Every year, Mother’s Day brings a wave of gratitude and appreciation for our first and longest-lasting relationship, our bond with our mothers.
We understand the biological factors that make a mother important, but we also take this time to acknowledge those for whom giving birth was merely the first step.
Mothering is, in fact, far more than just giving birth. It is bonding, caring, cleaning, changing, guiding, and rooting for another person for years and years. And those are things that can happen in a relationship that does not even require having given birth.
That is, being a mother is an action and a choice, and not a matter of childbearing at all.
Being a mother changes your schedule
Of course one of the most obvious changes that comes with being a mother is the change to your schedule. A newborn baby sleeps and wakes seemingly at random. An attentive mother will soon figure out the pattern and many mother’s attempt to influence that cycle as quickly as possible so that naps and meals and a good night sleep happen at the same time for every member of the family.
But being a mother really rocks your world, and it does this first by depriving you of sleep, stealing away your “me” time, interrupting your date nights and time with friends.
Generally, the baby takes charge at first, by turning everything else on its head.
Being a mother changes your circle of friends
The next big change that comes with being a mother is to your circle of friends.
This doesn’t mean that you lose all of your friends and replace them with the new set. However, it does mean that there are changes and who you spend your time with and when.
Your friends who have children about the same age as yours will naturally become closer friends. After all, you are going through the same experiences at the same time. And because they are the same age, your children will naturally gravitate toward each other and be interested in the same things.
Your friends who don’t have children will become more distant. This isn’t because they’ve changed or they resent your baby or you don’t like them. It is because your experiences as a parent are slightly less relatable to them. you simply don’t have the same kind and quantity of similar events.
While you won’t lose your friends you will, with some luck, add some new and fantastic lifelong friends and expand your circle.
Being a mother changes your wardrobe
Being a mother changes your wardrobe.
First of all, a new mother has very little to think about other than practical solutions to problems. this means it all of your clothing for the next few years must be easily washable.
Also, because you are subject to be called on to mother your child at anytime, your clothes have to be easy to put on and take off. A jacket with seven snaps? Forget it. Those fancy shoes with the strap that laces twice around your ankles and clasps into the base? Just no. Put that stuff away. It’s pull-on sweats and hoodies and jeans for a little while.
That’s okay, because they are also easy to pull off when you get a blessed moment of silence where you can crawl back into the sheets.
Being a mother changes your diet
Even if you weren’t a White Claw-swilling night-on-the-town debutante before you became pregnant, your diet still must change.
If you followed the precautions, there is less alcohol in the house anyway, and breast-feeding means you can have some but not a lot. But also, those days of chips and dip standing in for a meal are gone. You need real food now. You’re bending over and picking up toys, and babies, and all sorts of cleaning tools all the time.
You need REAL food.
Plus, your child is going to imitate your habits, and they will eat what is available in the house. Stash those Oreos someplace special and out of sight from everyone in the house, it’s time for apple sauce. Sure you can steal a few of your favorite things, but the overall menu needs to build a stronger you, and a stronger baby.
Are you welcoming a new baby into your home? Wondering how you are going to deal with the stress of parenthood, while still managing everything that was going on before baby arrived?
Talking to a therapist like Sakina Issa can help.
With weekly posts about parenting, relationships, and self-growth, Sakina offers insights and ideas that will help you with the very real problems you face every day. And if you find yourself needing to talk, just press the red appointment button to schedule a quick, no-obligation discussion to see if maybe therapy is right for you.