I often do my thinking in the shower. It’s when things just come to me sometimes like a bolt of lightening and sometimes like a soft whispering voice. It’s when I pray the hardest and most intently for certain things. It’s when I praise the most. It’s when I come to understand and step out of the shower with a new outlook. I feel like it’s when God lays things on my heart and it’s when I give Him things from mine. Showers are the best part of the day, and today, I’ve realized that I’m a better person after those showers.

Becoming a mother has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Being a mother is by far the most challenging but most rewarding job I’ve ever had.

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Motherhood has made me a better person.

1. I am more patient.

I’ve always been told how patient of of a person I am, especially with teaching kindergarten for 4 years. I enjoy those little people, but there is a certain sense of contentment that comes with teaching your own kids.

I sat down with Laikyn today to work on our shapes, colors, letters and numbers, and I found myself being incredibly patient with her. I remembered just drilling my 5-year-olds expecting them to be able to read by the end of the year, but then my eyes opened with my own baby.

I realized that every second I’m teaching her something whether it’s a letter or a shape or how to stir the gravy and lick the brownie bowl. Patience really is a virtue, and since becoming a mother I’ve found mine growing more and more. Something about having children of your own grows you into something you could have never been before.

2. I am more forgiving.

I distinctly remember having a hard time forgiving before having children. I would hold on to the tiniest of circumstances…and it was holding me back! I’ve learned to live and love, let go and let God. It’s all that you can do as a mother. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Move on.

3. I am more prayerful.

I recently told someone that going through pregnancy and having a baby truly made my walk with God stronger than ever. I don’t know how you can go throughout the miracle of life and childbirth without knowing that God did all of that. It’s incredibly miraculous. Teaching my girls to pray has been one of my favorite things, ever. Hearing Laikyn’s little prayers (even when it includes being thankful for lettuce…) melts my mama heart.

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4. I am more compassionate.

I’m much more compassionate. My mind often wonders to how other children’s lives are and how we’re shaping our children to interact with them when they meet. Life is one big web, and I pray everyday that I’m doing the best job I can as a mama to make my girls into sweet, caring, nurturing, compassionate and loving little people.

5. I am more mindful.

Aka I am more worried. I think too often, worry too much. What mom doesn’t though? And we haven’t even made it to the teenage years…

6. I am joyful.

The joy that comes with being a mother is like none other. It’s unexplainable and incomprehensible. Just when you think you can’t love anymore and your heart is going to burst….it grows more and shows you just to what lengths a moms love really can go.

7. I am more appreciative.

I appreciate my mom more than I ever have. I understand her love for me more now that I have children. I appreciate the sacrifices she made as I was raised and I appreciate becoming a mom through the sacrifices we’ve made.

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8. I am thankful.

I am so incredibly thankful. Thankful for healthy kids. Thankful for a home. Thankful is an understatement.

9. I am blessed.

….I am tired, worried, fearful….but I’m all of these things because I’m a mom. I am all of these things because I love my babies. I am all of these things, and a better person because of them. I wouldn’t change a thing if I could—every circumstance, lesson learned, bumped head and bruised heart not only shapes our children into who they are, but shapes us into the mothers that they are looking up to.

We are who they have. We are their people. Be a good one—choose to be a better person.

This article was originally published on Little Lovelies.