That moment when you realize, “sure, I could change my clothes because I have some puke on them, but really what’s the point when I’ll get even messier in a few minutes for the next round of sickness.” I had that moment a couple of weeks ago. That was the moment when I realized I am no longer the woman I was before kids.
So much of me has stayed the same, but significant parts have changed. I still love fashion, but now I live in yoga pants. I still love reading, but now my reading consists mainly of children’s stories (typically the same one, over and over…) and tweets (which, if you aren’t familiar, consist of 140 characters or less, not a major time commitment). I still love to be organized, but now I’ll let my children destroy the house (within reason) and don’t feel the need to try to pick-up every 10 minutes. And I still hate being dirty or messy, but now I’ll wear an article of clothing that has spit-up or throw-up on it until I deem it’s safe to change…and typically I’m wrong and go through the guessing game again.
There are other changes, too. I used to sleep through thunderstorms without flinching, but now I’m wide awake at the sound of a new sniffle. I used to laugh at movies, TV, or books I was reading, but now I laugh everyday, heartily, to something my almost-3 year-old says. Nothing is as funny as she is. I used to think the cries of little kids all sounded the same (mainly just loud), but now I know the difference between a hurt cry, an angry cry, an attention-seeking cry, and a tired cry.
The biggest change? I don’t own my heart anymore. It is out in the world. Elizabeth Stone said it best:
Funny thing…even though my heart is out there walking around, it’s never felt so full.