In college, I changed schools three times and majors four. I’ve wanted to become an Interior Designer for model homes, an FBI agent, a journalist, a flight attendant, a caterer, an event planner, a forensic investigator, a criminal profiler, a preschool teacher and a guidance counselor over the years. There was also a brief stint where I wanted to become a famous singer until my mom gently explained that the melodic voice in my head wasn’t quite the same as the glass shattering one I let out in the shower. I’ve bounced around with putting my interests into a career field: I love to travel, to run, to help others, to design. I enjoy and am knowledgeable in criminal justice and psychology. And mostly, I love kids. The one thing that has never changed from a very young age was my desire to become a mom. I have always known that no matter what else, I wanted to one day take on what I feel is the most incredible role in the world: to become a mommy.
There were times in my life I thought I may never be able to become a mom. There were years I struggled with infertility. But then I met the love of my life, my other half and as if it was meant to be, we created a miracle.
From the moment I stood in our apartment bathroom in Austin and saw 2 red lines appear on the HPT, my life changed forever. In that moment I began a transformation from “Me” into “Mama”. That isn’t to say I lost my identity, gave up my own interests and hobbies (like running). But I changed inside as much as I began changing outside.
On August 19th when I first held my miracle baby, the little boy I had waited all my life to meet, I was forever changed completely. Becoming a mother is truly living with your heart outside of your body, it’s loving someone else unconditionally, it’s loving someone else more than yourself, more than you ever thought it was possible to love something; it’s wanting to become a better role model for this child, a better person, one they could hopefully look up to one day. It’s about practicing more of what you preach or hope to teach to your child.
When I became a mother I became a new person, a better person, a better version of myself.
I’m more patient. I’m more forgiving. I’m more understanding.
I’m more committed, more grounded, more driven.
I see this exemplified mostly in my running. I want to teach my children to never give up, to strive for their best, to redefine the impossible. How can I teach them that without showing them? Now when I run, I give it my all. I push that extra mile. I don’t give up, I dig in. I find my limits and I exceed them. I just do it while pushing a jogging stroller now 🙂
I’ve also learned to be easier on myself in other areas. Before I became pregnant I’d put my body through anything. Sick? Sure I can still run. It’s raining and 20 degrees? Bring it on. I sprained my ankle? My knees hurt? Pain is weakness leaving the body. I’d push and push and push. When it came to my body it didn’t matter what number appeared on the scale or how flat my abs were, I didn’t appreciate my body fully for everything it did for me. But pregnancy and labor changed that for me. I learned to see my body in all it’s beauty and wonder. And that’s not to say you have to give birth to appreciate yourself but for me it was what truly opened my eyes to reality.
So I have stretch marks? Awesome! They’re beautiful reminders of the journey of creating another life. So I’ve got a “mama pouch”? Who cares! That belly made a HUMAN out of nothing. I’m not feeling this run? My legs hurt? My lungs are burning? Don’t give up, slow down. Keep pushing but know you are amazing, you are strong.
The voice in my head has done a 180. I used to curse myself mentally for not running faster, farther, pushing through and you know where it got me? No where but miserable. Now even on my slowest, hardest runs, the ones where I’d rather be doing anything but running that voice in my head tells me I’m amazing. To keep pushing for no other reason than because I can. And now, I smile when that voice cheers me on and I dig a little deeper.
There are still days of course that nothing fits quite right, that I feel a little uncomfortable in my own skin. But I stop in those moments and remind myself that I am beautiful. I can create life, I can run and move, I can take a breath and just appreciate the things I should be grateful for every day. And I can always make smarter decisions today to feel a little better because after all, tomorrow is a new day.