I’m not the same anymore. I don’t think I ever will be. That’s what having kids does to you. It changes you . . . and just like in marriage there are moments when it changes you for the better and for the worse.

I know you’ve noticed that I’m not the same anymore. I see it. I feel it.

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Often, I cry about it. I sometimes wonder if you notice I’m not the same because you kind of still are. A lot of your life hasn’t changed . . . but mine has.

It’s probably harder to understand since you didn’t carry two tiny humans at two separate times for nine months each. You didn’t get to feel the little kicks inside of you. You didn’t get to have that bond which only a mother and child can truly have, because after all, they are the only ones that know what my heart sounds like from the inside. But that’s the way God intended it to be. You are the provider and I am the nurturer.

Sometimes I wish I was the same. I wish I was the carefree, confident and independent girl you first met. The one who loved spontaneity, lived fearlessly and laughed often. But I am not.

I now thrive on structure, live on schedules, laugh a little less and worry a lot more.

I can’t pinpoint when the change happened but it wasn’t suddenly. It’s been gradual, like growing old . . . it just happens, even if you don’t want it to. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming it on children, I would never do that. They are the best thing besides you that have ever happened to me. But there’s just so much of me that is no longer the same.

I think I struggle with that the most. I struggle with all the responsibilities I have. I struggle with knowing the person I once was is never coming back. Maybe bits and pieces can over time (laughing more, worrying less) but I am no longer that same girl. I’m a woman. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. And while all of it is truly a blessing, none of that is the same.

You’re different, too. Maybe not in the day-to-day, but in an overall kind of way.

And I’m not saying this negatively, but there was a shift that happened from dating to marriage to married with kids. It has also been a slow and gradual shift, but it’s shifted. And maybe that’s because our changes have caused disagreements that were once agreements and frustrations that never before existed.

I hold onto the memories of us in the beginning. We were so young and a little reckless but crazy in love. The kind of love that you blush about. The kind of love that makes you giggly and giddy. The love that gives you butterflies . . . amazing butterflies that do somersaults in your stomach. The love that you can’t stop smiling about whether you’re together or not. It was raw, it was unedited and it was so real. You were and still are my happily ever after.

So that’s why I go back to the fairytale of us and relive those moments (as much as it probably drives you a little crazy to hear about). I want to live in the moments before we had the responsibility of raising two children and everything that comes along with it. I want to hold on to the former me and remember that a part of me is still the same—the part that loves you.

As we continue to go through the ups and downs in this marriage and figure out how to balance us, work, and kids, I want you to know the part of me that loves you will never go away.

Sometimes I stare at you and smile as a memory flashes in my mind and I fall in love with you all over again. No marriage is perfect, and I’ll never claim ours to be. But you love me and I love you. And if we can get past all the things that truly don’t matter in this life and focus on God, us, and our kids I think we’ll be just fine. Sure, there are mountains we will climb, some that we feel the top is so far away and others we’ll fall down a few times, but as long as I have you, I know we can do this.

I may not be the same anymore, but that doesn’t mean that every day I don’t try to be a little bit better than the person I once was.

Thank you for loving me the way you do and for everything you provide for our family.

With love,
Your ever-so-thankful wife

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Renee Dzieciolowski

Renee is a small business owner and stay-at-home mom to one sweet but sometimes sassy daughter and one very rambunctious son. Most days you’ll find her running on minimal sleep and chai tea lattes, trying to find new ways to entertain her kiddos (or places to hide from them!) and writing during hours she should be sleeping! Follow her blog New Adventures in Motherhood or check her out on Facebook and Instagram @newadventuresinmotherhood.