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The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

~ Jessica Lange

There seem to be two kinds of women in the world: the baby fanatics and the not-so-maternal. I fall into the latter category.

Prior to becoming a mama myself, I was seldom in the presence of babies. I preferred to admire them from a safe distance; the idea of holding one made me a little nervous.

As I entered my 30s, I was single and free-wheelin’. My public answer to the inquiry about having kids was, “I don’t know. Maybe.” Privately, I thought, probably not. It seemed like too gargantuan a responsibility. Plus, I didn’t want to do it alone.

Looong story short, my daughter, Jade, entered the world a little over a year ago. My life since then has changed in countless splendid, challenging, predictable and unexpected ways.

Here are eight of the most important life lessons I’ve learned so far on this journey as a mom. I hope will resonate and be of benefit regardless of whether you have kids or not.

Read on.