We’re travelling home last night when my husband suddenly asked me this question while looking at our daughters. It caught me off-guard and got me thinking.
Growing up, I hated kids. Being the eldest among our cousins on my maternal side, I grew up seeing my younger cousins, which happens to be mostly boys, I was often the one asked to watch over them especially when the oldies gather around for their chitchat. I hated every single moment of it! Not because I given that responsibility but because I can’t stand my cousins mischievousness. Add to that the deafening noise they make! argh!
That’s when I realised and knew that I hated kids.
Then came the time for me to have my own family. Despite having that thought, I’m not like others who doesn’t want to have children of their own. I do want to have, but I just hated that playfulness, I might say. A big part of what children by nature are.
And so 10 years down the line, here I am with 2 daughters of my own. Did they changed my impression about children? What significance did having them gave to my life and who I am today?
Here are my personal insights on how my daughters changed me:
Being Responsible. Most of us would want to believe that as we get older, we get more responsible in life. We find our way to make a living and able to feed ourselves without the help of our parents/guardian. Hurray! I’m a grown up or others might say, “adulting”!
Despite that, nothing can prepare you to be more responsible than being a parent. The thought of being given a responsibility of another life to your hands makes you put out whatever effort you can give just so you can make sure to live up to it.
With todays society where children are raised merely needing the basic essentials of food, clothing, and shelter, but need various other stuff to make them live a comfortable life nowadays, parents are compelled to think of more ways to make a living.
Conclusion: Having a child brings out the best in a parent. Without your child, you wouldn’t know how much you can give out of yourself.
Change in life’s perspective. I must admit, I was kind of materialistic gal during my early 20s where in my early 20s, my most precious possessions consists of clothing, bags and shoes. I must say, I matured a bit when as I aged when I learned the beauty of travel. Though it’s still some kind of luxury, at least, it adds up to my learning experience.
All of that changed when I gave birth to my 1st born, then more when my 2nd one came. Life became more meaningful and I’ve found my new purpose in life. If was beyond being able to provide material things but holding up for my values, making sure I’m living with good habits and manners, and living life with a meaningful purpose as your little ones watch you everyday.
Conclusion: Live becomes more meaningful and you’re somewhat re-born to live a purposeful life.
Finding Inner strength. I don’t know about you but I certainly isn’t this strong of a woman before I became a parent. Perhaps it’s because I knew that I could always crawl my way back to my parents whenever I need to.
Of course, when you become the parent to be crawled up into, that totally changes the game. You step up your plate, ready or not, and somehow find that inner strength you, yourself, didn’t know you have within you. Amazing, isn’t it?!
Conclusion: Being a parent makes us become stronger as a person by being able to find our inner strength.
Finding confidence. I remember those times when I was too shy to answer our own phone (yes, I’m talking about those landline phones when mobile phones isn’t a thing back then) at home whenever it rings. Can you imagine?!
Nowadays, I wouldn’t think twice to call or message one of my daughter’s teachers whenever they need something from school. For others, starting a conversation with someone either in-person or not may be a natural thing, but for others like me, well, it takes up a lot of drive from within to sum up that confidence needed to be able to speak up.
Conclusion: Parenting makes you a better person than what you are or who you are before.
Self-Care. I suck at my own self-care when I was younger. I didn’t have any routines or even have some specific skin care. Contrary to what others experiences though, I felt more taken care of, by myself, nowadays than before. I may be more busy with life, having 2 munchkins to take care of, but believe me, I am at my peak when it comes to having time with myself as well nowadays.
From learning to make routines to manage my time wisely throughout the day, I also developed my love for taking care of my body. Through mindful eating and doing exercise, not for the sake of being skinny but to make my body strong, I felt more energetic and alive most days. Feeding my mind with great information and affirmation makes me live my days with more purpose and a better mood.
Conclusion: While no one can deny that having a child can be a handful, we as parents must also realise that without us taking of ourselves first, we can’t give/do more for our children.
Having children may come with tons of responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to handle it. You yourself would be surprised how strong of a person you are. And as a prize for that, something that not a single word can describe the happiness a child can bring to a parent’s life.
For those parents reading this, I’d love to share your stories too on how parenting have changed you. Share yours and get to inspire others as well on the comments below!