Why things affect me so much more now that I’m a Mother

I remember the first time I cried tears of sadness after Taylor was born. She was 8 weeks old, snuggled up having a feed and dozing off. I was half asleep watching the news. Half the headlines went in one ear and out the other as I struggled to stay awake. But then came on the story of a 6 month old baby boy in a critical condition with suspected meningococcal. I swear I felt a physical pain in my chest. Why do such awful things need to happen to people? I looked down at my beautiful little girl and mourned for the Mother and Father of this little boy. In this moment I understood two things.

1 – When I hear of another Mother mourning the loss of their child, I too will mourn. This is Motherhood.

2 – Making the most of every single day with our loved ones is not a cliche or depressing way to live, but rather the best way to live.

I’ve always been quite a sensitive person, but you are placed on a whole new wavelength once you become a Mother. Turn on the TV to the daily news and there will be a bunch of awful stories – people get sick and hurt, and pass every day, I understand that. It’s a sad reality of life. But when I see or hear of something happening to an innocent baby, it affects me so much more. I feel sad not just in the moment, but for days after. I genuinely do feel that I mourn for the parents and family of the affected baby, but especially the mother.

Becoming a mother involves discovering a new love you’ve never felt before. Your perspective on almost everything changes – so little of what used to matter, matters anymore. Before anything else in the world, your purpose in life is to protect this small person and give him/her a wonderful life. When we are faced with the terrifying reality that some families out there experience loss, we are shaken to the core at the very thought of this being our babies.

By its very definition, a blessing is a beneficial thing for which one is grateful, yet I used to scarcely practice gratitude for all of mine. Then I would see something on the news like the meningococcal case, and it hits a little too close to home… Only then do we go on to hold our babies a little tighter, cuddle our partners a little longer and have extra patience with our aging parents. Why? Good question. I couldn’t find an answer and so I decided to make change.

Doing these things and practicing gratitude every day isn’t merely a reaction for me anymore; it’s the norm. I hold my baby tight for every cuddle, even if she is wearing her grumpy/overtired/whingy pants. I give my fiance my full attention, without my phone in one hand telling him that he’s not important. I silently roll my eyes and hold back nonsense and entirely pointless arguments with my parents (but my golly is this one difficult sometimes!). It is my personal opinion that this is not a cliche or a depressing way to live, but rather the very best way to live (so feel free to go grab your baby and cuddle the sh*t outta him/her… you know you want to).

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