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To all of you who sometimes feel like being a parent has caused you to let your body/looks go, like you’re not the you that you were when you could just do as you pleased, or like you’re not sure who you are anymore….

You didn’t let yourself go, you let yourself grow.

Becoming a parent, at least for me, is sometimes very stressful, but it is also the most fulfilling and wonderful thing I’m able to do.

I don’t get all dolled up like the days of old, go out with friends several nights a week, plan my next grand adventure to who knows where, or think mostly of just myself and what I want. Is that sometimes depressing? Now and then, yes.

If I’m being completely honest, sometimes it’s hard watching my friends without kids have such “freedom” to go wherever and do whatever they want, well compared to me it feels that way sometimes. I can’t just go out on a Tuesday night for ladies night, drive to Colorado with my bestie just to meet her friends and do some sightseeing without worrying about what or who I’m leaving behind, or work on the music career I had hoped to have.

Well, I could, because life is a series of choices and many times when we say, “I didn’t have a choice.”, that’s not actually true. However, with one’s specific moral compass, we often feel like we didn’t have any other choice, because that other choice or choices weren’t something we could bring ourselves to do or we didn’t think we could live with the consequences.

Anyway, so I could do many things that I don’t, but I choose not to because it’s not just about me anymore. I have a husband and two children that are greatly effected by many of the choices I make. I gave up a lot for them and sometimes it is hard, but it’s so worth it. Being given the chance to raise these two kiddos and to be married to someone I consider one of my best friends, yes I have more than one best friend, are amazing blessings.

Do I ever feel like I let myself go? Sometimes. Currently, I’m sitting here in lounge wear with messy hair, feeling exhausted because I’ve been awake since 4:30am. I drove my son to Appleton in crappy weather so he could go to school and have been dealing with a cranky toddler all morning. I know I look tired and worn out. It’s worth it though, especially when my son and daughter give me hugs, tell me they love me, want to spend time with me, and make me feel what I do for them matters.

When I really think about it, I didn’t really give up on myself or my dreams and nor did I let myself go. I let myself grow. Becoming a mom has opened my heart, eyes, and way of thinking. It’s also helped me change how I live.

There’s zero shame in turning down countless invites to see local bands or to go out with friends. It is important to make time for yourself. It gives us a chance to rejuvenate, grow, learn, relax, remember what we love to do outside of being a parent or spouse, and so on. But, it’s also important to remember the life or lives we brought into the world and know that they need us. That is both humbling and empowering, knowing that we’re needed so much, needed to teach, guide, nurture, nurse, inspire, and love.

As they learn and grow, so do we. So, I will say it again, I didn’t and nor did you let yourself go. We’re allowing ourselves to grow.

 

***photo taken by me last winter***

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