The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Cortney.
Yesterday I found myself sitting on the floor in our entryway, holding my three-year-old daughter against her will while she threw a massive temper tantrum.
I should have set her down and walked away.
I could have actually prevented the tantrum all together, if I had given it any thought. But I was not thinking about her—not to start with.
I was thinking about me.
I was thinking about all the things I needed to get done and what I wanted her to do.
So there we were, in the classic battle of wills, and we both lost.That is when I asked myself: "Who am I and what on earth am I doing?"
In my role as a mother, I am continually challenged by the necessity for change. And yet, I feel compelled by the need to somehow hold on to the girl I was before responsibility and housework turned my world around.
The phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” has often gone through my mind as I clumsily assumed this new role. I clung to the inward desire to preserve my identity as a vibrant, intelligent and productive person while daily doing the tedious tasks of mothering.
At times I have felt like I am the out-of-control child being held against my will—I am an ambitious woman being held back by the demands of motherhood.And yet I know there is a way to keep what is important and still make changes—improvements hopefully—to a person, a life, or a situation.
For me, the most significant change has been that of replacing selfishness with selflessness. Some of this came naturally when my daughter was born. But gradually it changed as she grew and became more independent.
I began to expect her to do more by herself, and leave me to reclaim my time for me. I didn’t even realize that this had become my expectation until yesterday on the floor.
And then I did realize—I realized that my daughter needed me to be a mom more than anyone else needed me to be anything else, including whatever it was I thought I should be.
So now I more willingly think about my child’s needs before my own—her wants, her agenda, her perspective. This doesn’t mean my will has disappeared entirely, but my will is now to love more unconditionally, serve more fully, and live with greater purpose.
“Mother” is not just a role I am playing; it is the most important work I will ever do, and it is who I am.
I have changed, yes, and for the better.
All the good parts of me that were there before have not been lost, they have simply been added upon, improving and enabling me to be more than I was.
Now, when I ask, "Who am I and what am I doing?" I can answer, “I am a mother, and I’m doing what I should be.”
**Did you find it easy or difficult to adapt to the changes of motherhood?**
Cortney is a young mother of two who seeks to bring beauty and love to her family through various creative outlets: photography, writing, sewing, cooking and entertaining to name a few. You can discover more of Cortney's creative ideas at her blog, Praiseworthy.