Here they are, the top ten ways becoming a mom has changed my life:
1. My boobs are Longer.
I’m embarrassed that it’s first on the list, but this one is striking. Before my children came along, I had tiny little barely-A-cup gymnast breasts. After my first, the boob fairy granted me a Double D Deluxe set which shocked everyone, including myself. As I now come almost to the end of nursing my second, we are settling in at a soft and gently elongated B cup. Time to go bra shopping. Again. Motherhood does wonders for the bra industry.
2. My time is more precious, and I’m way more efficient with it.
The idea of wasted time (a movie that I don’t like, or a bad massage, or a meeting with no purpose) is an abomination. Instead, I can write a blog post in 20 minutes or less, shower in two minutes, and eat a full meal in under 5 minutes (probably not the best thing for my digestion, but necessary sometimes). A wise person said, ‘if you want something done, give it to a busy person.’ Or just give it to a mom
3. My heart is more open.
There is no way to know what motherhood is going to feel like, no more than you can know what India is like until you walk through New Delhi, accosted by the sounds and smells of a million people, animals, rickshaw drivers, and body parts. But the greatest surprise for me has been the pure sweet love that has come through my heart. Before my kids, if a bear had attacked someone I loved, I would have used bear spray, yelled loudly, or gone to get help. Now, if a bear attacked one of my children, I would be sitting over a dead bear with blood on my hands before I actually realized what happened. This love is a whole new level. It’s physical, visceral, and undeniable. And truly unconditional.
4. My house is messier.
Okay, this one might not actually be true. My house used to be a wreck in a certain, creative, costumes all over the place, dishes in the sink, ‘I’ve-watched-an-entire-season-of-Alias-this-weekend-because-I- can’ kind of way. Now my house is a tornado of toys, legos, sponge bob, stuffies, train tracks, diapers, socks (I think my son goes through 4 pairs of socks a day) and other people’s underwear. I think the main difference is before when my house was a wreck, I’d usually avoid having anyone over until I got it mostly cleaned up. If I did that now, I’d never see anyone. I’m amazed at my tolerance for mess while nannies, friends, and family members come over and join blissfully in my chaos.
5. I love my husband way more.
There is something about seeing a tiny human being with a mix of facial features matching myself and a man I love that is beyond words. When my almost two year old daughter wrinkles her eyebrows in that same earnest way that my husband does. Or when I tossle the curls of my five year old son, and smell his sweet little boy smell of sunshine, sleepiness and peanut butter and think of a picture of my husband at the same age, my heart just opens. Not to mention that he’s seen me inside and out, both physically and emotionally over the last five years. I’m pretty sure no one knows me or loves me like he does.
6. I have a lot more anger. And I express it.
Even as I love more, I also get a whole lot more pissed. I’ve screamed “HONEEY!!!” across the house in a way that was not the least bit tender or endearing. And towards my beloved children, I’ve heard such phrases leave my mouth as “I’m going to swat your behind!” Or “Do you want me to call your father!” Or when I have the wherewithal “mommy needs a time out.” I’ve hit the wall- more than ever before, and at least once physically. I’ve felt the deep soul rage that can only come from that special blend of sleep deprivation, constant body molestation and total lack of self care for months on end.
7. There are a lot less pictures of my cats.
Okay, this one is a little sad. It’s not just the pictures (which there used to be MANY- cute xmas cards with Sandy and Booda, pictures of Sandy lounging around, pictures of Booda looking neurotic for no reason), it’s the rank. My cats have fallen so far down the totem pole, they’re not even on it anymore. These feral beasts that still call our house their home used to be the vessel of all my displaced maternal love. Now they make me crazy. They are on Prozac (literally) which helps to a certain degree. But at least once a week my husband will say “hey, did you know so-and-so is looking for a cat?” Sad, but true.
8. I’m a lot less selfish and self- centered.
So even though I’m less in love with my cats, I’m more in love with and love taking care of a lot of other people. I delight in cooking a beautiful meal for others (something that used to offend my feminist hide). I feel a sense of calm strength staying up all night with a sick kiddo on my chest. And I love making my son laugh in the bathtub more than making an entire audience laugh at Improv Olympic in Los Angeles.
9. I get to play with LEGOS! (again)
This one might be my favorite. My son calls me a ‘master builder’ as we work for hours on a space station that covers six different moon plates (won by me in an intense Ebay showdown-probably with another mom). It has seven spaceships, sleeping areas, a rocket launching pad, a mobile space lab, and a hanging planet earth hanging from the curtain rod near the lego table. Sometimes I think… “this is why I became a mom.” To do the things that brought me so much joy as a kid and call it “parenting.”
10. I love who I am becoming every day.
I think most moms would agree with me when I say I’ve had two different lives. One from the day I was born until May 12, 2009 at 2:02am, and one from that moment on. When I felt my son’s warm slippery body on my chest, after working for days to get him out, and my heart sang as I looked into his perfect, wet, open eyes, I knew life would never be the same. Since that day, I’ve let go of perfectionism, and welcomed the philosophy of “good ’nuff.” I’ve let go of thinking I can do it all myself, and opened up to my place in the grand village of life. I’ve stopped trying to ‘look like I have it all together’ and learned how to live more fully in my skin. And I have my children to thank for this. Even if I would like to get a little more sleep.