When I became a parent for the first time, it came with this feeling that I could empathize and have a certain kinship with all the other parents out there. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be a parent until you become one. It’s generally not until you hold you baby for the first time that you understand.
These “understandings” don’t end. They continue to unfold over the years. Since becoming a parent 7 years ago I have made certain . . . surprising observations about myself. Things that didn’t happen pre-children. Things I didn’t understanding about parenting until I became one myself. These include:
- Being okay to be seen in public in my pjs and without make-up. Which is pretty much every day I drop my children off at the bus stop and daycare.
- That fact that it takes me at least two days to return a phone call . . . which used to drive my pre-baby self nuts!
- Wow! Time really DOES fly. Not the days as much as the months and years.
- I can feel more deeply and fully that I ever did as a non-parent—this includes warm, fuzzy, loving feelings as well as the angry, yelling, yucky ones.
- I surprise myself about how quickly (and frequently) I yell. My therapist self is soooo much more patient! Completely different relationships, I know, but still . . .
- So it is true—I know my children well enough that it’s really like I have eyes in the back of my head.
- Seems I can get as little sleep as I do and still be a functioning human being (though admittedly coffee helps).
- That I would be okay with cheating . . . in the form of not reading every single word or phrase in the super-long book my child chose as a bedtime reading story.
- How easily I can let go of doing the dishes or picking up the house because it feels so amazing to take a couple moments to snuggle with my children, take in their smells, and be still and content.
That’s my list. What’s on yours?