Dear Diary,


Motherhood changed me. Mostly for the better. I’m happier, healthier and more motivated than ever. You might be hesitant to change for your man, your mother or your friend, but a small baby will inspire you to make big changes. Ones that tend to make life much more simpler. Yes, at times, being a mommy is a hectic, crazy job, but that makes you appreciate the calm, quiet moments that are few and far between.  Over the past year, I’ve changed 8 things in my life.


I’m no longer a pill popper.

Before I became a mother, I would pop a pill to ease aches and pains. I kept a bottle of acetaminophen at work for when menstrual cramps kicked in in the middle of a meeting. When headaches hit, I swallowed a couple capsules to combat migraines. And when flowers bloomed and pollen filled the air, I gulped down an allergy prescription. For 18 months (during the pregnancy and nursing phase), I banned those bottles from my medicine cabinet. I stocked up on disposable heating pads, bought herbal teas and followed my own mother’s advice she gave me when I was a child, “Go to bed. You’re feel better in the morning.”


I’m a safer driver (Well, at least when baby’s on board).
As a new mom, I won’t answer the phone, send a text message or check my email with my baby on board. I never suffered from road rage in the past, but I did rack up several parking tickets and at least one for speeding. Now, I pay close attention to my speedometer and check over my shoulder before switching lanes. I never let my gas gage fall below a quarter tank and no longer roll on fumes and a prayer.


I wear less makeup.
When I worked as a television host, I applied a full face of makeup each morning. (Usually in the car! Add that to the list of things I no longer do while driving).
Now, I rub on a liquid mineral foundation, brush blush along my cheekbones and apply lipstick. I usually skip loose powder and eye makeup. Before I hated posing for pictures without freshening up my makeup. Now, I couldn’t care less. I am comfortable in my skin, with or without cosmetics. Recently, I took a new profile picture with my daughter and only had on lip gloss and a bit of blush!


I wear a ponytail to work.
In the past, I would gasp and clutch the pearls at the thought of slicking my hair back into a ponytail in public. I sported a short Halle Berry haircut that took at least 20 minutes to style. Now, I can get ready (take shower, put in contacts, apply makeup, get dressed) in that amount of time! I grew my hair out during the pregnancy, and after delivery, I decided not to chop my locks off. I actually like my hair better when it’s short, but a longer hairdo saves time. I can pull my hair into a ponytail if I’m running an errand or running late to work. I still refuse to wear mommy jeans, but the ponytail is a part of my new look. Lazy? Oh no! Classic!


I spend less time ironing clothes.
If you know me, you know I hate wrinkles. I can’t stand seeing mothers pressed and polished, toting children with wrinkled clothes and messy hair. Since I spend more time getting my daughter dressed than I do myself, I now shop for wrinkle free clothing. Just the other day I bought several sundresses at Target (Yeah, that’s something else I never did. I “shopped” at Tarjay, but never purchased my clothes there. Although I loved their lines, I usually went on spending sprees at the mall. Now, I am all about one-stop shops. Who knew, you could buy clothes, food, appliances and furniture under one roof?) Back to the sundresses. Three out of the four I selected are wear and go pieces.


Last week, I received the MOST compliments in my life when I wore my favorite Macy’s INC dress to work. Everywhere I went (to the copy machine, to the coffee shop, to the ladies room, to the bank, to Target), someone told me how good I looked or asked where I bought my outfit. I thanked them and told them I wore the dress, because I didn’t have to iron it!


I’m a cheap date.
I was never a heavy drinker, but I could throw back a couple shots without tipping over. After trading in mojitos for milk, my alcohol tolerance fell faster than the stock exchange. I can no longer handle more than three drinks, max. I also babysit my glass for hours. The ice melts, and the drink weakens.


I weigh less.

A lot less. I’m back to my high school weight. I’m still in the normal BMI range, but my weight is abnormal within the Black community. Several people (some of which went to my parents instead of me) have asked if I was OK, if I was stressed or if I got checked out by a doctor. One friend laughed and asked if I had a tapeworm. I usually weigh 10 more pounds, more when I lived on an island with frilly frozen drinks and meals with multiple starches. I admit. Sometimes I skip dinner, because I’m too tired to cook. (And note: cooking was not my favorite thing to do pre-pregnancy. Back then, I had more of a disposable income, so I could afford to eat out each week.) But I always eat something. I just burn off the calories chasing my daughter.


I am a stronger person.
As a single mom, I become stronger everyday—both physically and mentally. I carry a baby and car seat in one hand and grocery bags in the other without struggling or complaining. I assemble cribs, high chairs and play pens without assistance. In the past, I asked for help carrying my bags or putting furniture together. I no longer devote hours to tears or anger. Don’t get me wrong. I still cry at times. Just yesterday, I teared up when I got into a car accident and got big repair bill. But then I smiled. It could have been worse. I didn’t go to the hospital, and my daughter wasn’t in the car. When I got home and spread out on bed, my little one walked over and kissed me! Kisses are a dime a dozen. She give san abundance of hugs, but a kiss without being asked is not a usual occurrence. Her little lips wiped every tear away! I realized that my problems aren’t that big in the grand scheme of things, and that I have to continue to trust in God, my supplier. He always ensures every bill is paid on time, including my splurges.


Hey DFTM family–How has motherhood changed you?  Did becoming a mom make you a better person? 



About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

2 Responses

  1. Yvette Pettus

    Pers, I really enjoyed reading this! Motherhood looks good on you! Love ya!

  2. DFTM 2012 in Review | Diary of a First Time Mom

    […] 8 Ways Motherhood Changed Me:  Motherhood changed me physically and mentally.  Mostly for the better. I’m happier, healthier and more motivated than ever. You might be hesitant to change for your man, your mother or your friend, but a small baby will inspire you to make major improvements in your life. Click on this article and tell me how motherhood changed your life for the better. […]


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