How Has Parenthood Reshaped Me?

There are so many reasons I love Target and always have, especially when they offered to sponsor this very post and start a discussion on how parenthood changes us in ways that make us feel like we are normal and belong. You can click HERE to shop Target baby, but let’s be real… as you’re reading this, you’re already standing in your doorway and throwing kids in the back seat for your very own Target adventure. No reason to be embarrassed, so am I. If I see you there, let’s do that “stay strong momma” or “I feel you sister” head nod as we cross paths with our chorus of screaming babies!

When I analyze my life after having children, it makes me realize that, ironically, I have never been more myself. I say ironically, because I have had literally zero time for myself, zero nights of good sleep, zero trips to the bathroom alone, zero time to commit to music which is what I love the most in the world, and still I feel like I have never been more me than I am right now, and I will tell you why.

 Motherhood has shaken and turned my world upside down, reshaping me deeply and re-centering my priorities. In a situation where I would have been judgmental and lay blame, I now literally imagine myself in the other person’s shoes, I try to picture their story, what may have brought them to this point. I now understand my parents better now better than I could have understood them when I was younger, I am more patient and loving with them because I can now finally understand all sacrifices they have made for me all my life. I now prefer to be kind to people, it feels so much better than ignoring them or being indifferent. To myself, I now give grace and a greater sense of self-worth because I want to be a healthy example of self-love and confidence to my two little girls. I want them to grow up with no doubts that they are strong, that they are powerful and that they can be whatever they dream or imagine they can become.

 I attribute all the good changes and this Maya 2.0 version 100% to my children. This is not a result of my own work. I did not develop these traits alone, I believe that Maya 2.0 is a direct product of my children and their presence in my life.

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Things are not always cupcakes and rainbows by any stretch of the imagination. Some days I just to step out of the room where both my children are screaming, crying and misbehaving in, because I feel like I am about to lose control over my “keeping it together” emotions and break in front of them. I take a couple of minutes to come back to reality, and try understanding that they don’t know better 90% of the time, and that rough days will happen. Some mornings I cry because I only got 3 hours of sleep, and one of them spilt my coffee and I feel completely alone and defeated, but these moments are the reason we all are reshaped after becoming parents. It is within the depth of each and every hardship that we develop a resilience that cannot be taken away and only made stronger. You develop extra Superwoman skills; you become more aware, creative, even stronger, and you exercise your compassion and your ability to adapt todifficult circumstances.

You understand that they need YOU not only to survive, but to shape them into being respectful, successful, kind and compassionate people. There are no “participation trophies” for motherhood, your children are your trophies to mold and devote yourself to. It sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?

For me, that pressure is overwhelming to say the least. The weight of responsibility for other lives aside from your own can be crippling, but we do not have the choice to let it become a burden. Ever. That is why we have to be strong enough to give ourselves grace. The moment we understand that we cannot be the perfect parents and that such a thing does not exist, we are free to live and flourish in the fun and light sides of being a parent and who knows, even find enjoyment in the small moments even if they are a bit chaotic. I remember how hard it was when my second daughter was born and was immediately hit with colic. It was only the second week and I was just trying to survive being a mom of 2 under 1 and both started girls crying at. the. same. time. and. would’t. stop. Here is a clip for your enjoyment:

I started panicking, I was so scared. I was on my own with them for the first time and felt so helpless and alone, but in what felt like a supernatural moment, I burst out laughing because I felt in my heart that I would miss this one day and that I could handle things just fine. Every experience I had until that point in my life prepared me to handle that very situation. So here I am… exactly 1 year after that clip. I am happy, I am alive, I am SO TIRED, but I am doing the best I can every single day and enjoying every single moment of this amazing ride.

*Target runs look a little bit different now, but they burn more calories: toddler won’t go in cart, 2 nursing trips to the fitting room, a few extra dollars spent here, a couple tantrums there, but every trip is definitely worth it for my own sanity!!!!

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So yes, parenthood is probably the biggest change a person or a couple will EVER go through. It transforms and modifies everything about you, but I will tell you something that I know with absolute and unwavering certainty: these challenges refine you and make you become the best version of yourself because motherhood requires and pulls out the absolute best in you. Ok, now I am getting baby fever (and Target fever!), so let me go make some food and distract myself from the fact that I think 10 more children. K… bye!

Published by

Maya Vorderstrasse

Happily sleep-deprived, Maya exercises her unique and authentic personality, translating her personal experiences with her Irish twin daughters, Zoey and Hazel, into funny and honest posts, often accompanied by her best friend and husband Tim and her letter board. As a mother, a graduate in communications and advertising, and a musician, Maya has employed her whit, charm, abilities, and expertise in relatable posts and essays about motherhood and her experiences. Although Maya has been blessed with magazine features by Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Us Weekly and appearances on countless international websites, blogs, and even several television stations, Maya enjoys her active and successful engagement with other mothers, or soon to be mothers, on her Instagram page.

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