After having kids, I have learned that it is good to be motivated, but I don't have to push myself so far. When I look at my kids, I realize they are perfect not because of what they do, but because of who they are. I now know that I don't have to have the cleanest house, or the best looking wardrobe, to be happy with myself.
4) I have a new appreciation for my body.
How can I not have an appreciation for a body that has produced life ... four times? I still marvel at how something the size of a mustard seed can grow, develop, and be nurtured inside of me for nine whole months. Sure, my body looks different than it did before having kids. I'm OK with that, though.
5) I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.
I never thought I could subsist on two or three hours of sleep for months on end. Before having kids, I would have thought that's impossible. But it's not! The strength I needed to carry each of my children, birth them, and then go through that rough, newborn period is impressive.
I've jumped into pools fully clothed without a second's thought to reach a child who had fallen in. I've darted into traffic faster than Superman to snatch back a wandering toddler. I've taken care of four kids while the flu was kicking my butt. Yes, I am stronger than I thought I could be.
6) My heart has grown two sizes.
Like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the day I looked at the face of a child my husband and I created, my heart grew two sizes. It swelled in my chest with pride and joy, and also with a very real fear of loss of this precious being. I never knew I could love someone so deeply, so instantly, so completely, but as soon as each of my children had taken their first breath, I was wholeheartedly in love.
So yes, your life will change after having a baby. But it can change for the better. Motherhood can help you become the woman you always wanted to be. It can shape you, and define you, and give you a purpose for living, if you let it. Simply embracing the changes, instead of fighting them, is the key to a more peaceful transition into motherhood.