11 Ways Becoming a Parent makes you a Better Person

11 Ways Becoming a Parent makes you a Better Person.

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One thing I noticed since becoming a parent is that it really pushes you to your limits and forces you to grow in ways you never expected. Here are some of the ways becoming a parent will make you a better person. I’m speaking as a mom, but I’ve seen my husband push himself and continue to grow and become a better person along this path as well. And I’ve also seen it with family and friends and many other parents I know. You may not realize it when you’re in the thick of it and still adjusting to this totally new life but once you get through the tired haze of the first year you’ll reflect back and start to see the changes and it’ll make you feel pretty good.

1.You become Less Selfish

I’ll admit it, before I became a mom my life choices were generally pretty selfish, I got to go on spontaneous adventures and party till all hours and not really worry about anyone else most of the time. I didn’t fully understand the feeling of responsibility until this little munchkin came along, and then all of a sudden my perspective shifted completely…well, over nine months really, thankfully we do get that time to prepare ourselves mentally…and then we get this vulnerable, innocent little life placed in our care to protect and nourish and make countless choices on what’s best for them. You’ll find yourself laying there dying to pee while you’re nursing them but you can’t quite bring yourself to break away and make them cry so you wait and hope that they fall asleep soon so you can escape for a moment of relief just to fulfill one of your very basic needs…not to mention the long lost luxuries of a hot bath or the time it takes to drink a cup of..well..anything really…you’ll be lucky to get a shower in and make it out with both legs shaved.

2.You become Less Self-Conscious

Becoming a mom seems to include a little bubble that kind of blanks out the rest of the world to a certain degree. Things that used to matter,  like shopping for shoes, and going out for drinks at a bar and watching a band seem trivial in comparison to staring at the wonder of this new little person with such curious and trusting eyes. You’ll find yourself making strange sounds to sooth them, or just communicate with them in your own special way, no matter where you are at the time. And as they get older you’ll continue to find ways to make them laugh and keep them happy oblivious to the fact that you might look a complete nut making faces or dancing in public. And if you do happen to catch yourself acting like a weirdo you may have a moment of embarrassment but then you’ll just shrug it off with a giggle and realize it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you, as long as it makes your little one smile.

3.You become more Gentle.

I found after the whole experience of giving birth that there’s something quite humbling about holding this brand new human being in your arms and feeling so incredibly blessed,  it makes you handle them with the utmost tenderness and care. You’ll feel more gentle as you nurture them and watch them grow…and this will affect how you handle others too. Granted this isn’t a constant state, there is quite an array of feelings that will surely come with the constant demand of every ounce of you. But overall you will gain a gentle patience that you never had before.

4.You become more Knowledgeable

From the moment you find out you’re expecting Google will become your new best friend. You will have more questions than you ever imagined and thankfully we live in a time where the answers are generally at our fingertips…of course there will be conflicting information at times and it can all get a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it’s more reassuring to read a book where you get a good idea of the author and sources of information. Here are a couple that I read that I found to be quite helpful and enlightening.

Expecting Better; Why the conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and what you Really need to know  by Emily Oster. This is written by an economist who basically looks at the numbers on everything and breaks down the advice you get on everything to do with your pregnancy by percentages and  the actual studies and reasoning behind it and allows you to make your own mind up about the controversial things, like having a glass of wine now and then, or eating sushi.

Another book I love is

The Food of Love: The Easier Way to Breastfeed your Baby  by Kate Evans. I am really grateful that a good friend of mine recommended this book to me because it was really a life saver for me when struggling with breastfeeding. I had a pretty rough time with cracked, bleeding nipples with one of them actually split in half, and on top of that I then got mastitis, which had me in bed with a fever on Christmas Day missing the family celebrations. But this book brought me comfort, I kept it on my bed and read it in between napping, and diaper changes, and while gritting my teeth with tears rolling down my cheeks as I got through the razorblade pain of getting my little guzzler latched on properly. I think that part was almost harder than the actual birth. Anyway, the easy going,  humorous style of writing by really helped me through it. It was like someone was there who totally understood what I was going through and knew what I needed to hear to help me hang in there.

5.You become Stronger

While you may not feel like it at first, especially right after giving birth, you will become stronger both mentally and physically. You’ll be on a marathon that requires more endurance than you’ve ever imagined; surviving on very little sleep, with no set schedule, and just when you think you may have a good routine going they’ll switch it up on you and you’ll have new challenges to face. At times you may feel like you can’t cope but you will always find a way through because you’ve got to be there for your little one and with this you’ll come to realize your inner strength. Once you get past the first year where you may feel like you’re just keeping your head above water, you’ll start to feel that you can actually achieve anything you set your mind to and it feels pretty empowering.

6.You become more of a Problem-Solver

This is something you will discover from the get go, when you have a little munchkin on you pretty much 24-7 you learn to find ways to do things more efficiently. From learning to juggle multiple items with one hand while holding a baby in the other…to juggling a curious toddler by creating a human totem pole while going to a public restroom, with him on your shoulders, to keep him from crawling on the dirty floor or popping up in between some poor unsuspecting lady’s legs in the stall next to you (true story). They say necessity is the mother of invention and that will be pretty clear as you find ways to make things work on the spot as you go.

7.You become more Understanding

We’ve all been there, while out n about, in a restaurant or shopping…whiny, fussy, shrieking, crying kids, and their parents can’t seem to get them to be quiet…well let me tell you now you may think that will never be you but at some point you will be one of them and you will totally feel for them. You’ll have a whole new understanding that even the sweetest of angels can have a meltdown when they’re not feeling well, or if they’re pushed too far past their nap-time, or they’re hungry and the food seems to be taking forever to come (even if you only ordered 5 minutes before).  Unfortunately life doesn’t always run on an ideal schedule and sometimes us mom’s have errands to run that take longer than intended, or friends or family in town to entertain, households to manage, and a never ending to-do list to get done. So whenever you see a kid in melt-down mode you’ll just throw the mom a knowing look and try and make her feel better somehow because you’ll know how it feels to be in that situation.

8.You become Better at Time Management

Well…not at first…at first your brain will still be trying to comprehend the advice of “sleep when they sleep”. Because your to-do list will be ever growing for every spare moment you have, and you’ll try your best to get on top of it, and you’ll get 5 minutes into it and sure enough the baby needs you again…it’ll make you feel like a bit of a failure at first, but when you finally accept that it’s enough to just keep the baby alive, and keep the both of you fed, hydrated and clean and just let the housework be for a while… you will get to enjoy the time with your baby, and start to heal from the trauma of giving birth, and slowly but surely you will start to take on all the things you could do before, only now you’ll learn to do them even more efficiently, because as well as all that you now have a new job that’s 24-7 on top of everything else. So it’s like learning to juggle, but once you get the hang of it you’ll realize you’ve got this! There’ll be new challenges along the way but you’ll learn to take it in your stride and find a way to fit more and more into your juggling act.

9.You become more Creative

Being a parent requires you to be creative on a daily basis, from basic things like what food to make that  the “little little” will eat, to what crafts and learning stuff to do. But it also inspires your creative side to come alive again because at the back of your mind you know that you’ll want to teach your kid to follow their dreams…which kinda makes you re-evaluate your own and start to dabble with them again…because eventually you’re going to have to explain to them what your dreams are and what you did with them, and so it pushes you to be a little more creative and find out for yourself so you can give them a good example.

10.You become more Fun

I like to think that I am pretty fun in general, haha…I’m definitely a lot more fun after a glass of wine…or a cocktail or two…but being a parent brings you back to the good old clean fun of many moons ago, the kind you had as a kid climbing trees , or camping, or building a fort. You may have to learn how to play again…I know that’s something I had to do, I think as grown ups we feel like we should always be working on something productive, and we think some things are just for kids and we forget how fun it is to just climb up things and see the world from different perspectives, and look into puddles and jump around and be silly, so I feel that becoming a mom has brought out the fun loving adventurous kid in me again, and I have an excuse to be a bit of a goofball. I’m sure your kids will bring out a more fun side to you too, if you let them.

11. You become a Role Model

When I was a teenager I didn’t think I had many similarities to my mom, but as I grew older I realized I do in many ways, I even caught myself leaning in the doorway between working in the kitchen and taking a peak at what everyone was watching on the TV the same way she used to, I also learnt a lot about being healthy from her example, and still do. Whenever I’m unsure about something I still check with her to see what pearls of wisdom she might have on the topic. Like it or not your kids are going to learn from you and pick up some of your habits, whether good or bad. You become probably the most important role model to them, and with this responsibility comes the desire to be a better person. You’ll want to be the best version of yourself and someone who they will look up to and be proud of. It’s no easy task, and I guess the best we can do is try and be an example by what we do and how we treat others. One day they will grow up and realize that everyone is human, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we just try to do the best we can. You will always be the one they can turn to whenever life throws them a curveball, or they need advice or encouragement. You’re an official Role Model. Wear that honorary badge with pride, and try remember to try be the best version of yourself for the little eyes that watch you closely and hang onto the things you say (even if some days they don’t seem to hear you and their little eyes are looking for everything they can possibly get into that they shouldn’t). But also go easy on yourself and remember no one really has this parent thing totally figured out, what works for one might not work for another so just find what works for you and keeps you somewhat sane 😉

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