Nothing causes a woman to grow up quite like motherhood. But it feels downright painful at times to be so stretched, so challenged. And even on the days when you wonder whether you are becoming a more mature mom, let me assure you: some precious maturing happens through these years—and not just in our children. We grow, too.
Some of the change is obvious. We go from needing a full diaper bag and a spare in the trunk to just throwing a snack and a pack of wipes in a purse. We go from over-analyzing parent-teacher conferences to walking out feeling like we’re part of the dream team. But under the surface, incredible things are happening that aren’t even related to the day-to-day needs of our kids. There are signs that we are maturing into better versions of ourselves. Here are 5 beautiful ways you should expect to grow as a mom.
1. The Way You View Others
I taught junior high for 6 years before I had children of my own. And although I cared for my students, the boys often left me puzzled. What strange creatures they were, those 8th-grade boys! Seven years later, I went back to teaching, and it took me by surprise that when I looked into those 8th-grade boys’ faces, I saw my 4-year old son. I had a whole different understanding of and appreciation for them. They now seem like big versions of my son. Motherhood gave me that kind of compassion.
With 13 years of parenting under my belt, I also view other parents differently. Rather than judge them or compare myself to them, I usually can relate to them, even when my situation is a little bit different. I believe we are all doing the best we can with what we know right now. And we parents need to support each other as often as possible.
2. The Way You View Yourself
As we parent our children, we encourage them to embrace who they are—their personalities, their interests and talents, and also their outward appearance. We long for them to be confident and proud of who they are and to know that they are valuable and loved, even when they make mistakes. We teach them they can stand up to bullies, stand up for what is right, and that their voices are powerful.
As we teach them, we challenge ourselves to model self-acceptance and self-respect. We tell our children over and over that their mistakes do not define them, and meanwhile, we remind ourselves of this as well. Over the years, it solidifies in our hearts and minds (and that’s a beautiful thing).
3. The Way You Experience the Present
When you’re younger, you feel like this present moment, this year, these circumstances are almost permanent. They are your whole life. But as a mature mom, we quickly learn that today, this year, whether good or bad, is only one chapter of the book. Today is a fleeting moment. And while we can’t enjoy every moment all the time, we learn to enjoy ourselves more. We begin to recognize the “snapshot moments” as they happen and hold them a little bit tighter in our hearts.
As a mature mom, we quickly learn that today, this year, whether good or bad, is only one chapter of the book.
4. The Way You Treasure the Past
Being a mother helps us to treasure what was. The phases that seemed overwhelming are so precious when we look back on them. Now, free from the fears and pressures of being a new mom, we can think of those experiences and smile. And we learn to keep mementos because we want always to remember the years that have past, the things we did, the places we went, and the growth all along the way.
5. The Way You Face the Future
No doubt we all have lived through hard times as a mother. From childbirth or adoption to the terrible twos, through sickness, behavior issues, teenage hormones, and friendship conflicts. We’ve parented through it and come out on the other side of it, wiser and stronger. Fear has less of a hold on us once we’ve been mothers for a while. Yes, we’ve made mistakes, but we learned and grew from them. And while we don’t claim to have it all figured out, we know we will get through it. We gain confidence and perseverance that we never, ever dreamed we could have. So, Mom, can you pat yourself on the back today? You’ve grown, lady. You and me both. And that’s something worth celebrating.
In what ways have you matured most since you became a mother?