I thought I knew myself before becoming a mother. I thought I was no longer lost. But after experiencing this past year, I can confidently say that through motherhood, I have found myself.

Zack and I tried for close to a year before I got pregnant with Owen, and even before that, I had really worked on myself mentally in preparation for it all. I wanted to do everything in my power to “find myself” and leave my emotional baggage at the door before becoming a mother. Of course, this is close to impossible — so much of who we are is our past, and I now know that my baggage is part of what makes me who I am. Regardless, I mostly wanted to sort out my insecurities so that I could parent confidently and without question.

And then Owen arrived. And somehow, through the sleepless nights, countless diapers and limited showers, I got comfortable in my skin. I realized that being a mom is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s balanced me out in this unexpected way, and I will forever be grateful for Owen making his way into our lives.

Motherhood is absolutely number one for me. But becoming a mother has also pushed me to be more creative, more successful and more intentional with my time. It has given me the push I needed in every direction. I constantly think to myself, “What exactly was I doing with my time before I had Owen?”

The first year of motherhood has challenged me in ways I couldn’t have ever expected, but has also brought me more joy than I’ve ever known. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Photography by Amy Frances.