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Parenting in a Nutshell: How has motherhood changed you?

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Saturday, May 4, 2013, 5:54 p.m.
 

Happy Mother's Day, moms! To celebrate, we asked you to let us in on your secret thoughts about being a mother. Have you ever felt like this?:

• “It's hard to know what loving a child means until you become a parent. It's hard to understand what it means to have those indescribable feelings of love — of a parent's love for a child — until you become a parent. To all about-to-be moms: you are in for a wild ride.” — Nancy H., mother to 12- and 8-year-old sons

• “Now I eat less (mainly the crumbs leftover from my toddler), I sleep less (even though I am more tired), and I have less sex (ditto). But, truthfully, I've never been happier.” — Connie Y., mother to 3-year-old son

• “My mother used to tell me, ‘Wait until you have kids of your own' when I would complain about a punishment or something she wouldn't let me do that I thought I should be able to do. Wow. Now I realize that she really knew what she was talking about.” — Lynn B., mother to 11- and 14-year-old sons

• “I knew that I had found a new love— being a mother — when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and all I could think of was a new stroller!” — Jean M., mother to 1-year-old daughter

• “I was nervous about all the freedoms I'd be giving up once the baby arrived. I thought I would never be able to go anywhere alone again — you know, slip out for a cup of coffee or a short hike by myself. Now I am happy to exchange those ‘freedoms' for time with my baby. I seem to want to spend all my time with her.” — Kelly B., mother to 5-month-old daughter

• “I am a recovering neat freak. I would feel so uncomfortable if everything wasn't in its place and couldn't go to bed until every dish was washed and put away, every piece of paper cleaned off the desk. Boy, has that changed. With two little kids running around all day, I consider it a success if we all get into bed for the night safe and fed. It's been good to have this experience: I needed the balance.” — Pat W., mother to 2-year-old twins

• “While trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I became pregnant. It's almost as if the universe heard my desires to find direction and purpose. I am no longer at loose ends and can't imagine that I will ever be again. Talk about finding yourself — being a mother is so clearly my purpose.” — Victoria J., mother to 7-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.

• “Becoming a mother has deepened my faith in the future. If I didn't have that faith, I wouldn't have become a mother.” — Mary L, mother to 4-year-old son

• “My son is graduating high school this year and I think, ‘But, wasn't he just 2 years old?' It goes so fast and I want to hang on, but each stage brings such growth with it — for me as well as my son.” — Gayle N., mother to 17-year-old son

Email doreennagle@hotmail.com.

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