I consider myself pretty self-aware and can say I know and appreciate the amazing things about me, while simultaneously acknowledging my faults and flaws. For example, I'm loyal and kind, but I'm also a notorious drama queen and have a tendency to throw a tantrum or two. However, it wasn't until I had a baby that I realized what I was really made of and who I really was. I guess there are just some things you learn about yourself after having a baby, that are pretty damn difficult to learn at any other point in your life.
Now, I'm not saying that you have to have a child in order to reach some higher level of self-reflection or understanding. Nor am I suggesting that you should have a baby just so you can learn something about yourself. However, motherhood does provide you with more than a few moments when you'll really dig into the core of who you are, and what you find might surprise you. For example, I was planning on having my husband at my side during labor and delivery, and having a relatively straight forward birth. Instead, my husband came down with a debilitating migraine that had him using my birthing pool as a puke bucket, and eventually he was sent home by my doctor before I gave birth. Luckily my mom turned out to be the best birth coach I could have asked for (and I really needed her, as a series of complications led to my son being born in an emergency situation and with a lot of interventions and drama.) That moment taught me so much about myself -- what I can endure in the name of motherhood, for example -- and I think I would be hard-pressed to find another situation that's capable of showing me just what I'm willing to go through in order to see my baby for the first time.
Mothers would do anything for their children, including risking their own safety and health, for the benefit of their babies. For better or worse, that innate need to give your baby absolutely every single part of you, starts on the very first day they're born and continues forever. That need, it turns out, also doubles as an excellent way to learn more about yourself, including but certainly not limited to the following: