn’t know existed. It makes you relentless. No matter how sleep deprived you are. No matter how overwhelmed you are. You. just. keep. going. You’re like a machine. It’s so impressive. It blows my mind how incredible we become as parents.
I’m more compassionate.
Parenting is hard. It’s arse kickingly difficult. I know this is a post aimed at positivity, but you cannot argue the facts. It can be dark. I have never been particularly judgemental, but becoming a parent did make me even more open-minded. In a world where parenting styles completely conflict and most topics can start a war on a Facebook group or forum, I feel more accepting than ever. Everyone is just trying to get by unscathed. We are all in the same boat. There are parenting styles that aren’t for me, controlled crying for example. This is something that prior to Rory I would have had a stronger opinion about, but as a mum whose been at breaking point, it’s not my place to have an opinion.
I distinctly remember one night when Rory was just a few days old. I was so sleep deprived that I nearly tripped down the stairs and it dawned on me then. I can’t die, I’m someone’s mama. It sounds so strange to say out loud but you suddenly hold your life a little higher because someone else relies solely on it. Since having Rory has made me start to consider life insurance, savings as well as general safety. Having a toddler around makes you second guess everything and although I am all for exploration and sometimes them having to learn the hard way, I also appreciate my role in managing this.
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