Motherhood brings out the worst in us, AND the best

Kids: They make your life messy and complicated, drive you crazy, stress you out... and you wouldn't have it any other way.
Kids: They make your life messy and complicated, drive you crazy, stress you out... and you wouldn't have it any other way.Today

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By Dana Macario

Motherhood, much like the start of a Dickens’ novel, can be the best of times and the worst of times. These wonderful little people we’ve created have a way of showing us who we truly are – warts and all. In caring for them, we find out how much love we’re capable of, but we discover some less pleasant things about ourselves as well.

Writing on her blog, Be A Fun Mum, one Australian mother talks about how her kids bring out the worst in her; frustration, even anger, housekeeping skills that have slid downhill and more. But, despite all of these newfound negative attributes, she recognizes that they have brought out so much more good in her.

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“My kids bring out the worst in me. Every weakness is exposed, pushed, stretched. There it is, right there.

“And yet, I can truly say, without hesitation, my children are the best thing that has happened to me. Although they bring out the worst in me, with abundant measures more, they bring out the BEST in me. Absolute best,” Kelly writes.

While her kids have driven her to impatience and have worked to diminish her organizational skills, being a mom has also taught her to be less judgmental, given her greater compassion and taught her so much more about love. In fact, as she looks through the ways motherhood has changed her, she realizes that the positive changes far outweigh the negative changes.

Before we have kids, we know that motherhood will change us. We just don’t know how or how much.

“Maturity happens through many areas in life, but I know I wouldn’t have the depth I have now if it wasn’t for my children. When I look back at my former self, I had poise and control — things that made me look good from the outside. Yet children have an incredible way of exposing truth and were (still are!) instrumental in breaking down walls in my life. Walls of facade. Today, after 11 years of parenting, I feel like a mess in so many areas. That’s what you might see from the outside, it’s true. But I’m a beautiful mess,” Kelly wrote on her blog.

As moms, we tend to be so hard on ourselves. We focus on all of our negative attributes. We wish we had more patience, we wish our houses were tidier – we wish for perfection. Kelly helps remind us that even though we’re not perfect, chances are, we’re better than we used to be. Maybe we’re more forgetful than we were before kids, but chances are, we’re also happier and braver.

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who thanks her kids for making her laugh and love more and for making her less self-conscious than she used to be – even if her house is always a mess now.