They never told me this: how motherhood changes you

I’m a different person now. I’m a mum.

Things they never told me. They never told me being a mum would hurt. I don’t mean childbirth; I mean being a mum. They never told me motherhood changes you. This is how I’ve changed:

I no longer sleep. Its not just because my baby wakes a lot during the night. Its because six years, 4 months and 12 days ago I became a mum. I lost my ability to sleep soundly. I became able to stir at the slightest sound, on full alert and ready to spring from sleep because somebody needed me.

I have more morals. I no longer smoke, I feel guilty when I drink wine, I hardy swear anymore and I turn rap music down.

I got myself a career. I decided I wanted a job that my children could be proud of. I wanted them to say, ‘My Mum is…’ instead of ‘My mum does…’

I stepped into a new world. A world full of more than just nappies, breast-pumps and calpol. A world full of pride, joy, love, fear. A world that meant I could never turn back or run away.

They never told me I would be able to pick out MY child’s cry from a sea of a hundred others. They never told me I would know the back of my child’s head from any distance. They never told me about the fear you feel when you lose them in the supermarket, or the utter relief when you find them crouched by the comics eating wax crayons. They never told me how horrid it would feel to see them sitting alone on a bench in the school playground, waiting for you to come and get them, to give them a hug. They never told me how lovely that hug would feel. They never told me how frightening it could be. They never told me how much I would laugh. Or cry.

Fourteen months and eighteen days ago, I changed again. I dipped a toe into dark waters and I shrank back again. I moved away and I’m moving on, but I’ll never be the same again. Things I wanted then aren’t the same things I want now.

I no longer take things for granted. I no longer expect things to just happen; I know I have to go and get them.
I’m a different person now.


16 responses to “They never told me this: how motherhood changes you

  • TheBoyandMe

    Thank you for writing this, I thought I was alone in feeling it. In an INSET recently on Philosophy for Children, the provider asked when we felt we had become or would become ‘grown-up’ and both male teachers in their mid 20s said “when we have children.” That to me was perfect, and summises how I feel now; ‘grown-up’.

  • lena mummymission

    I love this so much. It is all so true, we give up so much and our lives change but all for the better and all for the love of our amazingly beautiful babies. xx

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    There’s no feeling like being a mother that you can compare to. It’s the most incredible way of life that no one will ever be able to truly describe. That feeling of unconditional love is something we begin to experience the moment our baby is born, and often when its still in the womb.

    CJ xx

  • Him Up North

    Brilliantly expressed feelings. Children are incredible like that. They change you from the inside, out.

  • mummy@bodfortea

    It’s such a wonderful truth isn’t it? That we are never the same once we become Mothers. I never knew I had the capacity to love so deeply, so unconditionally. Thank you for sharing this x

  • Circus Queen

    This is lovely. It’s make me look forward to the changes even more. 🙂

  • mumfordandsons4real

    All so true, I became a mum 6years 3 months and 23 days ago so there isn’t much between our 2 eldest’s.
    It’s amazing how much you learn in such a small amount of time, and just when you think you have sussed it out bam they come out with something new to keep you on your toes.

  • Michelle Rogers

    Amazingly well said!
    Everything changes when you become a parent – not only how you feel about yourself, but also the world around you. Suddenly (almost) everything in the world seems one hundred times more beautiful.
    Before I had my son, I felt a small, nagging emptiness that I couldn’t explain. Now it’s gone. The love that I feel for my little boy has filled that empty hole, and I love him more each day.
    I love him in a more intense way than I ever loved before, care more intensely, worry more intensely, feel his pain more intensely, and feel intensely proud of everything my son does. Even the artistic way he decorated my newly painted kitchen wall with chocolate fingerprints yesterday!

  • The Domestic Anarchist

    Impecable, as always, you write divinely. This sums up perfectly what all of us parents feel and very fitting for this meme. xxx

  • Jennie

    Wonderfully written. I am sure yur children will be very proud of their very special Mummy x

  • Mother Badger

    All very true. I had zero maternal instinct before Baby Badger was born, but when she was born there was an immediate impulse to protect her. I had no idea how big an effect motherhood would have.

  • Mummy Beadzoid

    Such a perfect post. I identify with it a lot – except for the “I could pick my child’s cry out’ part as I keep leaping up in the middle of the night only to find it was next door’s little ‘un! *sigh* 😉

    Well done on an excellent launch. You both done good!!! xXx

  • helloitsgemma

    so much they don’t tell you – this should be on the reading list for pregnant mums X

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