Before and After


Before and After. We know the concept all too well. As in “I was _____ [insert negative adjective], but now I’m _____ [insert awesome adjective]!” With photo documentation of how bad Before was and how amazing After is, of course.

The Before and After of becoming a Mom is not so cut and dry. I wasn’t necessarily in a bad place Before. The photo would show a rested, well-groomed, adventurous young woman and her new husband. And my After photo sure would not look like I’ve physically improved since becoming a Mom. The photo (in fact, I took one on Mother’s Day!) shows a tired, haggard, mostly-homebound aging woman.

This is what I looked like on my first Mother’s Day. No beautiful, brag-worthy After pictures here…

But, physical appearance aside, becoming a Mom has given my mental state a true Before and After transformation:

Before you, I used to make time to write.

Before you, I used to wake up early to journal, to set my mind straight, to talk myself out of anxiety before starting the day.

Since you, I wake with clear purpose and vision each and every day.

Since you, the order of my life has meaning and vision.

Before you, I used to be consumed by worry.

Before you, I used to be filled with worry about maximizing my potential, finding my purpose, and making a positive impact on the world.

Since you, I never doubt what I am called to do and be.

Since you, a weight has lifted from my shoulders, and a newfound joy and ease have come into my mind.


Before you, I had all the time in the world.

Before you, I had time to exercise, shop, talk on the phone, work.

Since you, my time is filled with more important things.

Since you, my days are too full—of love, laughter, and even chores—to need to be filled with seeking outside fulfillment.


There are a lot of things I did Before you that I thought I would miss. But, the reality is that since you came along, After I became a Mom, my life is fuller than I could have ever known it would be. My Before and After transformation is a beautiful thing, even if my photos can’t show it.

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Sarah Townsend Leach is a fundraising, communications, and leadership professional living in Collierville and working with clients around the country. Sarah grew up in Nashville and has lived in quite a few places, but thanks to visiting grandparents in East Memphis throughout her childhood and attending Rhodes College in Midtown, this has always been a second (and now a primary!) home. Sarah and her husband John met through both of their work in the Episcopal Church in 2015, and she is a mom to Poppy (June 2018) and Ann Townsend (October 2019). Follow her journey through new motherhood: focusing on learning how to be a parent and finding her new work-life balance out in the burbs. Sarah loves exploring, being outside, yoga, and crafting (all of which she has no time for now that she is a toddler mom).