Now that I’ve crossed the threshold of my first year of motherhood, I can look back on it and see the beauty of it. There was plenty of hardship, as I’ve shared countless times through the course of this past year. But becoming a mom has brought so many changes. Not just to my sleep cycle or the fact that being peed on doesn’t gross me out in the slightest.
It has changed me.
There have been so many times when I don’t want to do things for Claire. When I don’t want to change another diaper or stop what I’m doing so I can pick her up and comfort her. When I don’t want to hold my frustration in and respond with a smile instead of a scream.
But I know that my actions matter. In a way that they never have before. My love matters. I know that I have the choice with how I respond to her and what those responses can add up to. There is power in how I treat her and how I love her.
And I have seen it shape this crazy little baby who started out crying all the time into a toddler now who is filled with joy. I like to think that I have helped give her that joy. That my selflessness—even when it was forced out through gritted teeth—has made a difference.
Certainly, I make mistakes in my mothering, and I would never claim anything near perfection. But I know I have tried hard and I can say I’m proud of the mom I’ve become, proud of the woman that being Claire’s mom has made me. Her pitiful, soul-shattering cries have taught me patience. Her unwillingness to sleep except curled up in my arms has helped me become flexible and learn to let the tasks and expectations of the day slip to the ground. Her stubbornness has taught me to laugh instead of stew.
Through it all, I’m learning to melt myself into this role of being a mom, a role that is shaving off the prickly parts of my heart and creating in me a version of myself richer and deeper than I’d thought possible. And we’re only a year in. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of decades have in store!
In celebration of how becoming a parent can make you a better person, BlogHer has teamed up with the Dreamworks' movie, Delivery Man. In it, David (Vince Vaughn) finds out that he’s a dad and goes on a hilarious and heartwarming journey to find his long-lost children—and his true self. The movie comes out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on March 25, which you can pre-order here. (Watch the movie’s trailer or visit the Delivery Man Facebook page to learn more about the movie.)
Plus, BlogHer is offering up a $100 Visa gift card to one Life Blessons reader who comments, letting me know: “How have your kids changed you for the better?”
Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/17/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!