9 Ways Being a Parent Changes You Forever

It’s hard, but endlessly rewarding

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Photo by JoEllen Moths from Pexels

1. You rediscover what intimacy means

Caring for a small human is flat out exhausting, especially after they become mobile. You just don’t feel like getting freaky after you’ve spent all day handling other kinds of bodily fluids.

2. You see how much you were pampering other adults

It’s one thing to watch a toddler tantrum on YouTube, and something else to be in charge of de-escalating it. Same goes for keeping them away from electrical outlets, toilets, and sharp objects.

3. You understand the elasticity of patience

There’s all kinds of ways to measure this virtue. For a long time, I weighed patience in ounces. Having a kid changed that. Over the course of six hours, you can literally feel your patience stretch.

4. You learn how to manage emotions

The invisible labor of parenthood forces you to confront all your baggage and trauma. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to handle all the curve balls and unpleasant surprises coming your way.

5. You learn how to handle chaos and disorder

Even the most minimalist household fills up with toy clutter faster than you could ever imagine. You learn just what headaches unfold from a simple box of crayons. The parenting guides today say you have to let your kids make a mess. This is how they learn about the world.

6. You realize the true value of time

None of us really appreciate just how many hours we have to burn when nobody depends on us. You can spend your nights however you want — resting, working, partying. Nobody claims your time.

7. You come up with new routines

Whatever worked for you before definitely doesn’t anymore. Maybe you used to get things done by cloistering yourself in a study to knock out a big project. Well, not anymore. Kids don’t allow this.

8. You put a premium on genuine self-care

When Monday comes, anyone who doesn’t have a kid has enjoyed an entire weekend to themselves. Maybe they dread the start of the work week, but not like an exhausted parent who spent half of Sunday at the urgent care center, wondering what strange virus their child has.

9. You realize you aren’t immortal

Something about watching a little you run around reminds you just how little time we spend on this earth. You start to see a world without you in it, and you think about what you’re leaving behind.

Change lasts forever

Nobody ever really “decides” to have kids. This is something I didn’t understand until having them. Couples weigh the pros and cons. We read articles and take quizzes. It doesn’t help.

Written by

She’s the funny one. jessica.wildfire.writer@gmail.com

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