I recall the day I became a parent quite clearly, moms do that. Exhausted, lying in the hospital, I held onto my daughter. Scanning her precious blue eyes, I said, “Okay, but only for you”. New parenting experiences and duties following that day produced life changing moments I never expected.
My world shrank
I adored driving or flying to exciting new places on a regular basis, then came kids. Until you motor across state lines for 10 hours with an infant or toddler by your side multiple times, you won’t appreciate how they broke me of this habit. Between potty breaks, movement moments, back seat brawls, and serious snack attacks I learned to appreciate shorter journeys. My world shrank. Now I seek the adventure around the corner and limit the distance we travel except on special occasions. I discovered the parenting paradise known as the park. With a little imagination, it transforms into any place in the world.
My patience shrank
Prior to children, I thought myself to be a patient person. With a persistent child by my side repeating the phrase “Mommy, mommy, mommy”, day after day, my patience deteriorated. No self-help guide enables me to calmly approach my children for the 87th time to instruct them to clean their room while not reacting to their need to only ask questions when I’m on the phone. Children have an amazing capacity to find a hot button no one else has ever found and push it continuously.
My pocketbook shrank
New clothes (for four), new shoes (for four), toys, video games, food, larger home, and entertainment expenses drain my finances daily. Do you see my point?
My body grew
My post-baby body took quite a while to embrace and appreciate. Having a bowling ball grow within, roll out into the world, and feed off of you can produce life changing moments with body shape. My body grew, there’s no way around it.
My joy grew
In spite of any parenting issue at my feet, my life’s joy factor grows each day. I never knew I could laugh so hard or enjoy the simple so much. When I pick up my girls each afternoon and they run from the open school gate and throw themselves into my arms, I smile, squeeze hard and internally repeat the phrase, “Okay, but only for you.”