I think every major life change develops our character a little bit more. Being a mom is no different — it’s changed me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes the changes are so small that they almost go overlooked. Other times, they’re like a siren — with flashing lights and a loud noise.
I believe that life is comprised of unending moments that give you chances to improve who you are. I’m very motivated by growth; it makes me feel like things are worth it when I can see the progress I’ve made. I’ve noticed a few ways I’ve grown over the last two years.
- Flexibility is key. For years, I’ve attempted to become more go-with-the-flow but it really doesn’t come naturally to me. David is the most flexible and easy-going person ever and I’ve often been frustrated that I can’t just take on that mentality too. I definitely don’t have it mastered but I have gotten better. When plans don’t pan out the way I had prepared, I’m a little better at bouncing back.
- That I can battle. While I was pregnant, there were days when I had no idea how I was going to make it through an entire day at work. I was so nauseous, exhausted, and just plain uggggh. I can remember sitting at my desk in the afternoons and waiting with anticipation for 3:30 because that signaled the end of my day. But I also dreaded and I mean dreaded seeing the clock hit 3:30 because that meant I had to get up and walk to my car; that just seemed like the most insurmountable challenge ever. Not to mention that I might have to chat with someone in the hallway as I walked out. But I learned to battle in a way I never had to before. I learned that even when the days seemed impossible, I could do it. God gave me the strength to make it through work and then all the way out to my car.
- A new view on time management Since becoming a mom, I put more thought into how I spend my time. Time is so precious and because I stay home, I’m left with many choices about what my day looks like. I can create any type of environment that I want. I want our days to feel energized. I want them to be fun. I want them to be productive. I want them to be flexible. I want them to be spontaneous. I want to model a life with a healthy balance.
- Self-investment is essential. I’ve realized that investing in myself is more important than ever before. Investing in who I am as a person looks different for everyone and even looks different in life’s different seasons. I’ve found it so valuable to continue pushing myself and becoming the best version of myself that I can. I think too many times moms think that once they’re a mom, it’s selfish to invest in themselves. I believe the exact opposite: motherhood is the prime time to set an example for your children to follow. It’s the perfect time to become the best you you’ve ever been.
- Patience is a virtue. I’m more patient than I used to be. When I shared about our miscarriage, I wrote one line that tends to come back to me in stressful moments. “In the middle of the sleepless nights or the messy days, a frustrated thought often crosses my mind but quickly turns to I can handle this because I know what it’s like to wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to hold my own child.” And it’s 100% true. I can handle this. These messy moments that try my patience are so so so worth it.
- Life through the lens of a child is breathtaking. Ariana squeals and kicks her feet in excitement at the anticipation of seeing Copper for the first time every morning. She loves to stand and watch other people. She’s the happiest person in the world when she can empty the contents of the recycle bin all over the driveway. She loves to “help” wherever she can — give a baby her bottle, dry the dishes, or eat the pasta before it’s been boiled. For kids, it really and truly is the little things that make them happy and if the rest of us could live that way, we’d probably have a smile on our face a little bit more.
How have you grown recently?