Being a modern parent, I have come across the idea that you need to make sure that having a baby doesn't change you.
'Don't let them stop you from doing what you want to do.' 'Make sure you make them fit into your routine, not the other way around.'
'Don't let having a child change who you are.'
I'm sorry, but the notion that having a child shouldn't change who you are as a person is bullpoop. I don't care if you're a 'Hey, I just popped out a baby an hour ago, but of course I'll meet you for lunch and look pretty good whilst doing it!' sort of person or a 'Oh good Lord what's happened to me I feel like I'm dying and my insides are going to drop out while I walk and I can't remember my own last name or how to brush my hair' type of person: having a child changes you. Fact.
It's not to do with how organised you are, or how quickly your body heals after childbirth, or how socially active you are. It's about having a new loved one in your life. Isn't that one of the main points of life? To meet people, have an influence on them, and in return, allow them to influence and shape you? I don't buy into the idea that we are a certain way and that is how we are forever. I think our personalities are a little more flexible. We change all the time.
I mean, I think my husband would be pretty insulted if I said 'Yeah, Chris is a great guy, but he hasn't really had any impact on how I am as a person.' So why are we not allowed to admit that having a child has changed who we are?
Anyway. This little girl turned two today:
Motherhood has had a huge impact on me. The last two years have been topsy-turvy: our circumstances have changed quite a bit and I've gone from working full time to being a stay at home mother. I've lost my direction and my focus, and I've found it again. I've hit the bottom in terms of having absolutely no confidence in myself, fearing even to leave the house in case anyone saw that I was struggling, and I've reached unprecedented highs, too.
I've pushed myself more than I would have done before to reach my goals. I've found a new sense of determination, to see a job through to the finish. I've found strength that I didn't know I had and felt love I never knew existed. I see people differently. I see the world differently.
I mean, things aren't perfect. I have stretch marks and scars on the outside, and, well, on the inside, things could be better.
But oh, my girl.
You've changed me.
I am so thankful to be able to share these precious days with you. And I'm so excited to see the world through your eyes.
Tonight I'm raising a glass to the miracle that is seeing a child blossom before your eyes.
And for the people in our lives that shape us.