Motherhood truly is an amazing journey, and I am completely in awe of how it has changed me. It’s made me more social, given me the confidence I lacked for so long, and has forced me to stand up for the things I love and believe in. Growing up I was shy, self-conscious, one of the tallest in my class (which made me even more self-conscious), and I cared entirely too much about what other people thought of me.

I was raised by very strong, outgoing, social parents – you’d think that I would have followed suit. Nope, I was quiet, uncomfortable in any situation where I was surrounded by new people, and I embarrassed easily. I envied those who had big personalities, those who had the confidence to stand up for what they believed in, and those who had the courage to laugh at themselves. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but how could I possibly raise another human being if I was lacking some of the key traits that I would want to instill in my children? How could I bring a child into this world if I was so caught up in what others thought of me? As a parent you have to have thick skin and when I was young I certainly did not.

As I got older, in my early 20s, my confidence began to grow. But it wasn’t until I became a mom that I fully let go, started laughing at myself and started standing up for myself and my family. Motherhood has given me strength, inspiration, and courage. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone more times than I can count and has taught me how to live life in the present. Let me tell you something it feels good, no scratch that, it feels GREAT!

It’s incredible how much comfort I find in being a mom and how much I’ve learned about myself since becoming a mom. I’m stronger than I ever thought possible, I’m patient (well most of the time), I can laugh at myself (because I’ll go crazy if I don’t) and I have this amazing ability to love unconditionally, as most mothers do. I have grown so much during the past four years and can only imagine how much more growth will happen in the years to come. It’s exciting to know that the journey of motherhood and parenting is forever evolving and my journey has just begun.

I’ll be the first to admit that being a parent is no cake walk. It’s one of the oldest professions in the world, yet it’s pretty much all on the job training. One minute you’re up and the next you’re down. The highs are amazing and the lows are agonizing. Most of us are in a constant state of worry. Whether you are worrying if you are good enough or worrying about your child’s safety, it’s never ending. The emotional roller coaster of parenthood is bound to change anyone. It’s just a matter of how you decided to let it change you. I choose to become better, to become stronger and to become more confident. I haven’t let the woes of motherhood defeat me. So far I’ve risen to the occasions and conquered!

I look back at the girl I used to be and now the woman I’ve become and am amazed by the transformation. I am so grateful to my girls and my husband because they have helped mold me into this confident, loud, fun-loving mama that you see today. I’m pretty proud of that. I have finally become comfortable in my own skin and like who I see when I look in the mirror. I am living life to the fullest and loving every minute of it. It truly is an amazing feeling and I owe it all to my journey in motherhood.

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Kristin Whiteside

Kristin is a perfectly imperfect mom of two and loves sharing her journey of growing with her kids. When she's not writing for her blog, http://www.knowmom.net/ you can find her having dance parties and baking with her daughters, running a local moms group, hanging with her hilarious husband and spending time with family and friends. More than likely she will have a glass of red wine in hand and befriend you instantly! You can follow Kristin on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/knowmom/, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/knowmomblog/ and Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/knowmomblog .

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