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How Motherhood Has Changed Me

By October 23, 2017 , ,

Four years ago, my husband and I were living in New York City, a blissful and carefree existence without kids. I was a recreational runner and half-marathoner, used to running long distances. I had eagerly signed up for the most challenging race yet, a vertical climb up the iconic Empire State Building. This was no ordinary race. It was a run up 86 flights of stairs…I’m talking 1,576 steps. I had trained hard for it for months. Two days before the event, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant.

I considered for a moment not running the race. Would I be endangering my baby? But then I went with my gut feeling – I was fit and felt capable of doing this! I didn’t perceive running this race as having a negative effect on the baby’s health. And with that, I made up my mind to forge ahead with this event. As I ran up each step of the Empire State Building that evening four years ago, I thought of the baby inside me and sent positive thoughts to him and reassurances to myself:

A strong mother makes a strong baby.
Believe in yourself, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Breathe, Richa, breathe. You will need to do the same during labor!

This incident was the trigger for a switch that went off in my brain, a rewiring of my thinking…never to be switched off again. I realized that I no longer belonged to just me. I was answerable to another human being who would be wholly dependent on me. At the same time, I came face to face with the other side of the coin - the importance of never losing yourself completely as a person once you have children. I ran the race which I had passionately trained for but I did it without compromising on the health and well-being of my child. From that point on, not a single day goes by where I’m not trying to balance both sides of myself: the mother that wants to give her all to her children and the girl who wants to live her life.

Raising a human being comes with immense responsibility! Yet 4 years and 2 children later, I have come to believe that motherhood doesn’t have to be all-consuming. As a mother, my children will always have my heart. As a working mom, I may not be physically present for them all the time but I’m deeply involved in all the parts of their lives, big and small. I love spending time with my boys and taking them out to explore new places in the city. I love getting silly with them and telling them crazy, made-up stories. I take time to teach them things and to be inquisitive about the world. I’m constantly planning in my head their classes, school schedules, playdates, and their next meals. I’m far from perfect but I know I’m there for them.

At the same time, I need to follow my own passions, hobbies, and friendships that fulfill me as an individual. It’s little things like taking time out for my yoga classes or coffee dates with my girlfriends. It’s taking time out to continue with my blogging (5 years going strong!). It’s continuing to physically challenge myself, having done a mountain run in Vietnam and a run through the Angkor Wat heritage site in Cambodia. It’s also big things like going back to work, which presented its own challenges but I did it nevertheless.

After having children, I knew they would always be my #1 priority. But I also know that I’m a better version of myself when I make time to nurture friendships and follow my own pursuits, be it work, hobbies, or leisurely activities. I don’t think this makes me less of a mother. If anything, it makes us Super Moms…the kinds our children can look up to.

How has motherhood changed you?

 Mom and a half: Here I was 6 months pregnant with my second child
while on a trip to Hawaii with my older son
Officially Mom of two here

This post is part of a blog train started by Pooja Kwatra of Mums & Babies. She took on the incredible task of bringing together 41 moms across the globe to write on the topic of how motherhood has changed each one of us. Meet all 41 moms here

Next up on this blog train is Jasmeet from Mommy Voyage. Says Jasmeet: I'm a mom to a 2.5 year old boy. I have been an educationist and now a full time teacher mom to my son. My blog talks about interesting parenting mantras, simple DIY activities for toddlers, child care tips, and other vivid experiences I have had and continue to have on my voyage called motherhood.

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  1. Way to go supermomma!!!
    How nice to be living in NYC when we are single n carefree (minus the winter cold though)...but Singapore is definitely more kid n weather friendly ;)

    great job on continuing ur hobby n interest even after having kids. We need to keep our sanity too!!! Lols

    Jamie chaw

  2. Love your reflections on motherhood and the balance where you take care of the self. I am in awe of physically fit people and somewhere I am very late to fitness. I am always like, why I didn't start younger? Keep writing. Happy Diwali.

    You can find me here:


  3. As if someone read my mind and put it all out there...and put it very beautifully! Way to go Richa! More power to you!

  4. Loved reading the post. I came over from Instagram to read the complete story. You r an amazing mum.

    Sending love from Saudi Arabia
    Sana Zahid

  5. It's amazing that you completed the marathon! Surely children learn from parents and you need to be strong if you want your children to be. I am sure your kids are super confidenrt kids.Glad to have known about your motherhood journey therough this blog train, Richa.

  6. I'm stumped, here is a mom who ran up the Empire State building, being sick weeks pregnant..... Such an inspiring and trendsetter mommy, loved your take on motherhood that it does not need to be all consuming ,this is Sharvi here from startmoms

  7. You are a strong mother. Your views on how motherhood changed you will resonate with every mother. Loved reading it. Happy to join with you on this blog train.


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