By-Products of Motherhood

Being a mother has changed me and brought so much joy to my life. Before having Annabel, I knew there were lots of fun times in store for me and lots of little “perks” that came with motherhood, but some things have really surprised me. Some changes were completely unexpected. I call those “motherhood by-products.” Here are tens ways in which having a baby has changed my life, broken down into three categories…..

The Good:

I’m more productive/I exercise. I always wanted to be the type of person who got my day started early on the weekends. While sleeping in is great, it actually always just served to make me feel lazy. Before having a baby, I tried to force myself out of bed to go for a walk, but it never happened. Now I’m always up early, and on the days I don’t go to work (Friday-Monday), I always go for a walk/run with Annabel.

I’m learning my way around the kitchen. I’ve always wanted to learn to cook, but never really found the inspiration before having a baby. Now I don’t just want to learn to cook, but I need to. And I am. And I know I’m just going to continue to learn more as Annabel gets older and demands something more than pureed fruits and vegetables.

I’m lighter than I used to be. This one might be the most shocking to me of any, but it’s true. I’ve actually lost weight since having a baby and now weigh less than I have since high school. I think most of the weight has come from my butt and it will probably all stack back on once I wean Annabel, but for now I’ll take it! The only downside? My clothes don’t fit so well and during the weeks after I had Annabel, I actually got rid of a lot of clothes that I assumed I would never fit into again since now I’d had a baby and you know….

I see the world differently. There’s definitely something to be said for seeing the world “through a child’s eyes.” It’s cliche but it’s so true! I find myself staring at Annabel all the time as she explores everything around her, wondering how things look to her. And you can’t help but be happy when you see her get so excited about the most (seemingly) mundane things. I bet you didn’t know how hilarious it is to run your hand across a man’s (Nathan’s) stubbly face. But watch Annabel do it and you’ll quickly see that it borders on hysterical.

I watch less T.V. I suppose some people might consider this a bad thing, but not me. I’ve felt for a long time that I needed to watch less T.V. because most of it is complete crap anyway. Now most nights I’m just too tired to stay awake for anything (ok I admit that’s not so awesome!), but even when I’m not, I find I’d much rather spend my limited “me” time doing something more productive, like editing pictures or working on my blog. We also have a “no T.V. on while Annabel is awake” rule going. I love that and think it helps us all connect more as a family and hopefully will keep Annabel from becoming as addicted to T.V. as I was as a kid.

I’m becoming more crafty. This started with Annabel’s nursery and will hopefully continue as she gets older and I try to find fun things for her to do and learn with at home. I’m envisioning lots of fun art projects in our future together.

I eat more healthfully. Aside from all of the ice cream I’ve been eating, the rest of my diet is healthier than ever before. My hope is that this continues to progress as I want to set a great example for Annabel.

I’m trying to “de-toxify” the house more. I don’t want Annabel to be constantly exposed to toxic chemicals, so we’re tying to buy more natural cleaning supplies and household items. I also sometimes use baking soda and vinegar to clean.

The Bad:

I think these are probably fairly obvious, but I’ll go ahead and write them out. I get less sleep, have less time to myself or alone with Nathan and everything requires a lot more planning. Seeing friends is more difficult than ever and I can never just drop everything on a whim to go hang out with friends. Having someone depend on me 24/7 has meant a huge loss of my own independence.

The Ugly:

The days that I am home with Annabel are mostly spent in my pajamas or gym shorts with no makeup, no shower, and hair in a ponytail. Not sexy.

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As you can plainly see, the good far outweighs the bad and the ugly. Most days I just marvel at how lucky I am to be this little girl’s mother, to share my life with her, to love her endlessly and show her as much of the world as I can.

Yep, I’m one lucky lady!

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