How Has Motherhood Changed You?

A question for my mothering friends...

I was drying my hair and thinking because there are two places where I do most of my thinking and one of them is while drying my hair.

The other is in the shower. I planned an entire department restructure in the shower once. No joke.

Anyway, I was drying my hair and I was thinking about my bathroom and how it, among other things, needs some serious renovation. Which led me to thinking about my shower curtain and how it is cute, but really just sub-par. As far as shower curtains go. It needs some umph. I know, picky picky. And about shower curtains no less. Which led me to thinking about how excited I am about the new sewing machine I got from my mom for my birthday!!!!!!! (Which is actually Thursday, by the way, and yes, gifts accepted. I'm kidding.) And then it got me to thinking about my husband laughing at me when I was so excited while opening up my new sewing machine (first the front loaders, now a sewing machine) and how he said to me while shaking his head, "My how you've changed."

He says that a lot lately and I always wonder if he thinks that's a good thing but I suppose he'd let me know if it wasn't in some way. Maybe he'd make a face or say something like, "Oh go SEW SOMETHING" if he was like that but he's not. (I don't sew yet either anyway. It's still in the box waiting for this weekend when it will take its maiden voyage.)

Which all led me to thinking about why I've changed and what exactly it was that changed me. And it was one answer, of course.


Motherhood is why I started cooking, decorating, nesting, and finding other hobbies because I was no longer working. For a paycheck, anyway.

So I started listing off the ways I've changed in my head, all while drying my hair.

Ways that motherhood has changed me:

1. My boys first. Anything else, always, second.
2. Career on hold followed by short identity crisis, followed by coming out the other side, happy and different.
3. Different how? That's the reason for the list after all..
4. I cook and I've actually gotten pretty good at it. The turning point for me when I decided I was actually a pretty good cook was when I could make a decent gravy. Before the gravy, I was scared of making it. It clumped, it was too flour-y, I could never get that "rich" taste. But then I
"got it". Followed by a pretty kickass white sauce. That I don't make anymore because I'm off gravy for a while. At least until Thanksgiving.
5. I enjoy making centerpieces and tablescapes and hosting holidays with placecards and festive recipes and signature cocktails and desserts.
6. I like to do things like napkin-folding and have gotten a book on it for Christmas.
7. I take a millionandahalf more pictures and would love to see if it could turn into something.
8. I used to think that my "meaning in life" was simply my family. Of course it is, but I've realized it's even more than that. I believe that my "meaning in life" is living a full life, appreciating every moment of it, learning and doing everything I can and showing my children how to do the same. That and being nice.
9. I write a lot more now than I did as a "writer". Mostly about things I'm passionate about. A lot of it doesn't show up on here, but I do a lot of it.
10. I am a room mom at my son's preschool. I know. Me? Yeah. Me.
11. I want to start a fitness group called IronMommies, so I can train for endurance races with other mommies like me who are doing it to lose weight and/or stay fit. I am waiting for the right time but I think it's close.
12. I do things like endurance races. I know. Me? Yeah.
13. I now own a sewing machine because I was inspired to fix my shower curtain by a Better Homes and Gardens decorating magazine and I cannot sleep until I fix it up. Seriously.
14. I am actually getting in shape up in here but it's actually been a lifestyle change as opposed to the latest crash/fad diet of my many pounds past.
15. I love home improvement projects even if I groan about them while doing them.
16. My day consists of taking one to preschool, the other to Gymboree, blogging, working out, cooking dinner, rinse and repeat. And I.love.it.
17. Having a preemie made me passionate about helping others who have had one and I'm part of a preemie moms group which is working on projects to help families in the NICU.
18. I am more excited about GymBucks and front loaders than I am about happy hour.
19. I am the only stay at home mom on my Monday night softball team. And the only one who owns a minivan.
20. I care about having a clean house with clean floors, clean laundry, and paying bills on time. These qualities definitely did not make an appearance until motherhood. Just ask my parents about my bedroom growing up.

But of course, most of those are just surface things, right? What the list actually represents to me, though, is that had I not done this motherhood thing and continued on the career path (because one always looks back and analyzes her choices), I might not have ever paid much attention to things like cooking (I'd probably still be making my standard ziti and then ordering out) or decorating (can we say "futon"?) or sewing or photography or triathlon or the March of Dimes and families who have had preemies or good credit or making the bed and being responsible and careful and patient. And they've all become things I have not just learned but have actually become passionate about that honestly I never knew I had in me. Not to mention the fact that just looking at my little boys' faces can move me to tears because they are so special and perfect and mine and the very thought of anything other than perfect happiness for them makes my insides hurt. That alone has been known to change a person.

When my husband says I'm different, different from the partying 20-something-career-woman-go-getter, I agree with him that definitely I am indeed different. I used to wonder for myself if that was a good thing, but now I just know. It is neither good nor bad. It's just different. With a side of domestic. I am still driven, but I'm driven in different ways about different things. I am glad that I retained that property of myself, even through the changes that motherhood brought me. Because I love that part.

So. What do you think? How has motherhood changed you?

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