Motherhood and transformation-How your life changes when you become a mom

I've gotten a bit sappy and sentimental this year. You see, my oldest son, the little boy who made me a mom, is entering into an exciting year.

He's a senior in high school and while it's barely December, he's applied at colleges and university's all over the country. Next year at this time, his zip code, heck probably even the state he lives in is going to be different than the one we share together right now. For the past 17 years, we've shared life in the same four walls. He's taught me how to be selfless and how to love unconditionally. He gave me the gift of motherhood and that role has changed me for the better.

I was one of the first of my friends to have a child. I remember talking to them about how life wouldn't really change. The only thing that would be different is that I would have a baby. No big deal. Holy cow, was I wrong! The moment that baby was placed in my arms, my world was totally different.

It took time for me to find my way through this new role of mom. I had played the part of daughter, friend, and sister for a long time. The role of newlywed was new and it wasn't long before I became a mom. I was now balancing all these roles and I wasn't sure how to navigate that balance.

I was only 20 when my son was born and my life revolved mostly around me. My decisions were mostly driven by what I wanted to do and what I needed. As soon as that baby was placed in my arms, it was no longer about me. I didn't just become a mom that day, we became a family.

While you hear that your life will change when you become a mom, you don't always believe it. I think it's because change usually has a negative connotation. My life changed completely when I became a mom, but it changed for the better. I made sacrifices being a young mom, and while I know my 20's would have looked quite different had I held off parenthood as long as the majority of my friends did, I know that I would have missed out on learning so much about myself during that time.

As my son grew and started to ask questions, I learned more and more about myself and my values. I learned what was really important and what really wasn't. I learned to slow down, to laugh more and to be intentional. So new mom, yes, your life is going to change completely after you have a baby, but it doesn't mean that you stop being you. You actually start being a new better version of you. A version that has eyes watching you and ears listening to you and a child who mimics your every move and that version turns into the version of it's best self.

And now, 17 years later, as I prepare to send that young man that still calls me mommy out into this world, I know that I have grown into that role as mom.  I embrace that role with pride and while part of my heart will leave this home and head out into the world, I have given my whole heart to be his mother. Plus also, Lord bless us, we still have two more kids at home to hug on and Lord Jesus, that is all that is holding this sappy mom together, because it's true what they say, the days are long but the years are short.

So I look to all you new moms, those moms with babes in their bellies and in their arms and crawling up their legs, those moms who haven't gone to the bathroom by themselves in years and those who haven't slept in weeks with a fond remembrance. Those days are long gone for me, but I remember them well. 

Your life will change completely, but you will be completely better, and one day you will look back on those sleepless nights and those long {oh so very long!} wakeful days and you will remember the small hands that slipped into yours, the sticky kisses and the incessant questions from curious toddlers and you will realize that you have never loved so deeply in all of your days and you won't regret a second.

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