Being a parent is hard – any parent will tell you this, and it is true some of the time of course. Most people know that being a parent will be difficult before they become one, I was no exception. But for me the parts that are hardest aren’t what I expected them to be. Sure, there are the sleep deprived nights, the endless diaper changes and sometimes crying that goes on longer than you think you can bear. But there are other aspects of having a little one around that affect a person – maybe on a deeper level – that I for one hadn’t really taken much time to consider and caught me off guard a bit. Having a child will likely change your perspective on a lot of things.
You will want to spend time doing things that you didn’t like doing before, just because you will enjoy those things with your child and see the excitement in their little face. The time that we spend together playing with playdough, colouring, stacking blocks is a lot of fun.
You also might find that you approach the world differently in general. I’ve realized that overall my approach to life has been to try to convince myself that I don’t really care about results – and if successful in that approach then I really have nothing to lose – within reason of course. In the end it meant that I didn’t have to worry as much about the potential results of what I did or my actions, allowing me to focus on experiencing life and less worrying about potential failures. For someone like me, who is generally fairly motivated to take action and complete things I set out to do, this works. In many ways it’s an easier and calmer way to live for me, and it turns out, much more difficult to live by when you have someone who looks up to you, relies on you for everything. Taking a risk becomes more difficult with the knowledge that another life is completely reliant on you. It was an eye opening experience to discover some of these things that were going on in my head that I didn’t even really realize were there at the time.
Now I will try to take the important parts – the parts that allow a calmer way of living – and integrate them into the greater reality of parenting and life in this day and age. Perhaps the need for peace and the need for security can co-exist in a more natural way. And of course I’ll continue to enjoy playing with toys and an energetic and imaginative toddler.