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Why I Don't Miss My Life Before Motherhood

I Gave Up What I Thought Was My Dream Life For a Family — and I Don't Regret It

Photographer: Levi MandelRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising or print allowed.

Once upon a time, I was an ambitious early 20-something woman living in New York City. I landed there shortly after college when I realized that if I was truly serious about a career in journalism, no other city would suffice. So, I did what any ambitious girl would do: I packed my bags and became a Sex and The City superfan on a mission to live out her single and fabulous life in the Big Apple. I was determined to make the best out of my 20s. I hustled to find the best jobs, dated all the wrong guys, traveled to many foreign countries, slept in late most weekends — all while consistently evolving into a better me. I was busy on my grind and was always down to try the infinite number of opportunities that NYC offered. I was having fun, and at the time, having children was the furthest thing from my mind.

If I'm being honest, I knew I wanted them at some point but didn't see how it would happen. I wasn't in a long-term, committed relationship. And, I was so busy having fun with friends that children weren't exactly on my radar for the immediate future. I remember one day my mother said to me, "How can a guy catch you if you're always running around?" In a sense, she was right — how could I fit a guy into my hectic schedule? But in my mind, my 20s weren't the time to get "caught." I was reveling in my freedom.

I thought to myself, "I would give all this up for a family." So that's exactly what I did.
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It's hard to come out of a state of pleasure, but after nine years, I was ready for a change; I was tired of the grind. Enough was enough. It hit me while sitting front row at a show during fashion week. Even though I was surrounded by tons of celebrities at arguably one of the hottest shows of the season, I thought to myself, "I would give all this up . . . for a family." So that's exactly what I did.

I got married in 2016, and the birth of my son came shortly thereafter. That's when everything changed. I moved out of the city and landed in a small town in New Jersey, about 15 miles outside of New York. Brunches with friends became trips to children's museums and play dates with other rambunctious toddlers. Motherhood has comfortably set in, and there's no turning back. But I love my new life and have no regrets. I don't miss my life prekid because now my days have a different purpose, and I feel loved and important. I loved building a career and traveling the world, but for me, it pales in comparison to molding the mind of a new generation.

Watching my son discover his place in our society is such a blessing to witness. When I take moments to pause and reflect on my current life, memories of being single in NYC are fleeting . . . and I'm OK with it. Sure, I (occasionally) miss nights out on the town with my girlfriends, but I enjoy the smell of my freshly bathed toddler a bit more, and I'm so happy to be home to tuck him in at night. I've learned that being a mother is more rewarding to me than any flight out of the country or any fashion show during fashion week. When I watch my son learn new phrases and try new activities, I forget what it's like to club-hop or wake up at noon on the weekends (most days). It's easy to not miss my former life, when I find my current life so much more fulfilling.

It's easy to not miss my former life, when I find my current life so much more fulfilling.

Oh, that "better me" that was consistently evolving? She's doing well these days and has reached a new level of better. I'm stronger and savvier than ever before, and while I loved city life, being a mom has taught me more about myself than any city could ever do. I'm much more patient, and frivolous things (like who should win on The Bachelorette) don't bother me anymore. Motherhood has also taught me to enjoy the small things in life. I love watching my husband push my son on the swing at our local playground, and watching them sing "ABC's" together in the mornings is priceless. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I'm learning the beauty of silence. Motherhood is loud and noisy, but in those small moments when my toddler is sleeping and the sound of Sesame Street isn't blaring through the speakers, I cherish it. Overall, I've learned to be easy with myself and open to the idea that constantly evolving is a good thing.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Levi Mandel
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