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As a mother I can't help but feel a deep sense of gratitude to my children. Having them did more than just change my ability to get a full night's sleep or ignite my passion for party planning or further fuel my desire to make a difference in this world. Becoming a mother—their mother—changed me.
As we move into the season during which we make an extra effort to vocally give thanks, I reached out on Instagram and to my tribe (the women who encourage me and virtually hold me up when my heart feels heavy, my friends), knowing that they too are so thankful for this mom gig. I wanted to know how motherhood has changed them. What you'll find is that although we all share different ways in which we were changed what we all have in common is this: Motherhood changed each of us for the better.
"Motherhood has changed me by making me a more grateful person. I feel that in the past I was such a spoiled brat! Little things would ruin my day and I would be disappointed if I didn't get my way. But these kids bring me so much incredible joy. I am so thankful for their lives, even just their simple presence puts a smile on my face and I have a new perspective on life." – Kristel Acevedo (@kristelace)
2. Unconditional love
"Motherhood has changed me by showing me that true unconditional love does exist, and that mothers are superheroes in the eyes of their kids. I may look horrible, be grumpy and crabby and have a messy house, but all my kids really care about is spending time with me. Just knowing that you can be the source of their happiness by giving something as simple as a hug makes you feel like you are on top of the world. Children are really a great reminder of how as adults we need to love others ... unconditionally." – Jess Elaine (@simplyjesselaine)
3. A new definition of adulthood
"Motherhood snapped me out of believing that I needed to work a miserable job to be a 'real' adult. Having my first daughter at 21 made me realize that if I didn't give her an example of pursuing my dreams, she would never see it firsthand from (arguably) the most important female role model in her life." – Chaunie Brusie (@cmbrusie)
4. Increased self-awareness
"Motherhood has brought all of the most hidden parts of myself to the surface. It has shown me my shortcomings and character flaws and made me more introspective about myself and more proactive about becoming a better human being. But it has also brought out talents and strength I didn't know I had and shown me that I really am capable of anything." – Lauren Hartmann (@thelittlethingswedo)
5. A lesson on humanity and seriousness
"Motherhood has been an incredible opportunity to learn about humanity on a micro and macro level. It also changed me from being someone who needed fierce control of her life, into someone who knows control is only an illusion, and that some of the most beautiful things (and people) can come from the unplanned. I chilled out a lot, and stopped taking myself and my "plans" so seriously." – Michelle Horton (@earlymama)
"The fierce love I had for my baby, a love that was felt long before our eyes met for the first time, made me strong. Becoming a mother made me brave. Having her I realized that I was going to have to fight, not just for my own future but for hers too. I became committed to doing everything I could to give us a chance. My daughter didn't get the opportunity to choose me as her mother but I chose her, and to this day I am so grateful that I did. In fighting to uphold her worth I realized mine. In the trenches of motherhood I found courage." – Krishann (@hismrshermr)