As a first time mom, I had all the same worries that any other first time mom has. Will I be able to tell what my child needs and when? Will my child be healthy? Will I be comfortable nursing in public, or nursing at all? Will I ever be able to get back to that pre-mom shape?! My head flooded with questions that multiplied by the hour. After ten years of motherhood, I feel confident in my ability to know what my children need and when they need it. We survived nursing and it was almost a breeze. We even survived 4th grade, and at times, it was questionable with all of the drama. I have been lucky that my children are very healthy and I am thankful for this every day. However, as new challenges arose, my husband and I have been able to conquer each experience and are now proudly raising two very happy, outgoing and smart little girls. It is the last question of getting back my figure that still seems to have gone unanswered.
As I think back to what my figure was in high school, when my (high-school sweetheart) now husband and I first met, and I wonder why I hadn’t relished in the days of jumping, flexibility and eating anything without gaining an ounce. With the new metabolism that graciously protrudes itself around my mid-section, I can’t help but feel that those skinny days were just a dream. Of course, I have the pictures to remind me that, no, in fact, I have gained quite a bit of weight. And while I have tried many diets, quit drinking soda, and various exercise regimes that I try to squeeze in between work, sports and school activities for my kids, the weight seems to cling to me as much as my kids when they are sick.
So, instead of focusing further on the weight, I propose a new way of looking at what I have “gained”….
1) I have gained a wonderful daughter who looks more and more like me everyday and who has taught me to be creative and look at the world in an entirely new way. She is growing up way too fast.
2) I have gained a second amazing daughter that makes me laugh on a regular basis and who, for the moment, loves her mom terribly and wants to do everything she does. I know I’ll miss these days when they go.
3) I have gained the admiration of my husband who does remember to tell me how much he loves me and what a great mom I am when I am having a frazzled day and am fighting to balance work, homework, and housework.
4) I have also gained admiration for my husband who, before our daughters were born, would not dance in front of anyone. He adores our daughters and has taught them to cook, fish, build a camp fire, hunt and so many things that would fill a separate story. His support and involvement in their lives will make them well rounded young women.
5) I have gained a sense of pride at how happy our little family is and I wonder in amazement (and worry at times) what our girls will say and do next.
6) I have gained patience that I never knew was possible. Food dumped on the carpet…no problem, that’s why we have puppy dogs. Crayon pictures on the wall…well, I guess we did need a little redecorating.
7) I have gained a new kind of love that every new mother gains. It’s not the kind of love you have for your husband, your parents or your siblings. It’s a protective kind of love where you would do anything to keep this little person happy, safe and healthy while still wanting them to make their own mistakes in order for them to grow.
So, while I may have gained a little around the middle, I have also gained many wonderful emotions and memories that take my mind away from the fact that my stomach is now and forever lined with shiny stretch marks. To that, I say…”Go Figure?!”
QUESTION: What have you gained from your experience of becoming a mother?
CHALLENGE: Take time to write down your answers to the above question and keep this record to reflect on during a hectic day.