My personality changed after having a baby. It absolutely did. I did not believe or expect that it would, but it did. Motherhood changes you. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
In the months leading up to the birth of my daughter, I had read in books and been told by family and friends about how motherhood changes your life. It’s different for each mom but I can immediately think of three things that happened once I became a mom. I’m also going to explain how I’ve dealt with each change and how you can too.
3 Motherhood changes I experienced
1. Baby brain
There’s the question of how motherhood changes the brain. Baby brain was very real for me during my pregnancy. Interestingly, while there’s so much more to remember when you have children, I do not believe that baby brain goes away immediately after birth. Almost two years in and I still struggle to remember a lot of dates, names and faces too.
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Dealing with baby brain
Organization, Organisation. If there was any other way to spell it, I would. You may have not been a fan of to-do lists, diaries and calendars pre-baby. You’re going to have to make them your best friend now. Get yourself a planner LIKE THIS ONE. You’re going to have to remember dates and times for baby immunisations and health checks for yourself and baby, for example. That’s to name only a few. Your to-do list will make you dizzy if you keep it in your head! Write it down – make it happen!
Getting a planner LIKE THIS ONE that doubles as a journal could make it easier for you to remember to check it often and stay on top of your appointments.
2. Fear factor
Now I do not want to scare away any of you who may want to become moms. I promise. I must say though, that after I gave birth my “risk threshold” crashed almost completely to the ground. Even during my pregnancy, I had thoughts of continuing to travel the world with my baby. I didn’t want motherhood to stop me from doing anything or going anywhere that I had in my plans when I was 25.
I still feel this way. I know lots of millennial women who want to become moms also feel this way. Many millennial moms surely operate this way too. However, I consider the risks of EVERYTHING several times over before I take any big steps. Some small steps too.
Becoming a mother seems to make you become more aware of the frailty of life itself and just how crazy the world is getting to be. It makes you more aware of your own mortality…and your child’s too. Luckily, there are an abundance of those awesome moments when becoming a mom also brings you hope. Hope for an amazing future for your child where they can have and do all the things they dream. Those hopeful moments make up for all the tough, fearful ones.
Face the fear
Take a few deep breaths and consider what is making you afraid and why it scares you. Are you scared for yourself or for your child? Is it a rational fear? We can find risks in just about everything if we look hard enough. However, some of those risks pose imminent threats with irreversible outcomes and no lessons learned. Those are the risks to avoid. Those are the valid fears. All other fears, particularly those that appear to cripple you are best worked through with someone you can speak to honestly and openly. You need to rule out the possibility of postpartum anxiety.
3. Increased confidence
It’s not all bad. Another way that motherhood changed me is that I had a new focus outside of myself. I remain aware of myself but in a new way. I’m more sure of myself and some of my decision-making because I have her best interests to focus on. She puts things into perspective for me. When I’m with my daughter especially, which is almost 100% of my time, I am too busy tending to her in one way or another to be conscious of or care what people may be thinking of what I say or do. It’s odd because, particularly as a first time mom, there are so many aspects of childcare that you’re unsure of in the beginning. However, you find that grow in confidence daily.
Taking advantage of your new-found confidence
Apply it to more areas of your life. Trust your instincts and listen to that voice that tells you what the right decision is to take. If you have enough help, and sufficient energy, try to fit a new endeavour into your life that requires more confidence than you’re used to having. It could be something to do with public speaking, for example. Like being a guest on a podcast. Anything that you previously would have thought of as being outside of your comfort zone.
There you have it. Those are three ways in which motherhood has changed me.
In addition, I reached out to some other moms to see how they felt motherhood changed them. Kate’s and Christina’s statements on how motherhood changes you totally reflects how I feel about gaining a new level of self-confidence.
12 Moms’ views on how motherhood changes you
Being a mother helps me understand why sometimes bad things happen to good people. If we sheltered our child from every ill, from every hurt, they would never learn and grow – they would never even learn to walk if we didn’t let them try, fall down, and get back up again. They would never learn the value of something if they didn’t have to work for it (like chores to earn money for a new toy). Life is the same way – we can’t always see the bigger picture, but growth comes when times are difficult, not easy.Tiffany from Saving Talents
As an only child myself I was a little spoiled and selfish before having my beautiful children. Motherhood has taught me selflessness, patience, and responsibility.Any Reason Life
Motherhood has taught me that kids are so understanding. Just the other night my 6 year old daughter interrupted me getting the toddler to bed and woke him up. I wasn’t too pleased and when I went into her room to lecture her, she said “here Mommy.” She handed me a picture that said “best mom ever.” And I left that room so thankful for such a loving and forgiving child.Stacy @ Protecting Your Pennies
One of the ways motherhood has changed me is that it’s made my family healthier. I’m the cook in my household and got gestational diabetes during both pregnancies. I had to take food workshops as part of the treatment process, which opened my eyes as to how unhealthy I was eating and how it was impacting my child.From Jacqueline at Mom Money Map
Since becoming a mother I’ve become so much more comfortable with who I really am. I spent my twenties always worrying about what people thought about me, about what I was wearing, what my hair looked like etc. These things no longer bother me; in fact it’s not something I even think about anymore. I am who I am and if you don’t like it, I don’t care.Christina from Troubleshooting Motherhood
Motherhood made me be more brave about putting myself out there for work as a freelance writer, pitching potential clients, and asking for raises. I’m just too busy now to overthink things. Send that email, make that phone call, and if it doesn’t work out I don’t have time to dwell on it, I have more important things in my life to worry about now.Kate from High Chair Chronicles
Being a mom has given me more compassion for other people. I was very focused on my self before kids, and often critical of those with kids. Now that I’m a mom, I realize how hard it is! My days are now focused on my kids and my family, and those around me, rather than just myself. I want to raise my kids to be kind, decent people so I’ve had to do work on myself too. That way I can really model what that looks like for them.Shannon from Mama Shan Loves
Motherhood has changed me dramatically in ways I never would have even imagined possible. The most significant is my heart has grown by many sizes. My capacity to love – to feel love and to give love – is almost boundless now. What a beautiful gift.Myra @ A Heart Full of Joy
I am more wise and patient than I was previously. Motherhood is a trial that grows us and transforms us to be role models our children look up to. Through caring for and raising my children, I picked up patience and wisdom that I previously didn’t need because I wasn’t responsible for their lives and character.Little Bear Care
Motherhood has made me more emotional. The thought of something bad happening to my family or thinking about my kids growing up can make me cry. Anytime I watch something sad or sentimental on TV I get teary eyed, this rarely happened before having kids.Jeanne from Have Twins First
Motherhood has taught me how much I need grace, and how much I need to give it to others. As a mom of twins, the overwhelming aspects of it brought out the worst in me sometimes. But my boys are always so quick to love unconditionally and forgive my shortcomings. That has humbled me and motivated me to be more gracious to them and others.Kate from A Hundred Affections
Motherhood has taught me to slow down and enjoy the little things. Playing play doh quietly or pointing out a blue butterfly on a walk to my daughter are highlights of my day rather than unappreciated events that would have meant nothing before.Christina @ Mom in the Six
If you’re a mom, how has motherhood changed you? Do you agree that motherhood changes a woman?