‘Motherhood ruined me. I was fun in college. I had friends, I went out. I didn’t have whole lot to worry about.’

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“Motherhood Ruined Me

I was pretty fun in college. I had friends, I went out, I did things. And I don’t want to brag, but I looked good. Good as in, I wore makeup. Good as in, I fixed my hair. Good as in, my tummy was flat and my boobs were, you know…more upwards.

I didn’t have whole lot to worry about. My house was paid. My bills were paid. I shopped A LOT.

I went to class. I worked out. I peed alone. When I wanted to stay in, I stayed in. When I wanted to go out, I went out. You know, the stuff dreams are made of. I didn’t have Netflix back then, but I did have all 10 seasons of “Friends” on DVD, which I watched over and over and over again.

Everybody was still alive on ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ Avril was still going strong and we were all making things complicated with heavy eyeliner and layered tank tops. Chunky highlights were super cool. And then, of course, there were cargo pants, so we had pockets for all of our stuff. And by our stuff, I literally mean OUR stuff: no diapers, no sippy cups, no in-case-we-have-a-blowout spare onesie. Those tacky pockets were for our stuff only. These were good times.

And then I got married. Life was great, but stuff was expensive. And then shortly after, I had kids. Life was great, but stuff was even more expensive. Suddenly, I knew what it was to worry. I knew what it was to lose myself. I didn’t shower every day. I didn’t sleep. My eyes didn’t look quite the same. Suddenly, I needed bras with a little more support and off-brand Spanx to hold in the extra fluff childbirth left behind.

Financially, it made more sense for me to stay home, so I stayed home. I had a second baby, and everything changed. My schedule went from whatever the heck I wanted to do to whatever the kids needed me to do. My morning routine went from two hours to get ready to two hours to get everybody else fed and dressed and out the door and just hoping I remembered to brush my teeth before heading outside. A quick trip to Target used to mean a quick trip to Target. Now it meant spending at least 20 minutes just getting everybody loaded up and into the car. Date nights went from fancy dinners and late-night concerts to Chipotle on a TV tray after the kids are in bed. I still wear workout pants, but now I wear them with sweatshirts that are long enough to cover my rear end instead of with little crop tops.

I only worried about myself. I mean, I liked my friends, I cared about the kids I mentored, but deep down, I really only focused on my own needs, my own wants, my own life. Because it was my own life. I didn’t really share it with anyone else. And then motherhood ruined me. Suddenly, I knew what it was to be unselfish. I knew what it was to want the best for somebody else. I knew what it was to live my life for someone else. I knew what it was to love somebody else more than I loved myself.

I knew what it was to put their needs first. I knew what it was to do what was best for them. I knew what it was to stay up all night with a sick kid. I knew what it was to skip out on girl’s night to attend a school program. I knew what it was to spend vacations hugging Mickey Mouse and building ships at LegoLand. I knew what it was to carry a giant diaper bag whose best quality was that it could be easily wiped down. I knew what it was to hold off on Christmas presents for myself so that my kids could have everything they wanted. I knew what it was to listen to KidzBop on repeat. I knew what it was to hold hands in the movie theater with a child who was scared during “The Jungle Book.” I knew what it was to drive right by my favorite Mexican food restaurant and pull into McDonald’s.

Motherhood ruined me.

It ruined the old me, at least, and made way for this new me to emerge. This messy me. This real me. This unselfish, overly-caring, overly-protective, would do anything for my people me.

Motherhood ruined me.

In the absolute best way possible. And I wouldn’t change it, I wouldn’t change me, not for the world. ”

(Now, where is my deodorant because I’m pretty sure I forgot to put it on this morning.)

Amy Weatherly

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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