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8 Things I've Gained Since Becoming a Mom

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Motherhood has given me so much. I'm not the first mama to say that, and as cliché as it sounds, I won't be the last.

Sure, I've lost countless hours of sleep and the ability to fit into my favorite (pre-baby No. 2) jeans, but the losses pale in comparison to the gains, which for the most part, have been just so good. It's in the gains that I've grown and changed as a person and I truly believe I'm better for it (a little rounder too, but hey, that comes with motherhood too).

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1. Weight

There were the pregnancy pounds and then all those extra calories I needed to consume due to breastfeeding, and then there's my current inability to resist a cupcake. I'm still working on carving out more time for myself as I strive to make exercise stick as part of my routine. At the same time, although I have gained weight, I've become much more mindful of the food I consume and what my family is eating. We still have some work to do, but we've changed the way we grocery shop and how, what and where we eat when we are away from home. (Remember, small steps are still steps).

2. More discipline

In wanting the world for her I began to want more for myself.

Motherhood made me more disciplined. I became more focused and driven and worked tirelessly to me able to give my daughter and me a shot. In wanting the world for her I began to want more for myself. Now, as a wife and mother of two I'm thankful for the extra push I received from motherhood and the opportunities I've been able to experience because I'm willing to do the work it takes to make my dreams a reality. Even now when I want to quit or feel like "I just can't," I look at my kids and find the will to keep moving.

3. A different perspective

Motherhood gave me a new set of lenses to see the world. I'm not just looking at things on the surface and I quickly learned that it isn't always about me. I'm more mindful of how my choices impact those around me and make more of an effort to try and see things from the perspective of others. Motherhood has also helped me to be more introspective. Children are like mirrors and will show you the best and worst parts of yourself.

4. An archive of pinned projects I'm certain I will never tackle

Once upon a time I had big plans to tackle all those projects I've pinned on Pinterest. Now, I've got some ideas of things I might try, but I've mostly got a cute virtual catalog of crap I'll fantasize about making.

5. Love

My heart is full and yet love continues to just grow. I have had the opportunity to experience the most beautiful and purest love and I will never take that for granted. I have been entrusted with these children of mine and I'm doing my very best to handle their precious hearts with care.

6. A deeper sense of obligation

My desire to leave the world and people "better than you found them" has been amplified through motherhood.

I feel a greater sense of duty to the world around me. My desire to leave the world and people "better than you found them" has been amplified through motherhood. I want to be alongside my girls forever, but the day will come when I won't be able to be by their side. My hope is that they get to live in a world that is even better than the one I grew up in and that they too desire to make a difference.

7. Friendships

Some of my most meaningful friendships blossomed out of the comrade shared in motherhood.

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8. Confidence

Confidence has always been a struggle of mine but something about being a mother to my children and being innately equipped to nurture them and meet their needs has made me feel more confident. And while I still battle with worrying about what other people think, I care much less than I used to because I know the people who matter most are the ones I come home to each day.

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