This post and awesome giveaway are sponsored by Dr. Smith’s®.. That said, do you feel like motherhood has changed your relationships?
Being a mom – stay at home or working – it changes you. Not just in a physical way – with a big belly and swollen feet and tired eyes, but also in a psychological and emotional way that affects your time, commitments, and ultimately your relationships.
I have been a parent for two years and can attest that things are different. I am no longer the same wife, daughter, sister, friend, or version of myself. None of my relationships have remained untouched; none of my roles are unchanged. It’s all different now. I’m different now.
Nearly five years ago, I pledged to be a wife to a man and to “have and to hold.” What I didn’t pledge was to “need,” because I didn’t think I did. I believed that I was an independent woman who had chosen to commit to someone else, but I never understood people who said they “needed” their spouse.
I never understood those people, until the day we found out we were expecting, and I realized that I could not navigate this journey alone.
I realized that I was about to surrender my body to a tiny human, and that I was going to have physical and emotional needs beyond what I was able to handle on my own. I needed my husband, my partner, and my other half. I needed him to stand beside me, hold me up, and encourage me. I needed a co-parent and a best friend to walk this journey alongside me.
I love my parents, I always have, but I haven’t always appreciated them like I should. I took for granted that my mother and father raised four of us. I misunderstood the value of the healthy lunches my mother made each of us every day, and that my father left work early to attend dance, athletic, and artistic events, I did not understand the magnitude of their love and support.
Once our son was born, I no longer took for granted all that my parents did for us. I experienced firsthand the sacrifices that parents make and fully understood the love and commitment they have for their children. I am forever grateful for this example of selfless parenting.
Growing up with three siblings, “sister” was oftentimes a title I considered resigning to someone who didn’t mind being the “middle” in a large family. Siblings were loud, siblings were rough; they took attention and time and required lots of sharing.
Now that I am a parent, I look forward to my son being able to experience having a sibling or two. I cannot imagine my life without my kind and genuine older brother, softhearted and spunky younger sister, and my hilarious and inspiring younger brother. They were and are my built in “gang,” my team, my pals, the other pieces of me.
When the going gets tough, the tough (and the parents) . . .quickly realize who their true friends are.
Parenthood is such an immediate change in time, commitments, priorities, and energy—Friendship with a mother requires patience, grace, forgiveness, and the occasional acceptance of hormone-fueled craziness.
I am the parenting friend who requires all of those things. I don’t mean to forget, or to be too tired, too overwhelmed, too in need of a shower.
Has this meant that some friendships fade? Has this meant that some friendships require more than I’m able to give? Absolutely- but that’s okay. I can’t be all things to all people- and I don’t need to be – there isn’t enough of me to go around. Thus, I’m forever indebted to the friends by my side who offer me grace, and who stand with me and support me as I muddle through my days.
I strive to be this kind of strong and incredible friend, as well as the friend who smiles, laughs, commiserates, and loves. Daily I am grateful for those who recognize my efforts, regardless of the results.
Being a parent has affected my relationship with myself – I haven’t lost the “me” I was, but I have become the “me” I was intended to be.
Priorities have shifted in a tremendous way; things that used to matter so very much suddenly don’t have room in my days.
I am now dedicated to putting love and time into my relationships with others, but I am also so much more cognizant of taking care of myself, so that I can fulfill my commitments that mean so much to me. I now spend time being introspective and aware of my own needs.
It’s true. I’ve changed. All parents do, it’s just part of the adventure. Fortunately, it’s part of the adventure that has changed my relationships and helped me prioritize those who mean the most to me, those who make me a better mom, a better wife, daughter, sister, friend, a better version of myself, and ultimately a better parent.
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This post was sponsored by Dr. Smith’s®. Developed by a pediatrician, Dr. Smith’s effectiveness has earned it the recommendation of health care practitioners everywhere. It’s the brand parents trust to gently treat even the most severe diaper rash, fast. Dr. Smith’s is available in an ointment and touch-free, zinc oxide spray. It is sold at Target, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and other national retailers, drug and grocery stores.