Never The Same Again

posted in: Life, Motherhood 109 comments

A friend of mine had her first baby a month after my second was born.

She’s since been saying on Facebook how different things are now that she’s a mother.

How her back hurts. How it sucks to still carry 10 extra pounds. And she asked, when will I feel myself again?

I told her, NEVER. Β You will never be the same again.

Your back will always be a little achy.

Your boobs will always be a little saggy.

Your stomach will always be a little poochy.

Your hips will always be a little wider.

Your hair, your skin, your bladder control – they will all never be what it was before, whether for better or worse.

You will never sleep the same again.

You might not get out of a nursing bra for a while.

You might find yourself talking about poop a lot more than you expect.

You might not wear something that’s not stained for a couple of years.

You might not get your nails done or your hair cut as often as you did.

Yes, all that.

But what I did not tell her, is this.

Your smile will always be wider.

Your laughter will always be more joyful.

Your eyes will always be brighter.

Your arms will always be full.

Your heart will always be walking out of your chest.

Your love will always be bigger.

So no, after you birth a child (or two, or three, or four and more), you will never be the same again.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to offer my friend, parents?

Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • July 11, 2012 Not a Perfect Mom

    you’ll never go to the bathroom alone…
    you’re less selfish…
    lovely post
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…You Know You’ve Been Married Too LongMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      Ah yes, the bathroom thing, how could I forget? πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 Stephanie

    and that you’ll never want to be ‘the same’ again. Welcome to the new world. While my belly may wobble, it’s beautiful on this side of the fence.
    It IS okay to mourne who you were. Know that hormones can play with your mind. And know that the first time your baby smiles at you with joyful recognition is better than any non-aching back, any tight tummy, heck any academy award. It’s the BEST.
    Stephanie recently wrote…The Dark Side.My Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      Love your advice, Stephanie. You are SO right. This side of the fence is absolutely better. Indescribably better.

  • July 11, 2012 Kristen

    you’ll never again doubt the connection and power through touch

    I love this post, Alison and you couldn’t have chosen a better photo to go with it.
    Kristen recently wrote…Summer Camp BluesMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      Love that – touch, yes. So important, so essential.

      And thank you πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 Greta

    This is spot on, Alison. I love it so much.
    Greta recently wrote…A Letter #iPPPMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Greta. πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 Laura

    Before she had her baby, my sister told me that she and her husband and decided that they were bringing a baby into their lives, they weren’t entering the baby’s life. They were going to keep things very much the same as how things were pre-baby and they weren’t going to let the baby change them much.

    Oh the things we assume before we’ve experienced things.

    I am a completely different person than who I was before kids. There is lots of me that is more uncomfortable now, but I like who I am better now. Mama.
    Laura recently wrote…Little Too BigMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      I know women who had the same thoughts as your sister. And I just smile and nod sagely and say, yes, okay, you just wait. πŸ™‚

      I am completely different too. I couldn’t even imagine that I would be who I am today. But that’s perfectly okay and I’ve never been happier.

  • July 11, 2012 Kristen

    Perfect post. Perfect photo. Your heart will never shrink back to the normal size. You will always find room for your kids (no matter how many of them) on your lap. and yes… you will never poop alone again.
    Kristen recently wrote…RejectionMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      Laughed at the last one πŸ™‚ Great advice, Kristen.

  • July 11, 2012 Jamie

    I agree. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood. The bad. And the depth of the good. Lovely photo.
    Jamie recently wrote…Put Me in the Zoo.My Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      The ‘depth of good’ – I love that.

  • July 11, 2012 Katie

    oh how this post is here for me exactly when I need it. Just when I was wishing to be “me” again…I remembered: I AM ME! This is me now…freaky thin hair and zitty chin and all.

    You can add these for your friend:

    you will never have enough sleep again
    you will find things you once though mundane to be amazing…because you will see them again through the eyes of a child.
    you will always wish for 5 more minutes at nap time
    you will never have ALL the laundry done
    you will never remember what life was like pre-baby…and that will always be ok.
    Katie recently wrote…the hair postMy Profile

    • July 11, 2012 Alison

      You know that you’re beautiful, right?

      I love the mundane being non-mundane thing – seeing things and life through the eyes of a child is such an unexpected blessing.

  • July 11, 2012 Julie

    That there are things you care about before that seem so damn important…and they aren’t. You suddenly don’t give a rat’s behind about them.

    I think becoming a mom filtered down, concentrated and crystallized all that was truly meaningful in life.

    Even though it is annoying to have a bald spot in the front of my head now. WTF, hormones?
    Julie recently wrote…#iPPP: Things I’m really bad atMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      See, you just summarized it in one succinct, beautiful sentence. Filted down, concentrated and crystalized – yes.

      Gah, bald spot???

  • July 11, 2012 angela

    I like what Julie said. The things that used to be so important just aren’t. The things that ARE important, you can wrap your arms around, and those touches are sometimes the difference between a bad day and a beautiful one.
    angela recently wrote…Come With MeMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, what you said, because you said it better. πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 AnnMarie

    My baby is two and I still wear clothes that are stained and have NO idea how they got that way.

    I would add that you will laugh harder than you ever did before kids about the smallest things (right now, at Gia’s booty scootch dance she does).

    Love…it will know no bounds. I say the word “love” about 100 times a day and mean it every single time.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…So Many ExpectationsMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      My toddler said to me in all seriousness yesterday, “Be quiet.” I cracked up and laughed for a full minute, so you’re absolutely right!

  • July 11, 2012 vanita

    you’ll never have to look for joy again…
    you’ll witness little heart stopping wonders every day…
    you will never find anything that will make you as instantly happy…
    and it will all be there within your reach.
    vanita recently wrote…Advice Needed From “The Moms Who Blog” PerspectiveMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, this! Thank you πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 Alexandra

    Only this: “A mother spends the night awake, watching over her feverish child. While others call it heroic, she calls it simply mothering.”
    Alexandra recently wrote…Why I’ll Be At BlogHer AgainMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      You have the best quotes. I love it.

  • July 11, 2012 Kimberly

    You will never pee alone. Or eat chocolate out in the open where the vultures can get it.
    Kimberly recently wrote…It’s Not Always A Fairy TaleMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Haha, vultures!!! Wait, do you mean the kids or the husband?

  • July 11, 2012 Stasha

    Love this post so very very much!
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Love you so very very much!

  • July 11, 2012 jamie

    Motherhood is a phase of which when we enter, our lives will never be the same again.

    I don’t yet have kids, but I adopted a pet dog last year. And ever since, our lives have never been the same. We have not travelled (both of us at the same time), one of us is always home to be with Pepper. Our schedule is planned around her. I think “Pepper” is the first word we speak every morning now πŸ˜‰

    I guess that will be the same with kids.

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      As they say, pets are practice kids πŸ™‚

      (my dad’s dog’s name is Pepper too!)

  • July 11, 2012 Barbara

    A perfect list! I loved every single one.
    Barbara recently wrote…Taking Time to PlayMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Barbara!

  • July 11, 2012 Mark

    You’re a good Friend. I would have responded with just “Never” and left it at that!
    And you’re right, my boobs are a little saggy. At least you all have an excuse!
    m.
    Mark recently wrote…Read all about it!My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      You are hot. Period.

  • July 11, 2012 tracy

    Now I’m just thinking about Mark’s sagging boobs.
    tracy recently wrote…Fabric of LifeMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      So am I!

  • July 11, 2012 Victoria KP

    Great list. You’re right. Things will never be the same. Things will get easier. And sometimes harder. And sometimes better. But never the same πŸ™‚
    Victoria KP recently wrote…100 Word Song: A Light Left OnMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      You’re absolutely spot on.

  • July 11, 2012 Maggie S.

    Amusement park rides never thrilled me again. My thrills are different.
    Maggie S. recently wrote…Is That All You Got?My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      That’s a great perspective!

  • Also your first instinct when someone moons you will be to reach for a wet whipe…
    Great list and I love that picture!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…Happiness on a plate : Pasta with Vongole, Mussles and fresh PestoMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      HAHAHAHAHA!! You always make me laugh, Tinne.

  • July 11, 2012 Cassie

    I always feel so proud to be a mother when I read your “motherly” posts πŸ™‚
    Cassie recently wrote…Fun in the Shade!My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      This comment makes me happy! And reminds me why I keep writing.

  • July 11, 2012 Kimberly

    Have I mentioned that i love you lately?
    Cause I do.
    And this post.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Kim Versus PigMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Love you too, pig conqueror. xo

  • July 11, 2012 Mel

    Oh, these are good, wise words. And the truth is, I can’t imagine how empty my life was before kids.
    Mel recently wrote…American DreamMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      We had no idea, did we?

  • July 11, 2012 KalleyC

    Being a mother is one of the most life changing things that can happen to a person. No longer are you just responsible for yourself, but everything you have every learned and trusted gets tested–as do yourself.

    Not only do you learn that you have to trust yourself, you realize that you have a little one who never doubted you from day one. A lot of responsibility, but something I wouldn’t change for the world.
    KalleyC recently wrote…Getting A Grip With EmotionsMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, trusting ourselves and our instincts. Something that still challenges me some days.

  • July 11, 2012 Stacey

    I can’t even express how much I love this post. I think it may be my favorite you’ve ever written.
    Stacey recently wrote…Llama Llama Preschool DramaMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you Stacey.

  • July 11, 2012 Jess

    Life is never the same after these crazy kids come into the world.
    Jess recently wrote…Now That It’s Over We Can LaughMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      No kids, no blog fodder = no blog. So yes, definitely different. At least in that one way πŸ™‚

  • July 11, 2012 Jessica

    *choked up*

    And you will never be able to explain properly to someone before they have had children how unimportant everything else becomes, that you will realize how trivial those things that were your past focus actually are in the big scheme of things. How small (and big) your world will become all at once.

    wow. could i have included any more poorly structured sentences? But I’m verklempt, forgive me. xo
    Jessica recently wrote…WIWW – Take ThreeMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Comments made when verklempt are the best. πŸ™‚

      I love that – how big and small your world becomes all at once.

  • July 11, 2012 Jessica

    I think you’ve got all the big ones covered. You won’t be the same again but what you will find parts of yourself that will be made more beautiful, more strong through this experience. Tell her, “Welcome to motherhood” for me!
    Jessica recently wrote…Photography lighting tips to get pictures like the prosMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      I will! And yes, we find strength in places we did not think we would. Also, oodles of patience. πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 julie gardner

    Tell your friend that my “baby” turns 13 this Saturday. My firstborn is now 15.

    And I would give anything to have just one more sleepless night with them nestled in my arms.
    julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me monstrousMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      You can come over and hold the baby at 3am. I truly wouldn’t mind. I’d even put on a nice bra for you. And I’m not even being sarcastic.

      And *sob*, 13????

  • July 12, 2012 Courtney Kirkland

    I love this post. Probably one of my favorites that you’ve ever written (and that’s saying a lot considering you kick butt). No one can ever prepare you for what motherhood has in store. Sure there are “consequences” to becoming a parent and sacrifices that have to be made. But it’s worth every single second.
    Courtney Kirkland recently wrote…Fears & Worries of Second Time ParentingMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you Courtney! You’re absolutely right. The sacrifices are definitely worth it. I mean, those faces. Those smiles. Their little hands. Sigh.

  • July 12, 2012 Natalie

    Oh so true my friend but all worth it!
    Natalie recently wrote…Wordless Wednesday-Big Shirt StyleMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Absolutely worth it!

  • July 12, 2012 Jackie

    So much truth….

    Let’s see… she’ll never go to the bathroom alone again. She’ll hear mom more times in a 5 minute span than she ever thought possible. She’ll never have a phone conversation without being interrupted 20 times.

    But she will know more joy than she ever thought possible… and all it will take is a one smile.
    Jackie recently wrote…It’s All in the Pillow Giveaway!My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      My son hardly ever calls me Mama. I want to hear it even if it’s every 5 minutes πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Jessica

    Perfection Alison. Could not love this more.

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Coming from you, Jessica, that’s huge for me. Thank you.

  • July 12, 2012 Tonya

    Yes!! Every word of this post is true. And the sooner we accept these new, different, uncomfortable, painful, changes/things about ourselves the better.
    Tonya recently wrote…A Letter To The Dearly DepartedMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly what I told my friend πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Jessica

    You will never experience another love like that of loving your child.

    Definitely needed to read this today–its been a rough Wednesday.
    Jessica recently wrote…Miss Me Now You Gotta Kiss MeMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, there is no love quite like it, is there?

      Sorry you had a tough day – hope the rest of the week gets better.

  • July 12, 2012 Tammi

    You are right once you become a mother nothing is ever the same but if though life is different it is so much better!
    Tammi recently wrote…There is nothing like being a mom, daily it changes and each day is full of challenges followed by laughter and love.My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      It definitely IS better.

  • July 12, 2012 Bruna

    Amen to different! Couldn’t have made that list better myself. It’s a good different though, isn’t it?
    Bruna recently wrote…four, funny and fantasticMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Absolutely a good different, yes. πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 JD

    Lovely post!

    I would like to add what I realized this week after being a mom for 6+ years:

    You realize why your own mother just stared at you for minutes at a time.

    Because I have started doing that to my kids. Looking at them, staring, for minutes at a time. Just taking them in before they grow and change – again.
    JD recently wrote…A New Kind of Mom Guilt: Do You Ever Feel this Way?My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Oh I do that ALL THE TIME!! Especially when they’re sleeping, I stare at them for ages. I also stroke their little hands and heads. Sigh.

  • July 12, 2012 RoryBore

    so spot on.

    most surprising to me? my “gross meter” is all out of whack. Wipe a snotty nose with my finger because the other child built a fort with the entire box of kleenex? yep. Asking things like, “is that chocolate, or poop?” nevermind actually being puked, peed and pooped on at any given moment.
    nothing fazes me anymore.
    RoryBore recently wrote…Quotable Bits # 27 – ImagineMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Ah yes, gross meter! I too, have no qualms getting poop, pee and puke on my hands (and other parts of my body and clothes!). Completely unfazed.

      Other people’s kids poop, pee and puke however….. πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Sandra

    You are so upbeat and positive. I should try that…can I just mention that you forgot to mention that your feet will never go back to their original size (mine grew one whole shoe size!)

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, that! I think my feet have definitely gotten bigger after this second pregnancy. Sigh.

  • July 12, 2012 Elena

    I love this – all so very true. Definitely never the same, but I love all the positives at the end.
    Elena recently wrote…Setting the BarMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Elena πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Janice

    Your words sum up the best motherhood wisdom around! I wish you were around to tell me these things when I had my first. None of friends had any children yet, so no one (besides my mom and other relatives) had any (sometimes unwelcome) advice for me!

    Your friend is definitely lucky to have you for support. πŸ™‚
    Janice recently wrote…Las Vegas Sans Gambling, Alcohol, and Half-Naked PeopleMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      I wish someone had told ME too πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Erin

    I agree with all that you have said! I would add that you never get a quiet moment. If they’re not crying, they’re talking, or humming, or singing, or making some kind of noise.
    Erin recently wrote…Use Sparingly – DIY Foam SoapMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, I know that well. I gave birth to two Noise Makers. πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Amanda

    You will get back to a version of yourself as it gets easier and you can carve out more time for yourself, but it will be a new version; a much better version, and you will find deep wells of strength/determination/love within yourself that you never even thought yourself capable of.

    Also, I think it’s important to tell new moms (or moms in general, for that matter) that it’s okay not to love every second of it. Sometimes it’s hard – no need to feel guilty for not enjoying the tough bits.
    Amanda recently wrote…Now We Are ThreeMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and it’s totally okay not to like those parts.

  • July 12, 2012 Melissa

    Oh, someone please pass the tissues. Yes to all these things. My heart is full.
    Melissa recently wrote…My Baby Boy Can Beatbox {Not-so-wordy Wednesday}My Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      And full it remains πŸ™‚

  • July 12, 2012 Asianmommy

    Aww…so true!
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Fast Food in TaipeiMy Profile

    • July 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • July 13, 2012 Mary Trunk

    Love the post and all the comments. My daughter is 11 now and quite capable of doing so many things I used to do for her. What I think is so incredibly magical and quite mind-blowing is seeing this person I brought into the world become who she is. A little part of me is in there but she’s her own self. It’s this amazing letting go that is heartbreaking and wondrous at the same time. Only as a mother (parent) do you constantly struggle with the rewards and consequences of seeing a person grow in every way possible. I could never articulate why I wanted a child but after she was born I realized how much I needed to learn from this experience. And that just never ends. Thanks for your post! Hope all is well with the new baby.

    • July 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for your lovely thoughtful comment, Mary! Yes, we are well πŸ™‚

  • July 13, 2012 Julia

    Tears are streaming down my face. Because you are so very right. Motherhood absolutely changes who we are, and never again will we return to who we were. But left in the shoes of our old selves is the beauty that is a mother.
    Thank you for this. It’s beautiful.
    Julia recently wrote…I AmMy Profile

    • July 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Julia, so glad you liked this post.

  • July 14, 2012 Leighann

    I just wrote about the same thing. We are never the same after a baby, but that’s not a bad thing.
    Leighann recently wrote…Wait… You’ve Changed.My Profile

    • July 14, 2012 Alison

      I know, I read your post and thought, hey, I just wrote about this!

  • July 15, 2012 Robin

    So true. The stuff about physically feeling different is so noticeable at first that it’s all you can think about. But over time that fades away (even if you don’t get back to normal) and you realize your perspective on the world has changed. And that’s worth more than 10 pounds anyway.
    Robin recently wrote…Home AloneMy Profile

    • July 15, 2012 Alison

      Well said, Robin!

  • July 16, 2012 Jamie

    This was truly beautiful although I can’t fully relate yet πŸ˜‰
    Jamie recently wrote…Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard!My Profile

  • July 16, 2012 Galit Breen

    Oh there is so very much truth here. But no matter what we say, she has to see/feel all of this for herself, yes? Just like we did.

    Le sigh.

    {No pie for me, either. That quote is a stunner.}

    xo
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Memories Captured July Linky!My Profile

    • July 16, 2012 Alison

      Yes, absolutely, I hope she sees it sooner rather than later.

      No pie for me! xo

  • July 18, 2012 Elaine

    Oh how I Love this post.

    and p.s. no matter HOW much my MIL loves her 4 kids she would NEVER say that about pie. Damn she loves the stuff!! ;P

    But I get it. πŸ™‚
    Elaine recently wrote…Birthday BonanzaMy Profile

    • July 18, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thanks Elaine! And the part about your MIL – hee!

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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