I recently attended a work recruiting trip at my undergrad alma mater. There is nothing like a blast from the past to remind you of where you are now and how you got there. Though I was a fairly decent person before, a little reflection has made me realize how having children has made me the best version of myself. Let me count the ways…
Something about the responsibility and success of having three small children has boosted my confidence. I am a Mom. That sentence is not something to take lightly nor is it something to take for granted. The definition of Mom in the dictionary should just say, “See the entry for Super Hero.”
From the day that you bring home your newborn, you are constantly tested with lessons in patience. When your three month old screams the second you put him in his crib after rocking him to sleep… for the fifth time. When you are running late and your two year old wants to put on her own shoes and socks. When you have three kids in the bathtub and one twin is hitting the other twin while that twin is peeing on his Sister. LOL. I could go on and I’ve only hit year 3 of parenthood. I feel like every parent should be granted sainthood at year 18.
Gone are the days of heading out to a last minute dinner with friends or treating yourself to a monthly spa day. After kids, your life is no longer your own. Of course at times we all miss the freedom of only being responsible for yourself, but for the most part we as parents enjoy giving everything we have to our little bundles of joy. I’m glad I indulged (heavily at times =D) before I had children, but now I feel like I spend my time and energy in a more useful place.
I’ve seen Moms at restaurants feeding their Toddler, while discreetly breastfeeding their infant and somehow managing to have a conversation with their significant other. It’s amazing how much we are able to accomplish as parents. There should be a reality show, “Extreme Multitasking.” I personally am able to apply this skill both at home and at work to be more productive.
When you first hold your baby in your arms, you soften up. When my children were born, something in my DNA switched on the maternal instinct light. I find myself offering help or smiles to strangers. Everyone is somebody’s child and I don’t think you realize it fully until you become a Mother yourself.
Before kids, I was always looking for the next best thing. While pushing for new opportunities and branching out for new experiences is great… Being happy right where you are is invaluable. I tell this story – There was a hole in my heart and John filled it halfway. Olivia filled most of the rest and the twins finished it off. I still enjoy living life to the fullest but now I am whole. It’s amazing really.
In short, becoming a parent is like having a bomb go off in your life, except instead of leaving rubble and ruin, it creates something beautiful. Writing this reminded me of this Mom I saw at the pumpkin patch juggling four young children on her own. She had one strapped to her front, one to her back and a double stroller. She was smiling and so graceful. To me, it really reflected how I feel on the inside as a parent even if I look tired, worried and frazzled to the outside world. I hope on those bad days, every parent can stop for a moment and reflect on how generous, caring and stunning they really are and smile like that inspiring Mom I saw.