Meagan Francis, otherwise known as The Happiest Mom wrote once that mothers sometimes become “accustomed to thinking of motherhood in terms of what we have to give up when we have children.” She’s right, and I am as guilty as the next mom. I spend my fair share of time reflecting on life before kids and remembering how much easier life was.
And then I think about my two darling, beautiful sons. I think back to the early weeks after my first was born and remember a feeling of electricity that would run through me whenever he would touch me. It was thrilling and intense. It was the most emotional experience of my life. I was a mom and despite the fact that I had no idea what it was to be a mom, I knew that my life was changed forever, for the better.
My children have inspired me to be a better person in a way that I didn’t know I needed to be. I think more carefully about what I say, the decisions I make and the actions that I take. I know that I am setting an example and that little eyes are watching. Seems like a given I’m sure, and yet for me it wasn’t. I was accustomed to speaking my mind and making decisions that affected only me with little regard for others.
I didn’t expect this change. I didn’t expect that it would matter to me so deeply that I be a positive role model for my children. I obviously knew that being a parent came with certain responsibilities, but what I didn’t understand was how deeply it would inspire me to want to be a better person. I felt this new sense that as a parent I could make a difference in the world by making a difference in my children’s lives. I didn’t really expect it, and I’m not sure a person who isn’t a parent can really understand how that feels.
Now I understand that there is so much more to this job than just the title, the next plate of baked cookies or the stories before bedtime. It’s showing my children the goodness in the world through my words and actions and providing them with an example that will help them make the decisions that will shape their future.
Motherhood changed me by showing me that I can make a difference every day. It changed me by making me fully consider the person I am. When I was younger, I was a fly by the seat of my pants, speak my mind, be darned what others think kind of person. A part of me is still that person, the part that hopes to show my children what it means to be confident, independent and driven. But it’s a softer part, one that now understands that little eyes are watching, learning and trusting.