Motherhood has made me a better person

9 Jun 2017

When I look back at my character in my teens and early twenties, I don't always like the person I see. I think, like many people at that age, I was a bit full on and this extended not only to my general personality and demeanour but my opinions, how I presented myself and how I would interact with other people. I wasn't a horrible person back then, but I certainly had a lot of growing up to do and throughout my years back in education in my early twenties, completing my A Levels and getting my Psychology degree, I definitely matured and took more responsibility as an adult. I thought the changes, the literal growing up I did, was a lot - but it's nothing compared to the way in which Motherhood has changed me as a person.

I think I found myself a little lost when I had Willow. My whole world, my entire life, had changed forever and after just a few short weeks I found myself in a slow spiral downwards into postnatal depression. If I try and look back on those first few months, well her first year, in fact, I see every memory with great clarity, but thinking about myself is a little hazy, like a distant memory. Maybe all mothers get that, maybe not, but over the past few months, I've finally started to feel more like myself again, just a newer, better version.

You see, Motherhood has changed me. It's changed me so irreversibly, that my life before Willow feels like a different life, a past life that feels just out of reach. I expected things to feel different when I became a Mother, but I didn't expect that becoming a Mother meant saying goodbye to the girl I once was, or the woman it would make me. Everyone tells you that your life changes forever and everyone is very quick to tell you the ways in which becoming a parent will negatively impact your life. Yet here I am, 16.5 months down the line, finally rising out of a blur of postnatal depression, and I can only see the positive ways in which becoming a Mother has changed my life.

I'm not as judgemental as I used to be. Motherhood has introduced me to women, and men, from all walks of life whose lives could not be further than my own. Connecting with these parents, because of the common ground of having children, has opened my world up to new people who have taught me so much. It's opened my eyes to all the wonderfully unique ways we parent and made me more open to trying new things. It's many of these parents, met in the Punky Moms groups, that have given me the confidence to parent my own way, and to make choices about how to bring my daughter up that are the best possible choices for her.

Willow has torn down defensive walls I had spent years building around myself and has made me a softer person. We were Team Yellow when I was pregnant and so we didn't know that Willow would be a girl, in fact, I openly told people I wanted a boy - I think I was scared. I've never had the best relationships with other girls and my own relationship with my mum leaves much to be desired, so I worried that I wouldn't cope with a daughter. I wouldn't know how to be around her, how to treat her, how to bring her up in a better way than I was, and yet, it turns out the opposite is true. I could not imagine my life without my little girl and she really and truly has made me a softer, more kind and loving person.

Instead of worrying I wouldn't be a good enough Mother for a daughter, she has made me a stronger, better person who wants nothing more than the absolute best life for her. She's made me even prouder to be a feminist and I will raise my tiny feminist fearlessly. She has made me realise how strong and independent and powerful women can and should be, and how I present myself will be the example for her future.

Becoming a Mother has given me more confidence, to say how I really feel, to stand up for what I believe in and most importantly, to have confidence in my views on parenthood and the choices we make as her parents in how we bring her up. She's given me more confidence to stand up and shout in support of every cause I believe in because I want her to grow up in a better world than the one I brought her into. She is the fire inside of me that keeps me strong and makes me feel powerful, like the things I do can have a positive impact and make positive changes.

Motherhood has shown me sides of myself that I never knew, nor dreamed, existed. Becoming a Mother was like opening the floodgates to let out every negative and bad thing about myself, to become the Mother my daughter deserves. Willow has helped shape me into the woman I was always meant to be, and that's a woman I am really damn proud of.

So thank you, my little girl. For without you, I would not be the person I am today, and to you, I owe everything.

Did you read last week's post on Motherhood?
5 Things I would do differently if I have another baby.