10 Surprising Ways Motherhood Changed Me


You think you know yourself, then you go and have a baby and suddenly the person staring you in the mirror is a complete stranger. Some changes that accompanied motherhood, I expected — the lack of balance in my emotional state and overwhelming swelling of my heart, for instance. There are other personality traits, however, that have been a tad more surprising…

1. I speak for my baby as if he has adult thoughts and feelings, translating the invisible word bubble above his head for whoever is around. As if every situation he’s in is a New Yorker cartoon in need of a caption.

2. I now speak in third person ALL of the time. Even when I’m talking to my husband its, “mama needs some coffee, mama is going to pump now.” My poor son is going to be totally confused about pronouns.

3. I immediately revert to a high pitch voice whenever speaking to my baby, despite being “theoretically opposed” to baby talk. I some times make a conscious effort to speak to him in a normal tone and end up feeling like a weirdo who’s talking to herself.

4. Words now get “y’s” or “er’s” tacked on at their end. As far as my baby knows, it’s, “eggys, leggys, milkers” etc. Again, for the record, I would prefer he grow up with the kind of mother who treated him like a little adult with a sophisticated vocabulary.

5. I feel responsible for my child’s happiness in every moment. It occurred to me the other day that this obsessive instinct to protect him from feeling any emotion that is not positive probably should have worn off by now. When will this end? According to my mother: never.

6. I make up spontaneous songs, all-day-long, basically turning our life into a musical. I sing about everything I am doing and throw in things like “Roman is the best, Roman is the best,” original material like that.

7. I have become more interested in spending money on baby clothes that he will wear for three months than on my own wardrobe. Completely irrational.

8. I obsessively search and pin nursery decor even though we live in a one bedroom apartment. Still nesting?

9. I spend approximately 10% of the time in conversations with my husband talking about our son’s poop, and 30% coming up with theories about what could be causing his crankiness or crying at any given moment… or why he is still waking up every 2-3 hours at night. “Maybe he’s finally teething” “Or maybe its gas, what did he eat today?” “Has he pooped? Maybe he’s constipated,” “I think he’s over tired,” “Maybe he’s just frustrated that he can’t walk yet.”

10. I want to be with him every moment of the day. I am a stay at home mom who co-sleeps and stresses about leaving him with a babysitter for a few hours on rare occasions. This is not the “bringing up bebe” type of mother I expected to be. This is what I call being an “accidental attachment parent.” Am I the only one who barely recognizes myself?

About the writer

Ashlee is a stay at home city Mama to a sweet 8 month old baby boy named Roman. Her nomadic little family is currently settled in a little apartment in Washington DC and she blogs about their adventures at Up With Joy. Find Ashlee on Twitter @UpWithJoyBlog.


Amy Myers 2 years ago

My daughter is five. I still refer to myself in third person! It’s a hard habit to break. As for number 9, you’re doing pretty well if only 10% of your conversations with your husband are about poop. My sister lived with me while I was pregnant and for the first few months of my daughter’s life. When she moved out, she said eating dinner and not talking about baby poop seemed so strange. Lol

AspieCatholicgirl 2 years ago

I used to work as an Infant/Toddler caregiver and experienced a few of these symptoms. Yes, poop does become a common and fascinating subject of conversation.

Emily Tillman Donovan 2 years ago

Everything but 4 for me.

Ekanem Ebinne 2 years ago

“Roman is the best” made me smile. Best song lyric ever!

Thanks for sharing and may you keep enjoying singing with your baby.

And even though you say you’re ‘ “theoretically opposed” to baby talk’ it might help to know that current research shows how high, lilting intonation starts your baby understanding both music and speech better. You’re intuitively advanced!

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    oh thats wonderful!

Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

I love this and I agree on all counts except about talking about baby poop with hubby. I was at about 50%. Even now that our kids are 8 and 4, a shocking percentage of conversation revolves around their poop. Like seriously how are such large turds coming out of such tiny bodies? What happened to the laws of physics? Why are they not crying? Or bleeding?

Thanks for the laugh this morning! xo

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    haha so much to look forward to!

Alexia 2 years ago

Yes! Especially to the songs-my high school musical theater background is FINaLLY paying off!

Liz Barea 2 years ago


Leslieknope 2 years ago

All of this is me! Especially #9! All we discuss is sleep patterns and poop! I’m a sahm and only recently realized I’m practicing what is known as attachment parenting. I’m obsessed with this little guy, he drives me crazy sometimes but I love him to pieces! Still adjusting to this new version of myself though!

Julia McIntosh 2 years ago

I really like this because it’s joyful (not all “I’m a mom, woe is me.”)

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    I’m all about the joy :)

Laurie Freeman 2 years ago

Never did the first five; number 6 is something I did before kids; 9 is true as I quickly realize… children suck the life out of anything culturally interesting to talk about with your spouse when that’s all you’re doing all day; and number 10 I will never understand… as a SAHM I can’t wait to have those minutes by myself… from the very beginning.

Kelly Probst 2 years ago

Eff that raising bebe’ those French moms are bitches and their kids heathens.

Jeannie Quinn 2 years ago

My 22 month olds name is Roman too!! ❤

Adria Banks 2 years ago

Never did the baby talk but I do still talk in the third person sometimes and my kids are 6 and 11.

Renee Gray 2 years ago


Lisa Nieboer 2 years ago

6, 7 and 9 is so me :)

Laurie Nunez 2 years ago

Totally normal! Also, babies need the rythem of sing songs and the sound of baby talk while they are little. It helps wire the brain for future learning! So bugsy wugsy away! And, attach yourself completely…your baby will grow to be smart, capable, and wonderful!

Melissa 2 years ago

I’m definitely an accidental attachment parent…. oh well :)

    Ashlee 2 years ago


Claire 2 years ago

#9 yes. One way I’ve changed is that I’m not the same carefree person I was before having children. I feel like I’m carrying a heavy weight and it’s consumed the old me.

Elaine Kirkaldie 2 years ago

Omg theres no hope…

Jolie Rinehart Price 2 years ago

#5 and #7

Sara Beach 2 years ago

I can especially relate to number 9 Angie :)

Katie Champlin 2 years ago

I am a completely different person. I cook, I clean, I wear flip flops, I don’t have a career, I have made elaborate birthday cakes myself. These are just a few of the many ways I changed from a wild party girl to a mom. :)

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    I wish I could say the same about cooking and cleaning!

Sara Ervin 2 years ago

My 8 mo is named Roman as well and this was so eerily true for me! :)

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    oh how funny!

sara 2 years ago

Haha, I’m reading along like “Oh my gosh, this is scary, it’s like this lady is in my head!” And then you said Roman and I about died, my son’s name is Roman and it’s a surprisingly rare name (where I’m at anyway)… so, this sums up my life right now. :) My little guy is 8 months as well!

Jessica 2 years ago

#11- I swore I’d never be a stay-at-home mom. I had my dream job, one I worked so hard for and thought I’d never be able to get. I loved it and couldn’t imagine NOT working. Then my son was born. My dreams have now changed!

Hortencia Higareda 2 years ago

I’m definitely #2 now my youngest speaks in third person also. #6 I sing all the time. To keep my sanity & #7 I actually buy clothes for my kids in advance a few seasons early so I end up not buying anything for me for a while at least until I really need to.

Denise Spencer 2 years ago

None of these…

Colleen Ora Haynes 2 years ago

This is so me. Except for pinning nursery ideas, and cosleeping. The other day I went to the grocery store alone for the first time in MONTHS. It was so much easier, but I missed my son so much, I couldn’t wait to get home and see him.

Natalia Riguero 2 years ago

I agree with these as well Betsy ! & I as well want to be the Raising Bebé momma living in Paris!

Lynn Jones 2 years ago

Oh god, ALL of them. My partner and me are walking cliches.

Melissa Love 2 years ago

I was shocked that I didn’t enjoy it in the beginning when they were babies. I am a way better mother now that they are teens. I have enjoyed every second since they were about 7 years old. But before then… Yuck.

Pamela Sager Braun 2 years ago

I didn’t think I was all that different until a friend described me to a group of new friends as, “taking attachment parenting to a whole new level!” Thirteen years later and the memory still makes me smile :)

Alissa Gabriel 2 years ago

You mean besides turning me into my mother?

Jessica Rice 2 years ago

You sre not alone

Kimberly Hohnstedt 2 years ago

I add weird endings onto so many words, feets, yous, sockies etc… That my husband, who speaks both English and French has been conjugating verbs for him while he’s on the changing table. I am, you are etc… My son also has a ridiculous amount of clothing he will probably only wear once. Oh well.

Sharon Miller 2 years ago

I change everything into a song. I have always done that though. And yeah everything ends in “ie”-they have plenty of time to be sophisticated little adults. Most surprising would be how much “softer” ive gotten about beliefs and opinions-there is alot more grey area now-its nice.

Dawn Kaufman 2 years ago

# 7 and #10 only. #7 now moreso than when my son was a baby (he’s 11 now), and #10 because he’s the coolest guy I know and why wouldn’t I want to spend time with the coolest guy on the planet?

Teena 2 years ago

I’m guilty of all except 4 and 8 and Iv started outgrowing 7 but I was certainly guilty of that one too for a long time and definitely slip into old habits near holidays :)

Mindy Rao 2 years ago

#9 ans 2 are the only ones that applied to me. I did add on a LOT more patience than I thought I would have, which is a good surprise.

Morgann Johnson 2 years ago

This was hilarious to read, mainly because it describes me to the tee except for maybe number 10. I’m usually very excited to have a night away from my son, no anxieties what so ever except that he might cry the whole time from his own seperation anxiety.

Amanda Piereman Bosley-Smith 2 years ago

I make up songs and sing all the time. I ask him if he wants his ‘milkies’. I do not enjoy myself when I am without him. I get things done faster but without any joy. *that’s the biggest one I guess.

Nancy Mays DeBettignies 2 years ago

Yup. Pretty accurate.

Leslie Dupre’ Brodnax 2 years ago

Well, mine are older now. So no baby talking, etc. The one thing that really changed is that I curse quite a bit more than I did BEFORE I had children. The cursing is in direct proportion to whatever idiotic crap they’ve done! Ahhh…the joys of motherhood!

loriann 2 years ago

I have a 3 month old. I love this list. So many things I swore I wouldn’t do…yea…I was wrong.
I swore I’d want to go back to work. Nope. Hate the thought & cried for days thinking about it. I work 2-3hr days a week & still hate leaving him.
And motherhood taught me patience. I’m very impatient & was worried that I’d lose patience with my baby but it rarely happens.
I’m happy about that.

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    I’ve noticed that about my patience too!

Kristen Petruccelli Andrews 2 years ago

Agree. But the one thing that surprised me was I totally thought I was going to be a cool mom. After talking to other parents, I’ve discovered I am a lot more strict than most, especially in terms of TV and food/snacks. Never expected that would be me!

Tiffany Nicole Savner 2 years ago

None of these pertain to me. Can’t relate at all

Alexis Christensen 2 years ago

This is me

Angie Formo 2 years ago

I like this. Especially #10, although baby sleeps in his own room at our house.

Samantha LaRue 2 years ago

Hi there, I’m another “accident attachment parent.”

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    haha nice to meet you!

Maddox Michelle 2 years ago

Me in a nutshell

Kimberly Eastman Mora 2 years ago

Not me at all. Maybe #7…kinda. I do understand all of these, they just aren’t me.

    Renee 2 years ago

    Agree with you 100%, and I have 4

Naomi N Albert 2 years ago

I drive like an old lady now.

Rebekah Mitchell 2 years ago

I never knew what all consuming love was until my babies were born. It scary and wonderful at the same time :)

Mikki 2 years ago

Number 7 is still me despite that my daughter is 4. Isn’t it amazing how different things are from how we ever expected them to be? It has taught me not to hold on to expectations too hard, somethings are impossible to predict.

    Ashlee 2 years ago

    so true!


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