Monday, January 11, 2016

#MotherhoodMonday - Motherhood Misconceptions

Before I became a mother, I thought that the biggest change that motherhood would bring to me as a person, would be the title of "mom". I knew that motherhood would change my lifestyle, my schedule, my body, and my sleep, but I believed that the same "Lindsey" would still be there underneath all the diapers and bottles and stretchy pants. I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, there are still vestiges of pre-mom Lindsey: my sense of humor, love of chocolate, half-hearted crafting, empathetic crying, and love of losing myself in a good book; but there has been a deep and irrevocable change that has taken place. 

I look at life through a different lens now. I no longer think of just myself and my spouse when making decisions. I also think WAY more long term than I ever have in my previous 35 years. I've always been a bit of a Pollyanna, and while a desire to see the best in people still exists in me, it has been tempered with a more analytical and scrutinous side. 

Becoming a mother also intensified my radar. You know what I mean, that gut-check instinct that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck if something doesn't feel quite right. Motherhood hasn't made me fearful, but it has taught me to trust my instincts and not feel silly if I need to walk away from someplace or someone. 

Motherhood expanded my emotions in ways I didn't know possible. If you've found yourself dealing with a toddler lately you know that you can go from immense pride to frustration to a soul crushing love in a matter of an hour and that is just a Monday. 

I wondered how these changes could be so huge, so encompassing, so drastic. For years it has been chalked up to being a mother's love, but now science has some incredible and exciting things to explain these changes. Hang with me, I'm about to go science nerd on you:

  • Your baby is imbedded (literally) in you.  We spend 10 months with our babies in utero; feeding them and literally forming them into existence. That alone would make for a powerful connection and bond, but now scientists have found an even more fascinating link. Cells from your child can travel from the placenta into other parts of your body, taking up residence in your organs. So a little piece of your child(ren) still lives inside you. Scientific American explains it so much better than I do, so check out this article.
  • After childbirth, your brain grows. In a 2010 study, researchers looked at brain-scan images of 19 women before an after they gave birth and found that the size of mothers' brains increased shortly after childbirth. I'm guessing we need the increase of gray matter to deal with the intense sleep-deprivation and still function. 
  • Becoming a parent looks a lot like falling in love. Moms experience a surge of oxytocin when looking at/feeding/nurturing their babies and this triggers similar responses in the amygdala as those falling in love. It helps explain that crazy wave of love you feel when you hold your newborn (and can't stop sniffing their head). 
So to say that my pre-conceived notion of retaining myself unchanged after motherhood was a misconception would be an understatement. This little man has altered me in all the best ways possible and I wouldn't go back if I could!

Photo Courtesy of Laura Beck Photography

Want to join the fun for next week's #MotherhoodMonday? Email for more info!

Follow along with these other awesome moms who joined today's link-up:

Amber Marie
Amber Joy


  1. I like you going science nerd! I learned something new and fascinating that I just love. I'm glad I will always carry a part of my children! So dang cool!

  2. "Hang with me, I'm about to go science nerd on you". seriously? our brains grow?! That explains SO much! Thanks for the lessons :)

  3. This is wonderfully informative and really touches my nerd heart. Plus that picture is the cutest!

  4. I love the science behind becoming a mom! The thought that all three of my sons are apart of me is amazing! And I am also a half-hearted crafter. LOL!

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