There are no doubt a million changes that people experience when they enter the life-long journey of parenthood. From physical changes to emotional and financial changes, our lives are certainly changed forever. Some changes for the better (the love of a child is priceless), some changes not so desirable (stretch marks and wider hips). Is anyone truly ever ready? Nope. But, some people are definitely more prepared than others and some people deal with change better than others. After having three beautiful daughters, by C-Section, these are the top 5 changes I experienced most after becoming a parent.
Believe it or not, my first daughter played a huge role in changing my outlook on my personal health. A smoker since age 16, when I became pregnant with her at 25, I knew I had to kick the habit. It was always one of those things I would eventually do, but my pregnancy gave me the inspiration I needed to quit. I kept visualizing her tiny little helpless body being swallowed up by cigarette smoke. What a great motivator. My husband also does ultrasound and can actually see the difference of the female placenta of a smoker, versus non-smoker. You can’t tell me that doesn’t affect a child in utero.
As much as you never really want to grow up, eventually there comes a time when you just have to. Parenthood gives you no choice in the matter. You have to be accountable for your children. You have to maintain to a schedule and provide them with as much stability as possible. No more hanging out at friends late at night. No more partying. No more ditching work or school. If you are sick, you work anyway. You don’t leave your babies to be raised by their grandparents and you take responsibility for the one person in life that depends completely upon you.
Well, I knew I wouldn’t be fitting into the same pre-pregnancy jeans I wore 9 months prior, but I wasn’t really ready for the ungodly sight in the mirror after pregnancy either. I tried not to have unreal expectations, but come on, I still looked pregnant for at least a month after all of my pregnancies. Since my last and final pregnancy I have realized that I am just way too critical of myself, as most women are. I have come to the conclusion that my new “mom” body is not going away. I weigh as much now as I did when I got married, so I’ve lost the “pregnancy weight,” but I’ve definitely found it hiding in other areas, like hips and tummy. They don’t have a pamphlet for expanded hips.
No one knows the feeling of unconditional love like a parent whose child just vomited all over their stroller while shopping in the local mall. As frustrated, worried and upsetting as they may be, you love that child anyway. And, you love the same child when they write on the wall with permanent ink or try to flush an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet.
Yes, patience- a necessity on the resume of new parent. This is difficult for those of us who can’t sit quietly in a doctor’s office for an hour before jumping up and complaining and asking what is taking too long. Patience comes in many forms. From staying up all hours of the night until your little one stays asleep for longer than thirty minutes to getting them to eat at least one vegetable. The hardest part is realizing that your kids are people too, separate from you. They may have much different likes and dislikes and patience is key to maintaining a healthy relationship.