All set for how life with change when you have a baby? What about the ways in which you will change?
It’s something you will hear all throughout your pregnancy – life, as you know it, is about to change forever.
While I was (mostly) prepared for how different life would be once bub was in the house, what I didn’t count on was just how different I would become. From my interests, my social conscience, how I relate to friends and family … there has been a huge shift in what’s important to me, since becoming a mum.
1. I’ve hung up my dancing shoes
One of the benefits of being in your thirties when you have your first child is that you’ve had the chance to really live large during your twenties.
By the time I had my son I was well and truly ready to substitute Ketel One for kombucha – and I certainly don’t feel I am missing out when I choose bed at 8pm over a big night out.
To friends who knew me as someone who could be counted on to catch up for an after-work wine at the drop of a hat, this has been a huge shift. These days, I’m much more likely to be found sprawled out on a rug at the local park, bub in tow, getting my fix of vitamin D.
Read more about new mum life:
- Why don’t newborn babies smile?
- This is what new mums really want after giving birth
- 6 ways to get the support you really need once bub arrives
The same goes for travel. Back in my pre-baby days, no sooner had I returned home from a month-long European sojourn than I would be booking a 10-day tour of the Canadian Rockies.
My love of travel was such a fundamental part of my personality, but for now I’m happy to leave a few blank pages in my passport, while I focus on home life.
2. I got serious about health and safety
Before you become a parent your health is largely your problem and your problem only. But once bub is in the picture, it becomes clear that it’s much easier to look after a little person, if you look after yourself too.
A healthy diet, some exercise, and – if you can manage it – some decent sleep (ha, I hear you say!) will not only ensure you’re healthier and happier, but make parenting a whole lot more enjoyable.
I find myself thinking the word “safe” a lot more than I used to. From peeling grapes, to getting rid of bite-sized rocks in the garden … it’s safety first, and then I can relax.
3. I make more of an effort to keep up with family, friends … and strangers!
We all know children are veritable sponges. Even before they are talking, they’re constantly watching to see how you interact with the world around you, and converse with the people you meet.
So while pre-baby me may have kept my headphones in place while I ordered my morning coffee and simply acknowledged my barista with a nod of my head, these days I will take the time to have a chat.
Striking up conversations with people, whether it’s other mothers at the local park or shop attendants who want to know how old my bub is, provides an opportunity for my son to learn how to interact with other people in a polite and friendly way.
It’s vital to me that my son develops his own close and healthy bond with the key people in my life – parents, siblings and even some of my closest friends – so the way I relate to these people is crucial.
While I may have been a bit slack keeping up with friends and family in the past, these relationships have become even more important as a parent.
4. “Think global” comes naturally
Before I became a parent I did the basics when it came to caring about the environment – I made sure I recycled, tried not to waste water and always turned the lights off at home if I wasn’t in a room.
Since my son was born, I’m much more aware that the choices I make have a direct impact on the world my child (and all children) will inherit.
Whether it’s trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use, rethinking that fast-fashion purchase, being extra careful about food wastage – as well as how much meat our household consumes – and ensuring I clean with environmentally-friendly products, each decision now seems to have larger ramifications, and I’ve adjusted my habits accordingly.
What I think it boils down to is that pre-child I was more selfish and insular, and I just don’t have time for those personality traits with a tiny human to nourish and protect.
If I’m being honest, I was one of those singles who would shake her head at parents whose worlds revolved around their children – and now, of course, that’s exactly who I have become!
Am I a better person for it? It depends who you ask. But I like to think all these changes make for a better me.