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.

Courtney Barker

British mom Courtney Barker is sharing the story of how her son, 7-month-old Arthur contracted COVID-19 in the hopes of preventing other families from going through what hers is. Thankfully, little Arthur is now feeling better, but last week he was rushed to the hospital.

His mama recalled the experience in a now-viral Facebook post that is attracting worldwide attention.

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