I think all mothers would agree that having children changes your life in so many ways. You go from seeing movies, hanging out at Starbucks, and having room in your back seat to spending most evenings at home, having to make plans ahead of time and having the back seat of your car filled with car seats, toys, and random crumbs.
But you, my sweet and lovely girl, have changed me in the most wonderful ways, let me explain.
#1. Before you, I thought work was simply what you did during the day. I thought it was something you got paid for and that you got days off. Now I know that having kids is real work. That you don't get a coffee break, that you're on-call 24/7, and that all the motivation is intrinsic.
#2. Before you, I used to call my students' parents and talk to them like I really knew their kid! Crazy! Now I completely recognize that I know a little speck of their child, I know only how they are in my class and it doesn't reflect their whole child at all. I am, thanks to you, a much gentler teacher now.
#3. Before you, I used to feel sorry for kids when they were being bullied; now I feel worse for their mothers. Now that I have you, I can't imagine you being bullied, or picked on, or made to feel small. I feel like it would break my heart and my heart breaks for all the moms (and dads) who's kids are made to feel this way.
#4. I used to think in a much more 'black and white' way when it came to parenting. Things used to be either right or wrong, this way or that. Now I feel like there are grey areas everywhere, and parenting is just a guessing game.
#5. I used to be hard on people. I used to be more judgemental. I used to dislike more people. Now I just feel more love and see the child in everyone and how they came to be the way they are. You have made me more accepting.
#6. I used to think mothers were crazy. Why are you so worried about where your kid goes to daycare? You're spending how much on your kids activities? What do you mean your kid won't sleep in past 7am? Who cares what you kid will or won't eat? Turns out, they're not so crazy after all.
Love you Claire...I'm sure you've got a lot more Mommy-Makeovering to do, especially in those teen years!