Danielle and girls at xmas

How often do you ask yourself what the heck you did before you had kids?

When I reflect on my child-less days I recall surfing the web aimlessly, spending hours at the gym, going for leisurely brunches/lunches/dinners/drinks, and watching multiple episodes of Lost into the wee hours of the morning.

On April 8th, 2013 (coincidentally the day I became a mother), I abruptly stopped doing all of the above.

I shouldn’t say this aloud, but I don’t think I’m alone.  Many of my early motherhood days were tainted with an undertone of frustration and resentment having to let go of those “pre-mom” aspects of my life.   I felt as though having children meant sacrificing what I enjoyed and losing a part of me.

But then I started to realize that motherhood is not about what I have lost at all.

It’s about what I have gained.

OneYearBirthday-49

The challenges we faced with our first daughter put life in perspective.  As I shared here, my motherhood journey was not your typical one:  we had a baby girl who underwent heart surgeries at 4 months of age, was diagnosed with a life-changing genetic condition at 1 year old, who experienced feeding and growth challenges.  These very raw motherhood moments uncovered the ‘real’ me.  And truthfully, a better me.

While I would not wish those moments on anyone, I am stronger and see life in a different light because of them.

I still have 24 hours in my day,  I just choose to use them differently.  I use them on the things that matter and will make a difference in my life, my family’s, and the lives of other moms.   I sleep more (if the kids let me), stress less, and am more efficient with my time.  For example, I choose take long stroller walks instead of doing long workouts.  I choose to work with worried moms instead of watching TV.   I try to be in the moment and use those moments wisely, versus letting the hours go by without a purpose.

Motherhood - Danielle Binns

If it wasn’t for my girls I would have never known what it was like to feel pain or joy as a parent.

I would have never known how to celebrate and not sweat the small stuff.   Or that my mission in life is to devote my ‘free hours’ to helping other moms who spend their hours worrying about their child’s health, growth and feeding.

When I became a mother I gained a healthier perspective of life.  I gained a fabulous little family.  I gained a purpose.   I hope I can give my girls something just as powerful in return.

How have you changed as a person since becoming a mom?