Thursday, March 8, 2012

Having Children Changes You…

Once you take the step into motherhood, you can never go back.

As I think back to before I had children, I remember myself as being a different person. For one thing I was a lot more willing to take risks or be adventurous. No one depended on me and I didn’t depend on anyone. As a young adult, with an education and a job, I was pretty self sufficient. So what if I wanted to try sky diving? It wasn’t a big deal. I also had the mentality that nothing would happen to me, like many people in their early twenties do. This attitude lasted even after I was married and until I got pregnant. Then I started changing.

I became a lot more cautious. I no longer just stepped off the curb before the light changed and I even waited to see the cars come to a full stop, I didn’t assume they just would. I used to sleep like a brick before having children. But after I had them my sleep was much lighter. I could hear the tiniest peep in the next room and jump up and be there in seconds. My consciousness of dangerous things around the house heightened. I put locks on the kitchen cabinet doors. I got gates to put at the foot and top of the stairs. I purchased those little protectors for the electric outlets. I couldn’t be too careful.

I couldn’t stand to watch movies about missing children or terminally ill children. Before children, of course hearing these things would bother me. But, after having my own children, I could immediately relate and be aware of the fear these poor parents were going through. I would feel anxious and sick to my stomach at the very thought something like this could happen to my own children.

Before children, I might have been a little reckless when driving. I may have exceeded the speed limit now and then, when I thought it was safe to do so. After having children, I followed all the traffic laws, used more common sense and took extra precautions. My kids were always in a car seat and after that they had to have a seatbelt on. They don’t even know how it feels to ride in a car without be belted in. It’s just the way it is.

I used to do things on my own timetable, whatever worked for me and my lifestyle. After I had my girls, my schedule worked around what worked best for them. I always made sure they were able to eat and nap at virtually the same time every day. They had a consistent routine. I did my things while they slept and napped. As a result, my kids were, for the most part, happy, healthy and well behaved. They rarely cried because all their needs were being met.

I went from not talking to anyone outside the home, to being an extrovert and talking to everyone. I talked to other mothers with children around the same age. We compared stories, tips, what stages our children were in, all kinds of things. Somehow you turn into a lioness, watching over your child and making sure no one does anything to hurt them, even remotely.

After you have children, you never go back to being independent and carefree. Your focus is always on your children, no matter how old they are or how perfect their lives may be. You are forever changed and there is no going back. Ever.

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