Becoming a mom changed me in ways I never could have imagined. Seriously, I had no idea that during gestation, your brain physically changes to prepare for motherhood. We make space for the new baby in our homes, bodies, and even our brains. Some seem to adjust to motherhood easier than others. It was not an easy adjustment for me. Once I became a mother, adjusting back to being me–or some version of me–was just as, if not more difficult, than adjusting to motherhood.

Going out with friends became an event. Weeks of planning could go into a simple dinner date. I used to feel great about my clothing and have fun with my style but suddenly I found myself going for comfort and function rather than trying to look cute for Instagram. The things I used to do for fun like seeing live music and spending an entire day reading were no longer possible. Many hobbies can be adapted to an activity with kids but it’s not quite the same with the added pressure of knowing you might need to leave at any moment due to a baby emergency.

I dealt with the added change of postpartum depression. Everything felt overwhelming. It was exhausting even to think about grocery shopping or taking the baby for an outing. My anxiety kicked in when I went out with the baby. I was always waiting for something to go wrong, whether it was a meltdown or blowout.

I wasn’t fun to be around during this time and I wasn’t having much fun either. I was constantly worrying or feeling like I was in the midst of a crisis. I was irritable with my husband and he noticed my lack of self too. Things got better but the constant stress was still there.

One day my husband asked me “what do you even think is fun anymore?” I had to really think about this question. My sense of fun did change. Big events like music festivals felt like more of an exhausting nuisance than fun. Mimosa brunches and late nights felt more exhausting than fun, too.

As I really thought about what I thought was fun, I realized the fun was in experiencing things with my daughter. It was fun to go to the zoo and have picnics. It was fun to take her for ice cream and the playground. It was fun to see things for the first time through her eyes. Even “Sesame Street Live” was fun and “Peppa Pig Live” just to see the smile and magic on her face. 

Once I started realizing what was fun and the whole mom thing started to feel fun rather than stressful, I had to unlearn the bad habits I’d built. I had to teach myself not to let my stomach drop with fear when I thought about taking my kiddo out somewhere. I had to teach myself not to stress out for a week over what we would do during the weekend. I had to learn not to overpack a diaper bag and stay calm during a tantrum. I had to learn not to exhaust myself thinking about everything that needed to get done. I learned not to dread bedtime and bath time, or any notoriously grumpy times in general.

To those in the thick of it, I can’t promise it will get better. I can’t promise motherhood will always be fun. The bad days still come where I can’t pull myself out of the negativity. I still think about the freedom before motherhood. Sometimes I daydream about the person I was before, but I couldn’t be the person I am now without my daughter. I’m learning to love that person more every day as my love continues to grow for my girl. 




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