What happens when motherhood wasn't what you thought it would be?
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Photo courtesy of Melica cropped

Before I had a baby, I knew I was incomplete. I knew I was supposed to be a mother. I knew I'd love pregnancy. I knew I would be closer to who I felt like I was intended to be. I was right on all counts. Even now, with one baby and another on the way, I know our family isn't done growing. In many ways, I appreciate the experience enough to already be looking forward to the next one. The problem about being right about the fact that I knew I was made to be a mother is that I was subconsciously believing that motherhood is my calling.

It is not.

People say that becoming a parent changes you. That may be true, but I think it's more accurate to say becoming a parent simply uncovers who you really are. I've learned many things about myself since I stopped being my first priority. I've learned that certain things I enjoy are not necessarily things I'm passionate about. I've discovered weaknesses and strengths that I didn't realize I had before. I've also learned that motherhood is everything I wanted it to be and more, and it is even some things I didn't want or expect it to be. Most importantly, I've learned that being a mom can fill me up in places I didn't even know I was empty, but it does not have to be my primary purpose in life.

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I'm female, I'm Christian... there are many things that make up who I am. Being a mother is a big piece of the Reghan puzzle. Do I think becoming a mother was and is essential to my overall purpose? Absolutely. However, it isn't the be-all-end-all to finding my calling like I suspected, deep down. Only after becoming a mother did I realize that this isn't it. This isn't my thing. I can be a good or even great mom, and it can be one of the most fulfilling parts of my life; but that's not the same as having a driving passion to provide something good to people, even if I don't really know what that is yet.

I know the work is never done. There will never be a day when I sit down and say, "I've made it. I found my calling. I can stop reaching and growing." There should never be a time when I feel like I've accomplished enough and can stop living. I mean, maybe at 100 years old on my deathbed I can say that, but hopefully by then I'll have earned it. Yet, even then, I'll be moving on to the next thing. In the meantime, I know there's something outside of motherhood that I'm supposed to be doing. That doesn't take away from my love of being a mom. If anything, it just goes to show how complex humans are and how little we know about what pulls us. We all have a calling, and I will find mine. I'll let motherhood, and all the other things I'm learning about myself, push me along the way.

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