My personality changed after having a baby. It absolutely did. I did not believe or expect that it would, but it did. Motherhood changes you. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

In the months leading up to the birth of my daughter, I had read in books and been told by family and friends about how motherhood changes your life. It’s different for each mom but I can immediately think of three things that happened once I became a mom. I’m also going to explain how I’ve dealt with each change and how you can too.

3 Motherhood changes I experienced

1. Baby brain

There’s the question of how motherhood changes the brain. Baby brain was very real for me during my pregnancy. Interestingly, while there’s so much more to remember when you have children, I do not believe that baby brain goes away immediately after birth. Almost two years in and I still struggle to remember a lot of dates, names and faces too.

Dealing with baby brain

Organization, Organisation. If there was any other way to spell it, I would. You may have not been a fan of to-do lists, diaries and calendars pre-baby. You’re going to have to make them your best friend now. Get yourself a planner LIKE THIS ONE. You’re going to have to remember dates and times for baby immunisations and health checks for yourself and baby, for example. That’s to name only a few. Your to-do list will make you dizzy if you keep it in your head! Write it down – make it happen!

2. Fear factor
Now I do not want to scare away any of you who may want to become moms. I promise. I must say though, that after I gave birth my “risk threshold” crashed almost completely to the ground. Even during my pregnancy, I had thoughts of continuing to travel the world with my baby. I didn’t want motherhood to stop me from doing anything or going anywhere that I had in my plans when I was 25.

I still feel this way. I know lots of millennial women who want to become moms also feel this way. Many millennial moms surely operate this way too. However, I consider the risks of EVERYTHING several times over before I take any big steps. Some small steps too.

Becoming a mother seems to make you become more aware of the frailty of life itself and just how crazy the world is getting to be. It makes you more aware of your own mortality…and your child’s too. Luckily, there are an abundance of those awesome moments when becoming a mom also brings you hope. Hope for an amazing future for your child where they can have and do all the things they dream. Those hopeful moments make up for all the tough, fearful ones.

Face the fear

Take a few deep breaths and consider what is making you afraid and why it scares you. Are you scared for yourself or for your child? Is it a rational fear? We can find risks in just about everything if we look hard enough. However, some of those risks pose imminent threats with irreversible outcomes and no lessons learned. Those are the risks to avoid. Those are the valid fears. All other fears, particularly those that appear to cripple you are best worked through with someone you can speak to honestly and openly. You need to rule out the possibility of postpartum anxiety.

3. Increased confidence
It’s not all bad. Another way that motherhood changed me is that I had a new focus outside of myself. I remain aware of myself but in a new way. I’m more sure of myself and some of my decision-making because I have her best interests to focus on. She puts things into perspective for me. When I’m with my daughter especially, which is almost 100% of my time, I am too busy tending to her in one way or another to be conscious of or care what people may be thinking of what I say or do. It’s odd because, particularly as a first time mom, there are so many aspects of childcare that you’re unsure of in the beginning. However, you find that grow in confidence daily.

Taking advantage of your new-found confidence

Apply it to more areas of your life. Trust your instincts and listen to that voice that tells you what the right decision is to take. If you have enough help, and sufficient energy, try to fit a new endeavour into your life that requires more confidence than you’re used to having. It could be something to do with public speaking, for example. Like being a guest on a podcast. Anything that you previously would have thought of as being outside of your comfort zone.

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