One of the richest and most famous women on this planet just confessed that her baby girl gives her "real purpose" in life. I'm talking, of course, about Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy. The celeb mom once topped Forbes' list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Musicians in the World, and yet she was willing to tell Shape that it's motherhood that really fulfills her.
Pretty risky statement in this day and age. Women have fought tooth and nail to rise to the tops of powerful corporations, to prove we're as good as men, to get equal pay for equal work. And for some of the more vocal feminists, admitting you're fulfilled by motherhood comes perilously close to letting your baby define you.
But is that fair? Is a powerful woman like Beyonce really giving up on herself when she admits she enjoys changing diapers or hearing her baby girl first use the word, "Mama"?
Or is she just evolving as a person, becoming someone new?
As Bey said of Blue Ivy:
She's only a year old and I've learned so much about myself from her. Giving birth was one of my biggest fears, and having Blue forced me to face it. And now I recognize the strength I have. She teaches me to focus on the things that truly matter, like family, and to pay attention to each moment, because they go by so quickly.
I'm hardly Beyonce's biggest fan -- have you heard her awful new song yet? -- but I have to admit I couldn't have said it better myself.
Giving birth to my daughter taught me a lot about me. It made me want to be a better person, a better woman. I changed because I became a mother.
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Does that mean she's the sum total of who I am? Of course not. I am still Jeanne the writer, Jeanne the reader, Jeanne the photographer, Jeanne the wife, Jeanne the human being.
Nor does it mean that Beyonce, that I, that any mother would be less of a person without a child in their life. I caution moms against using the term "childless" because people aren't less without children. They are simply different.
But there's something to be said for finding parts of yourself after you give birth, parts never explored because, quite frankly, why would you? You didn't have to know how you'd react to the stench of a diaper or being woken by a piercing scream at 2 a.m.
Beyonce never had to think about being Blue Ivy's mom before because, well, there WAS no Blue Ivy. She found a new purpose because a new need was created when she gave birth.
We all have purpose in our lives; it's part of being human. But I think it's safe to say that babies give us new purpose, if only because babies are supposed to change your priorities. They need us!
Do you feel like your baby gave you new purpose? What did you find out about yourself?
Image via Shape Magazine