You don’t realize who you are.
You don’t realize what a selfish cow you are.
You don’t realize how much time you waste.
You don’t realize how little everything you “care” about matters.
You don’t realize what love is.
Until you have a child.
I remember making a Facebook post to the effect of “why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this?! the love!” a month or so after my son was born. Immediately there were loads of responses from moms saying things like “would you have understood before?” and “you don’t ‘get it’ til you’re a parent” etc.
It’s really true.
Having a child changes you in so many ways.
The biggest one being your ability to love unconditionally and completely overpoweringly. It’s almost scary. No. Not almost. It’s scary. Realizing what love really is.
Before having kids you “intellectually know” what’s in store. A cute lil bundle of crazy, that you’ll kiss and care for and sacrifice for and whatnot. You know there will be long sleepless nights, gross things to clean up, tantrums to endure, lots of giggles, story time and so much more. You’re as “prepared” as you can be.
But until your child enters the world, you cannot truly “know” how incredibly changed you’ll be after they’ve arrived in your life.
I’d cleaned up my lifestyle a long time before children came, and I was cruising along, livin’, thinking I was doin’ pretty well. Then little Rohan Thomas came along and changed my perspective. Not to say that I wasn’t doing ok at life, but now that there was something so much more important to live for.
My way of thinking changed when I had him. It’s like a switch flipped in my brain that now makes me think “baby first” and automatically put myself in second place.
My view of what success meant got flipped on its head. It was driven by markers created socially, and then by markers of my own happiness. Now… Rohan’s happiness = success.
My selfishness got thrown out the window and my strength and restraint increased tenfold. It’s hard to be selfish when you’ve got to crawl, bleary eyed out of your warm bed to go clean and comfort a baby, covered in a vomit/diarrhea combo, who refuses to stop screaming. However, it’s easy and somehow un-burdensome to do it. I guess because it’s fueled by this unconditional love that this tiny human has blasted you with.
One surprising way I was changed after having my son was my rage. My mama bear instinct is super strong. It’s incredible how fast I turn huge and green and my clothes rip off, she-hulking me into cray cray protection mode. I already told you guys how I mushed that lady in Penn Station for bumping my baby.
He made me stronger, he made me wiser, he made me rethink my values, rethink my life. He made me realize positive aspects of my personality I didn’t know I had, and some that I need to work on eradicating immediately for the good of all mankind.
Children change you. And all for the better. I’ll thank him for it one day. Or maybe I’ll just wait until he has a child of his own, when he can truly “get it” and thank him then.
How have your kids changed you?
At BlogHer’13 I had the opportunity to pre-screen Disney’s movie Delivery Man, starring (my boo) Vince Vaughn. He plays a man named David that had his….deposits…at a sperm bank used 533 times resulting in tons of kids! He finds out in a hysterical way and we get to see his journey as he transitions from slacker delivery dude into his true self, a loving father of many, many kids.
It was one of those movies that has you cracking up one second then saying “aawwww” and getting misty the next. And Vince Vaughn was awesome in it.
And now I’ve got a sweepstakes for ya!
To win a $100 Visa Gift Card, tell me how your kids have changed you for the better. Good luck!
Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/17/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!