Susan de Vries is a first time mom to her beautiful 8-month old daughter, Sawyer. This is her first blog post, but she loves to write and is thrilled that she has been given the opportunity to share her thoughts and feelings with fellow moms!
After finding out we were expecting, my husband and I began planning and prepping. We took prenatal classes, read books and listened to advice from family and friends about what to expect. Although all of it was beneficial, I know now that I never truly understood the extent that my life, mind, body and soul would change until my child was born and I began to watch her grow.
My relationships and social life have changed
Some of my friendships have slowly started to fade away, but new ones have blossomed with other moms I just recently met. Discussing baby sleep and poop cycles, feeding plans and schedules, and values on how to raise children properly are now the conversation topics that interest me most.
My marriage has been tested as my husband and I have argued more during the past eight months than we ever had before our daughter. But through that we have become stronger, more understanding of one another and more in love than before.
Gone are the days that I can simply hop in my car and go somewhere at the drop of a hat. My purse is now a diaper bag that took half-an-hour to pack to ensure that I did not miss a single item. I will gladly miss a night out on the town to spend the evening at home so that I can put my child to sleep and go to bed early myself.
My mind and outlook on life has changed
Thinking about plans on a given night or the upcoming weekend have been replaced with what I should feed my child for supper, what I need to do to baby proof the house and what activities I can plan to help her grow and flourish. She is the constant thing I think about morning, noon and night.
I have never wanted to be both away from another human being but still with them at the same time as much as I have now. It is extremely confusing and emotionally draining. But there are days when I need a break and the minute we part ways I feel my heart ache in a way I did not know was possible and when we reunite my heart is full again.
I also look at the world differently now and see tragedies in a new light. I now notice have the number of horrible drivers on the road in a whole new light. I weep uncontrollably and my stomach turns at any tragedy regarding a child or parent as I have a new sense of empathy. There is no way I can get through a diaper commercial without tearing up. And I know there is no greater feeling than the love a child brings.
My body has changed
At eight months postpartum my child’s imprint remains. My stomach is covered with loose skin, extra fat, stretch marks and a C-section scar. My clothes still don’t fit the same and yet, I feel more comfortable in my own skin that I ever have before because I know that my ‘imperfect’ body grew my child and brought her into this world.
I yearn for the days when I knew what a long, deep sleep was. I wake-up to the smallest of noises, getting a thirty-minute power nap feels like a huge accomplishment and waking up at 7:30 am is considered sleeping in. Yet somehow my body has magically adapted to suit the sleep-deprived job of motherhood.
My soul has changed
I now understand the true meaning of selflessness. I know that I am still important, but my life is no longer about just me. I would not think twice about sacrificing my own happiness, health or safety for my child.
I also feel now, more than ever before, that there is something more powerful than all of us in this crazy world. After giving life to another being, another soul, who I am now responsibility to raise and shape, I am humbled and feel I have a higher sense of purpose.
Embracing the changes
Eight months ago my world was turned upside down and I have learned a lot about myself over these past months. I never understood how my limits would be pushed and how overwhelmed I would be. I also never knew how much happier and fulfilled my world would be.
Any life change is both beautiful and difficult, motherhood being no different. All of the planning in the world would never have prepared me for the change. But I try my best to find the silver lining in those changes that have challenged my sanity and to bask in the ones that have made it hard for me to believe I was truly living before I became a mother.