The softening of a woman

November 12, 2010

Being a mother has changed me.

And yes, that’s the understatement of the century, I know. Duh. Having kids changes you forever. But that’s not what I mean.

What I mean is… I am softer.

I am happier. I am also more tired, stressed, question my marriage, get sick of things that weren’t as big of a deal before, etc. BUT I am also happier on top of all of that. I have new priorities. A new outlook.

I used to be a cynical pessimist, at least overall. I am still cynical in some ways and I am still sarcastic. However, I now wake up in the morning and am excited about starting a new day. What will my son do today? Will today be the day that he laughs, or [insert milestone we’re waiting for here]? Waking up next to him makes me become immediately optimistic, happy. Listening to him babble, nursing him, seeing him smile… how could I be in a foul mood?

I’m more affected my things. I feel more. Bad news stories make me more upset, the death of a schoolmate makes my heart ache more. I’m more flustered by hazardous drivers. I see a teenager smoking and I shake my head and feel sad for them (and then feel old for saying, “Ugh, you’re too young to be doing that!”).

I am more loving. I don’t mind if people hear me cooing over my son, even though I was never a baby person before and the most affection I ever showed was to dogs and horses. It’s more important for me to tell the people I love that, well, I love them. My family has become more important to me. My mom has become my rock… someone who understands and doesn’t judge me, the person who I can vent to, talk to, and who loves my son like he was her own.

My mom came over to visit today and I brought this up, that I am softer. She smiled and nodded and said, “I was just telling someone that the other day.” I used to be rebellious and a bit hard and kept my emotions to myself (even though I’ve always felt things pretty hard and been emotional). Now? Not so much.

The only place where I’m not as soft is with my husband. I love him (LOVE him) but having a child has changed things a lot. Issues that were somewhat minor before have become larger, more important. They affect more than just me now. But we are working on them. Working on our new roles of “dad” and “mom,” when we hardly had time to work on our roles as “husband” and “wife.”

So yes, I have softened. And that’s okay. G is worth that and I like the woman I’m morphing into. I’m a mother.

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