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Before You

changes in parenthood

One day my little child, you may wonder who your mother was before you came along. That person I was before you turned my world upside down.

Well here is a glimpse to things I did before you came along.

I was able to get myself up and out the door in the morning in 30 minutes (15 minutes when I hit snooze one too many times).

I have always loved my coffee (sleepless nights did not start that habit).

I would get lost in a book and sometimes even finish a really good one in a weekend.

I could go out for a meal at any restaurant and not worry about there being a wait or how long our meal would take to arrive.

Your father and I would decide with only a few days’ notice that we were going to go away for the weekend.

When I had nowhere to be I would frequently sleep in until 10 am, sometimes even later.

Sometimes I would have movie marathon weekends that were not entirely animated.

Late night trips for appetizers occurred frequently.

There were a few times I was even at a bar at closing time.

You may think that I am saying my life was better before. I assure you it was definitely different but it was not better.

When you arrived on the scene and I saw firsthand how much you depended on me, my heart opened up more than I ever believed was possible. I realized I needed to make decisions now that not only impact me but would shape your life as well. Decisions came in every shape and size, from big to small. They ranged from how to feed you, how to get you to sleep, how and when to introduce solid food, what baby products to buy. Every day has been a litany of new decisions.

This might shake some people.

I found it made me stronger, more confident. I came to these decisions, sometimes trusting my mommy gut, sometimes researching the hell out of it, sometimes talking with other moms but I accepted my decisions and stood by them. I wasn’t shaken the way I would have been in the past. Other people’s opinions of the decisions I was making no longer mattered as much as they would have.

I have become more resilient. Those decisions I made were not always right the first time. I want to do the best I can by you though so I try and try again. I do not let myself get knocked down as easily as I would have before.

I have always been a night owl but you taught me how little sleep I actually do need as well as how much sleep I really do need.

I was going to thank you for changing me forever. The more I think about it though I think it is more appropriate to say that you have helped me become my most authentic self. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time every time I stood my ground or grew as your parent, really I was doing it because I would not compromise myself or my values because you deserved my best self, my true self.

You have taught me to share more, be more patient and to stop to enjoy the little moments. I am still learning these lessons though, day by day so I ask you to be patient with me when I fall short. I am not perfect, nevertheless I am growing right alongside you, learning about myself as I grow with you.

So you may never truly know the person I was before I became a mother but I fully believe that you know a better person.

Love always,

Your Mother

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