baby

"Dear new mothers in my life: you’ve changed."

I’ve reached that point in life where it feels like everyone I know is trying to have a baby, is pregnant, has just had a baby, or is onto their second bundle of joy (and the nappy changing and sleep deprivation that comes with it).

I’ve bought so many Bonds Wondersuits I’m probably solely responsible for their Q4 profits.

One thing that’s completely floored me as I watch friend after friend, loved one after loved one, survive the horrors joys of childbirth and make it onto the “other side”, is how much each and every one of them has changed.

10 parenting milestones that deserves a party. Post continues after video.

They’re different. It’s not as though their “old selves” have vanished without a trace, but I’m viewing them in that same way you look at someone who’s just had a subtle haircut – “There’s something different about you”. 

It wasn’t until my older sister gave birth to her first child a couple of weeks ago, a beautiful, blue-eyed, perfect baby boy, that I could grasp at exactly what that change was.

I watched her, amazed by her confidence as she swaddled her son, breastfed him and spoke of the joy and love she felt at their first touch.

Seeing her lips curve into a brilliant smile when his loving grandparents, aunties and uncles stared at his little face with wonder, it all became blindingly clear.

Celebrities and their children, who look just like them. (Post continues after gallery).

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New mothers have a whole other side to themselves unlocked. As if overnight, their primal, motherly instincts, ones that have always been waiting patiently in line, are now under a spotlight. A brilliant, rainbow-coloured spotlight.

One dear friend stunned me when soon after giving birth she proclaimed that being a mother to her gorgeous twin boys was “the best feeling she’s ever experienced” and that she loved waking up to them every day, even when they’re howling.

My wedding day surrounded by my older sister (left), younger sister (right), and my beautiful best friends.

Another friend, who’s always been extremely nurturing, gave birth to baby twin girls last year. I’ve watched with delight at the joy and pride she has in raising them, the way she puts their needs before her own without thinking twice. 

I’ve looked on in awe at my sister - the same sister who always let me play with her friends, even though I was an annoying little sister, who has always written me beautiful birthday cards I could never throw out - as she cares for her son with a love that is both fierce, shocking and breathtakingly beautiful to me.

Image: iStock.

With the addition of these children to my friends' and sister's lives, the axis of their world has shifted slightly. But even that slight tilt has thrown all of their past priorities up into the air and they've fallen and settled into a familiar, but different pattern. Never to be the same again.

I’m not saying that women who can’t have children, or choose not to, are missing out on a mystical undiscovered side of their personality that’s waiting in the wings. In fact, I see incredible, creative and inspiring sides to the women in my life all the time. When they take a career risk, decide to follow their passions, fall head over heels in love.

But there really is something so divine, so magical, about watching the change in a new mother's eyes, seeing them crinkle at the edges, as they look at their child.

Have you noticed a change in your friends since they've had kids?

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