I have learned more about myself in the nine years since becoming a mom than I had in the decades beforehand. Since she was my first, there are things my daughter has unknowingly taught me about myself from the moment she arrived in my life. She was the catalyst for insurmountable change, essentially transforming me from person to parent. As I started to navigate motherhood, I was forced to look at the world through her brand new eyes, and that included looking at myself.
I’ve felt that my kids have held up a mirror, allowing me to see parts of myself I never would have noticed if it wasn't for the experiences of parenthood. My Type A personality was never going to fly when I had two toddlers, so I had to learn to mellow out and embrace flexibility. I reevaluated my career path in light of having children, and left a lucrative position to pursue something riskier, lower-paying, and ultimately more satisfying in the long run. Having children didn’t change the course of my life, but it has brought into focus those parts of myself I want to improve, for my kids’ sake.
Recently it dawned on me then I’m never going to grow into the mom I think I should be as long as my kids are still growing up. We’re all evolving in the process, together. As a result, I’m definitely learning some things from my daughter, who firmly, but respectfully, calls me out when she knows I could be doing better.