Before the Wee One, my best friend used to tell me how much being a mom changes you. I only half believed her because I was already a mom. Sort of. That’s not to say step-moms are not moms. They are. It’s just different.
But then I had my own kid and my heart opened even further. I wish I had known how to open it like this sooner. Don’t misunderstand – I love my step-daughter. She is my kid as far as I’m concerned. But I wish I’d been more patient, more understanding. Because I feel more patient, calmer, and maybe just a tiny bit wiser. And I wish she’d gotten some of the benefit from this.
Even when I’m having a bad day, stressed to the core, I look at that little boy and things get better. I stop, and I smile at him to make sure he doesn’t just see a frowning mama all the time. I want him to remember joy from his childhood. A sense of well-being. Security.
Being a mom has really, truly changed me. I knew I had a capacity for love, but I didn’t know how deep it was. I’ve always felt a bit selfish. But there’s no getting by with that now. My needs are minor compared to someone who depends on me for their very existence. Oh, I still try to fit in taking care of myself when I can, but most of his needs take precedence. They just do. I’m the one that has to learn balance, not him.
My heart feels bigger (as do my hips, but that’s a story for another time). I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff, like the river of poop that landed in my lap today when the kid had a diaper blowout (around his leg – how does that happen?). I am finally able to stop and ask myself “Will this matter tomorrow? Next week?” And the little things rarely will.
Being a mom is wonderful, amazing, and hard as can be. I still frequently feel frazzled, like I’m not getting anything done. Or at least, not enough. J has been incredibly helpful in that regard. And understanding.
So my friend was right. Motherhood has changed me. And I’m pretty sure it’s for the better.