I Wasn’t Prepared for Motherhood

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I wasn’t prepared for motherhood. I thought I was, but I don’t know that anything can truly prepare you for it.

They say the day you become a mother your life changes and they are right.

Motherhood has this way of breaking you completely open. It exposes every messy nook and cranny of your mind. It’s emotionally charged and recklessly fulfilling. It’s tiring and uplifting. It will make you cry one minute and laugh in the next instant. It’s wanting tiny hands to stop pulling you in every direction and then missing them the second they stop.

It’s funny how we thought we knew everything isn’t it? As if any book or story told by a friend could actually prepare you for the biggest job of your life.

Motherhood is humbling like that. It reminds you, that no matter how hard you try you will never know it all and you most definitely won’t always get it right.

Full transparency? I make mistakes every day. Yep, you read that right. Every single day. Don’t even get me started on the guilt.

Guilt for doing the dishes or not doing the dishes.

Guilt for losing my patience or too much screen time.

Guilt for working or the piles of laundry I can’t ever seem to get ahead of.

Guilt for missed appointments or frozen meals.

I question whether I’m getting any of this right. If I’m cut out for the job and if I’m screwing up my kids in the process. I feel guilt almost DAILY.

But amidst all of that, something else happened. It became less about me and more about that little person in front of me.

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A selfish part of me died when I become a mom. Things that used to be a priority now get placed on the back burner. My jeans fit a little tighter and I have more wrinkles taking up residency on my face, every day. My house is always a mess and my nerves are definitely more frayed than they used to be.

But I’m finding that what I’ve gained in its place is so much more. I’ve gained perspective. I’ve gained confidence both as a mother and as myself. I’ve grown in more ways than I ever thought possible.

Quite simply, motherhood shows you what you are made of.

It’s equal parts grit and love.

Determination and persistence.

Patience and discipline.

Confidence and perspective.

I can’t tell you when it happened. I’m not sure when the woman I was turned into the woman I am now, but I can tell you this – I like her. She’s more confident. More self-aware. She takes nothing from no one and protects her family fiercely.

Do I still make mistakes and feel guilt? You bet. And I know that will never change, but I have. They say you lose yourself when you become a mother, but I prefer to think of it as a coming of oneself. You learn what really matters and what you are done wasting your time and energy on. You recognize that while you may be flawed, you’re stronger.

Did I lose myself? No, sis. I found her.

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This piece originally appeared at They Whine so I Wine, published with permission.

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Jennifer Thompson
Jennifer is a working mom, blogger, wife, and mama to one rambunctious little boy. Surviving motherhood with a good laugh, dance parties, lots of coffee and a glass of wine. Follow along with her blog for the not so perfect, unorganized and unfiltered working mom at www.theywhinesoiwine.com.