On Sunday morning we woke up to a three-year-old. Like every single parent says, I don’t know where the time goes. They grow up so so freakishly fast and it’s the most bittersweet thing to experience. Every age brings new and exciting experiences for all of us, but it also reminds us that some of our most precious experiences are forever gone. Sunday morning was a cold, rainy and gray winter day, almost identical to the day Luna entered the world. I spent the morning looking back at photos from the day she was born until now and I am still amazed at how much has happened and changed in such a short time. Luna is not the only one to grow and change over the last few years, I’ve grown up quite a bit myself.
On Facebook, last week, I shared a sweet and funny conversation Luna and I had about back when I was “Hilarie”. In her mind, I was “Hilarie” before she was born and once she arrived I became “Mommy”. I used to be a teacher, but now I am a Mom. She felt so proud of herself for figuring this little “fact” out and sharing it with me. I thought it was cute and funny, but it got me thinking… how have I evolved since becoming “Mommy”? What’s different between “Hilarie” and “Mommy”? Are we not the same person? Honestly, I often still feel like a new Mom. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been a Mommy for three whole years.
In some ways, it’s as if I lost a piece of who I once was: pre-Luna. I left a career I love, to stay home and be a full-time Mommy/Wife/cook/maid/blogger/etc. I no longer see the appeal in going out all night. Making sure my hair is decent and I have mascara on before leaving the house is no longer a priority. My face actually looks older. My stomach and muscles, while stronger than ever, will never look the way they did before being pregnant. I’ve traded in my designer heels for barefeet. I have become horrible at keeping in touch and correspondence. Even the traumatic birth experience with Luna has changed the way I prioritize my life. I’ve stopped caring as much about the little things, like the unmade bed, the dirty dishes and the never-ending laundry. Don’t get me wrong, they drive me crazy and I want it all done, but I’ve learned to let it wait so I can soak up some extra snuggles or playtime with my girl. I feel so lucky to have that time at all.
Then, in other ways, I haven’t changed at all…. Coffee is still my favorite and most vital food group. I continue to spend too much money at Target and Sephora. My passion for education, children and physical fitness are as strong as ever. I still aim to travel the world, seeing a new place or two each year. Anxiety still plays a huge role in my life. I continue to run late and procrastinate my to-do list (now, I just have the lovely excuse of “sorry, I have a toddler!”). And, while I’ve learned to cook and feed my family healthy meals, I still prefer frozen pizza or cheap Tex-Mex for every meal.
There’s no way to become a parent, and remain the same. Children change you. They age you, exhaust you, stress out, freak you out, gross you out and test every strand of patience you have left. They also teach you what unconditional love truly is. They hold a mirror up every day and show you exactly who you are, by becoming a little version of you and reminding you to be the best person you can be, for them. They are these magical tiny humans that manage to melt you heart with one look. I never knew how much I could love anyone until I had Luna. I never knew how exciting a babble, a word, a first bite, a pee in the potty, a squeeze around the neck or a solid night of sleep could be until I watched you do it.
Luna, you are truly my sunshine everyday. I am not the same as I once was, but I LOVE what becoming you “Mommy” has taught me. Happy 3rd Birthday sweet girl. We can’t wait to celebrate with you this weekend!