I was thinking today about my life. Before motherhood. How I used to be a single, pretty butterfly flitting from here to there. I wasn’t afraid to be social or adventurous. After three kids, it’s as if I’m a butterfly in reverse… going back into my cocoon and coming out a fat, wiggly caterpillar. It is a daunting task to raise children, but no one ever talks about what happens to Mom in the process.
Being a Butterfly
As a young lady, I was incredibly ambitious and incredibly lazy at the same time. I would work hard in my career and climbed the corporate ladder. On my days off, I would sleep in or binge watch television at my leisure. Flitting from here to there, doing what I pleased when I pleased. Life was easy and uncomplicated. I took for granted my freedom to fly.
Cocoon Stage (Okay, technically it’s called a Chrysalis…)
Then the babies came into my world. One after another and then (oops!) one more baby. During the baby stage, a mother has very little time to think about anything but caring for her precious little ones.
Enter cocoon stage. As a new mom, I was hardly leaving the house. From the outside world, it doesn’t look like I’m doing a lot. Everything from my home to my appearance was chaotic and crazy. In reality, there was so much work going on at home! Feeding, burping, bathing, clothing, cuddling and doing it all over and over again.
And then… Fat Caterpillar
After emerging from my cocoon, I took a hard look at myself. Having children changed me drastically. Not only did it change my heart and mind, but it also changed my entire body. Definitely not the pretty little butterfly I used to be. Turns out after all that work, I just turned into a fat, hairy caterpillar. Motherhood has changed me. I’m a little worse for the wear both physically and mentally.
Metamorphosis: The process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages.
The Metamorphosis of Motherhood
I couldn’t find an animal on earth that went through metamorphosis twice. So what does that mean for me (Or you, my fellow Mom)? Do we stay fat, hairy caterpillars forever?
Motherhood shifts our world in unimaginable ways. Sometimes becoming a mother changes us, and makes us feel less than beautiful. Being a Mom can break us both mentally and physically. It’s the toughest job we will ever have in our lifetime.
As humans, we were given a gift- the power of choice. We can change our jobs and our homes. We can change our bodies. We can change our minds.
In this case, my metamorphosis of motherhood…turning into a metaphorical fat, hairy caterpillar does not seem like the right ending. Because I am human, because I have the choice, I will change again.
I shall return to my butterfly state. Because every day in Motherhood, our hearts grow. We hold more love and compassion than we could ever have imagined possible. As we pour out that love to our children, it is reflected back to us. That kind of love can transform our lives and change us into beautiful creatures.
So tonight, I shall return to my cocoon. If my children give me the gift of rest, I shall wake up in the morning ready to fly.