On Becoming a Mother: It’s Okay to Change

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The thing that scares me the most about having a baby is the idea of change. There are things about my life I love and don’t want to change—and it scares me to think that they will.

The other day I thought about writing myself a letter as a way of looking back after the baby is born and reminding myself of who I was before I became a mom. I wanted to remind myself of who I am and what I value. I was afraid of getting swallowed up in motherhood and losing myself completely. I wanted that letter to remind me who I was so I could make sure I hadn’t changed.

But I didn’t write that letter.

Because I realized instead that it’s okay to change.

Even though I don’t want to lose myself when I become a mother, I also don’t want to fight and resist the changes that can and should be born in me during this time.

Pregnancy is changing me; it’s changing my heart and my soul and my body—and that’s okay. How could I possibly bring another life into this world—through my own body—without being transformed in the process?

What I realized when I thought about writing that letter is this:

Change is okay.

Change is good.

Change is not something to fight or resist or run away from.

All the best things that have happened in my life have required that change be born in me. If I were to hold onto who I am, to who I was—I would still be a child, immature and incapable. Change moves me forward and helps me grow into who I am able to be.

So yes, becoming a mother still scares me and I still wonder in what ways I will be different on the other side of this journey. I still don’t want to lose myself completely along the way. But I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to grow. I’m ready to let pregnancy and motherhood birth new life not only in the child I’m carrying, but also in me—in my own soul and spirit as it stretches, grows, and changes right along with my body.

There is this story in the Bible, a parable used to illustrate a bigger idea, about how a seed must be buried, torn open, and essentially—die—before new life can sprout up out of that seed {John 12:24}. The seed is useless if it stays the same, if it doesn’t give itself up and allow new life to spring from it. And I think right now I’m that seed. New life can only be born from me if I’m willing to be buried, torn open, and die to myself a little bit. It sounds really bad for the seed, but think of the blossoms and the life that springs from that giving up and giving out of oneself. It’s really quite beautiful and spiritual.

So it’s true—I will not be the girl I am today when I reach the other side of this journey. I will be a mother. I will have brought life into this world. New life will have been born in me. And everything will be different after that.

And that’s okay.

19 thoughts on “On Becoming a Mother: It’s Okay to Change

  1. It seems to me a very good idea, to write a letter to yourself. It will be good to look back and appreciate the innocence that you enjoy now. But I do believe that being a mother will make you feel more whole, and that you will be amazed by how much more you will enjoy life, despite all the work and the weight of obligations. All the best to you.

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    • I think one great thing about keeping a blog is that I will be able to look back at the pictures and words that helped describe my life before becoming a parent; it’s kind of like keeping a journal in that way, I suppose. I imagine becoming a mother will require that I strike a balance between embracing change and not losing myself completely in this new roll. Thank you for your well wishes :]

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  2. The love you will feel for your tiny infant will be without measure. It will be the most enduring euphoria you will ever feel for another human being. Motherhood does change you in the most amazing ways, if you are ready to be a mom.

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  3. I think it was good that you didn’t write the letter. I’m not expert, but I am a mom and I just had my first a year ago. I still feel like it’s the same old me, but everything around me has changed. It has been the HARDEST thing that I have ever done. Ever. I also dealt with pretty heavy post-partum depression that was frustrating to accept when I couldn’t get over it on my own, but needed help. That was the hardest part for me: accepting help. So when I say that, I realize how much I have changed. I am now willing to ask for and receive help. I could not raise my son without it, whether it comes from my husband, family, friends, or God. Your post led me to think of this. It was nice. I’m glad for how I’ve changed and become more compassionate and dependent on others who are loving and so helpful. My son is lucky to have these people in his life.

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    • Thank you for your honesty in sharing some of the struggles that come with motherhood, Larrie. I think I will struggle too with needing help from others because I am very independent but I know it will good for me to let people in and accept the help that is being offered.

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  4. The one thing I noticed immediately after having our first was, how in the world was I happy without this little being in my life? I knew my life was complete with just me and hubby, but once I saw those little fingers and face and toes I could not remember my life being complete without her. It’s an amazing time and this baby is so blessed to have you and Darren as family. What a gift you will all be to one another, a complete gift filled with the very best. This post is beautiful.

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  5. ditto to your mom. You WILL change, and probably hardly remember who you were before. But in a good way. You will be a better person and capable of so much more love and sacrifice than you ever thought possible. It’s hard, and sometimes heartbreaking, work but you will love every minute of the journey. I wouldn’t go back to “pre-baby” for even an hour!!!

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  6. I loved this post Kari! Yes motherhood WILL change you, but the changes that come with motherhood, or at least that should come with it are wonderful ones. You will become more nuturing, protective (that momma bear thing!), and compassionate. Your spiritual walk will grow because you will realize how very much you need God in your life more than ever before..and how much you yearn for this precious new baby to come to know God as well. There are going to be some frustratingly hard times too…change never comes without a price…but it will be so worth it when that little one smiles at you or wraps a tiny hand around your finger and your heart. Can’t wait to enjoy this journey with you and Darren and babybugsassypants…I love being a mom and I am loving being a grandma!

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