A gift beyond measure

On this day, four years ago, God entrusted me with the most perfect birthday gift. He gave me my first born. Born only minutes after midnight, after more than 30 hours of labour on my birthday, a greater, more divine gift I cannot imagine. This little boy has changed my life in ways that I find difficult to express. For him, I am grateful. Happy Birthday my sweet little boy. I’m delighted we share our special day.
In honour of our birthday, I’m sharing a post I wrote several months ago.
How motherhood has changed me
I feel I have been a mother for just the blink of an eye. My children are young and I still have so much to learn, so many adventures and challenges ahead. This new part of me, motherhood, has changed me to the core. I’ve become a person I never imagined I’d be, and yet exactly who I imagined I would be. Odd, I know.

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.

This post is part of Bigger Picture Moments, a place where bloggers step back and take in life. The hugeness that is life and the small moments adding up to one the Bigger Picture. My moment is in honour of 12:12 a.m. on June 24, 2006. This is when my oldest son arrived in this world. This is the moment I stopped to smell and breathe in the bigness of it all.

Please take a moment to check out all of the other Bigger Picture Blogs today and consider participating yourself!
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37 thoughts on “A gift beyond measure

  1. C (Kid Things) says:

    That's so cool that you get to share a birthday! Happy Birthday to both of you! I hope it's wonderful and beautiful and filled with a lot of cake.

  2. Corinne says:

    Happy birthday to you two ๐Ÿ™‚ What a special day, thank you for sharing it with the BPM's!!! It is truly amazing what gifts we receive from our babes, from motherhood.

  3. TKW says:

    Happy Birthday to you and your son! As you know, I think this day is pretty special, too! Hope you two have a wonderful day together.

  4. Hyacynth says:

    Oh, happy birthday to you, my friend. And happy birthday to your oldest. Such an important day for so many reasons. I hope one day to sit down with you face to face and just talk. I know so much of what you're saying about motherhood … especially the whole "But it's a softer part, one that now understands that little eyes are watching, learning and trusting."And that really sums it up for me, too. I'm still me, but now I'm so different {even though I'm so the same, too}.Beautiful words. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. ShannonL says:

    A beautiful tribute to your son on this special day!Happy Birthday, my friend!Happy Birthday, C!I hope it's a great one for both of you.

  6. Sharon says:

    That's so cool that you share the same birthday. Happy Birthday to the both of you and thank you for sharing your beautiful words with all of us.

  7. Kristen @ Motherese says:

    Happy birthday, darling friend and darling boy! What a wonderful gift to share with your son. And what a wonderful gift you share with us with each and every post. So lucky to have you in my life!

  8. Charity says:

    Happy birthday to both of you! What a beautiful post to commemorate that and so much more – the essence of motherhood. My oldest son was born at 12:11 am, and I remember the adrenaline of holding my first born kept me up, holding him and watching the sunrise together. Thanks for making me pause and remember.

  9. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday to both of you!I can totally relate to this as that is how I feel too! I feel like I had no idea who I was, what love was, or anything until I became a parent. I learn more everyday and I have learned to think before doing and speaking!

  10. Aging Mommy says:

    Beautiful post Christine. I never imagined that Motherhood would bring about so many changes in me, for the better and yet it has and I am learning all the time, every day about myself, other people and so much more all from a three year old little girl.Happy Birthday to both you and your precious son, I hope you have a truly wonderful day celebrating.

  11. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    Happy birthday to the two of you. What an amazing day for you both. I hadn't read this post before, but it's just wonderful. Motherhood really does change you, and you just don't know how until you are officially a mom.

  12. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    Happy birthday to the two of you. What an amazing day for you both. I hadn't read this post before, but it's just wonderful. Motherhood really does change you, and you just don't know how until you are officially a mom.

  13. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    Happy birthday to the two of you. What an amazing day for you both. I hadn't read this post before, but it's just wonderful. Motherhood really does change you, and you just don't know how until you are officially a mom.

  14. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    Happy birthday to the two of you. What an amazing day for you both. I hadn't read this post before, but it's just wonderful. Motherhood really does change you, and you just don't know how until you are officially a mom.

  15. Rudri says:

    Happy Birthday to you and your son! I love this tribute and you are right, it is absolutely showing them the goodness the world has to offer, one day at a time.

  16. Capital Mom says:

    Happy birthday to both of you!

  17. becca says:

    I do wish I could sing Happy Birthday to you in person. You'd truly get a kick out of it but, alas, my words will have to do. What a most perfect birthday gift you got when you little guy was born. How special that is for both of you. This is an amazing tribute. One you will surely cherish and hopefully share with C one day.

  18. Doing the Mom Thing says:

    You said it perfectly, "My children have inspired me to be a better person in a way that I didn't know I needed to be." My whole world changed since I became a mother and I wouldn't have it any other way, even if I didn't know that it would change who I am so much. Happy Birthday to your son! My father and I also share a birthday. It's a special bond. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Square-Peg Karen says:

    Happy Birthday – to both of you!Wild and glorious how our kids can change us, open us (and our hearts) to new feelings — I never wanted kids (just wasn't my thing AND there were all those scary over-the-top tv shows where someone is drinking tea in one frame and screaming wildly from pain in the next – argh), yet when I had my daughter (my first) I WAS Mother Earth – could not believe it!! Thanks for this post – very touching!

  20. Sarah says:

    I remember this post – love it.Happy birthday you and your little guy. I can't think of a better gift!

  21. tsunamisue says:

    I so get it… the greatest of Who I Am is a direct result of growing to be the kind of Mom my children deserve. I have courage to do things so they can see courage in action that I would never find the courage to do just for myself! http://tsunamisue.wordpress.com/june-challenge/stay-the-course-self-awareness/Sue

  22. This Heavenly Life says:

    This IS so much like my own BPM for today! We are making such ripples in these little ones' lives, but…amazing…they're making equal ripples in ours :)I'm so glad you joined in today!

  23. IASoupMama says:

    Oh, happy birthday and happy birth day, too! What a cool day for you guys.My son was due the day before my birthday, but decided to come four days early (five years ago tomorrow). In fact, I just drafted a post for tomorrow about that, hehehe…

  24. Kelly says:

    I love this insight into how you as The Mother are merging with you as The Woman. Raising children definitely changes us, but those who are paying attention and appreciating their little gifts truly blossom. And that's what those little boys have done for you. Happy birthday.

  25. Kate says:

    Happy birthday!Motherhood shifted me too, but I was too soft before, and it makes me firmer, harder, clearer. And also more aware of my every utterance. Four is a great, great age. My baby is about to be five. And I will never forget he electricity that flowed between us in those amazing first days.

  26. ck says:

    "My children have inspired me to be a better person in a way that I didn't know I needed to be." Me too. Happy Birthday!

  27. Sarah says:

    Good grief, my comment disappeared cause I'm an idiot. Don't worry. It's not you or the site, it's idiot me needing a second cup of coffee. So here's the gist. I need to stop reading your blogs on my phone so I make sure to comment. Because you are pouring your heart into life and it's a pleasure to see. To read. As a mother, friend, daughter, wife…your emotions and perspectives run the gamut, and beautifully so. xo

  28. Tiffany says:

    What a special birthday post for your little guy. Loved it!

  29. Justine says:

    Happy Birthday to you and your son, Christine! I saw this post on my Reader on Wed night but when I clicked on it to comment, it wasn't there. And then I thought I did all day yesterday but I didn't – sorry! I hope you had a lovely day and I'm sure you can't wait to get home to your family to continue the celebration of this very special day.I'd venture to guess that he's one of the best (if not THE best) gifts you've had on your birthday. Enjoy your weekend with your boys. *HUGS*

  30. rebecca @ altared spaces says:

    Motherhood makes me softer as well. I love hearing that.Happiest of birthdays!!

  31. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point says:

    Happy birthday to you both. I can only imagine how special that must be, to have the additional bond of celebrating your birth on the same day.And this line "…what I didn't understand was how deeply it would inspire me to want to be a better person" encapsulates what motherhood has done for me. I look forward to the day when I can let my son know exactly what an inspiration he has been for me.

  32. Amber says:

    Happy Birthday!Our brains must have connected today because I have been thinking similar thoughts this whole week.Something I hope to give up since becoming a mom is selfishness. I'm not referring to my self, but those self absorbed feelings that often crowd out all happiness I might have.

  33. evaevolving says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. I use that word a lot, but this most definitely is beautiful. What an ode to motherhood, to personal growth, and that incredible bond between mother and child. Happy Birthday Both!

  34. Heather of the EO says:

    Happy belated birthday to your 4 year old little man. It goes too fast, huh? And I love your motherhood thoughts. Again ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. cjschlottman says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to you both! Motherhood changes us all, and you have put words on paper that so beautifully express those changes. Thanks.

  36. Pam says:

    Happy Birthday to you both! What a perfect birthday gift – especially after 30 HOURS of labor. My goodness!

  37. Stacia says:

    I'm a bit late to the party, but Happy Birthday, friend! And to your sweet little guy, too. Here's to celebrating the "little eyes that are watching, learning, trusting" us every day!

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