Growing up, my sisters and I loved to round up in the kitchen and sing our voices hoarse. The Christmas season was particularly special. It was the peak for our kitchen choir. We had so many songs to sing, often spoilt for choice.
One of our favorite songs was ‘A Baby Changes Everything’ by Faith Hill.
Years later, after saying my vows to a fine gentleman, he and I knew were united in a common goal. We knew we wanted to have babies. And babies we had. Two of them by the time of this blog post.
As a result, the words of Faith Hill have come back to taunt me. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are a big blessing. But life just refuses to be the same after they checked in.
In this blog post, I share with you both the subtle and the major changes in my life after the birth of my kids.
- Bye Bye Sleep
Research shows that the average adult needs 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for optimum body functioning. Before I had my babies, I would effortlessly smash that range. I would put in an extra one or two hours. I was always a heavy sleeper.
Enter colic, night feeds, stuffed noses, separation anxiety and a myriad of other infant needs. I had to make peace with the fact that I was no longer an average adult. I was now a mother and there’s nothing average about being a mother. Measly hours of interrupted sleep were part of the mommy package.
- Endless Service
Having a baby automatically signs you up for being on call 24/7. Most newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours. They also need between 6-10 diaper changes (yes you read that right). Then they need to be burped, soothed, rocked, bathed, repeat!
As a new mom, I felt like tending to my newborn was stretching me too thin. Despite the love I had for my baby, my sleep deprived body was not enthusiastic to serve. Yet I had to be a gift that kept on giving.
So serve I did, and still do.
- Whole New Appreciation For My Parents
There’s something about having kids that flashed out all the folly from my head. Something about having a baby that shattered the scales off my eyes and gave me a crystal clear view. A baby really does change everything.
Having kids gives me great reverence and admiration for my parents. I am now more aware of their unrelenting love for my siblings and I. Sadly, this is something I took for granted for years. I now see the sacrifices they had to make.
It still baffles me how they hacked raising all five of us and with busy careers to boot. And while I may never really know, I am no longer oblivious of the fatigue and sacrifices we put them through.
- My Character Got a Boost
Raising a child is no mean feat. You will be tried and tested in numerous ways. Whether dealing with an infant, toddler, preschooler, school going child or a teenager. Your tolerance and endurance levels will certainly be put to test by your own, your blood.
Thankfully you have neither the option nor desire to quit. You have to stick it out. You are in this for the long haul.
I can confidently say that becoming a parent has improved my character. I tend to judge less, love more, be more patient, give more, and then some. It actually takes a lot to tick me off these days. But I wasn’t always like this. The babies did this awesome magic on me.
- Constrained Time in Marriage
Let’s face it, with kids in the picture, a lot of time, enthusiasm and energy that was previously invested in marriage is snuffed out. Date nights, romantic holidays, movie dates and other cozy moments are often relinquished to the back burner. They do not seem urgent anymore. They can wait. A needy infant cannot.
Statistics show that couples start drifting apart on becoming parents. They gradually evolve and become more businesslike with each other. They are now in the business of raising kids. They move from being lovers to being parents.
My marriage too was not spared from this reality. My husband and I have had to reinvent ways of keeping the sizzle amidst the busy-ness of raising our kids.
- I Discovered the Ninja in me
There is some inner strength that lurked in the recesses of my heart that I knew nothing about. This strength went untapped for years. Until my kids checked in.
The Ninja in me arises when I sense any form of harm coming my kids’ way. I will take a bullet for these kids, quite literally. Nobody is allowed to mess with my kids.
I will topple over any hurdle just to see my kids safe and well nourished. Every parent will tell you of this unquenchable urge to protect and provide for their children. I believe it is innate and divine.
- My Career Changed
When my maternity leave elapsed, I was distraught. My heart sunk. It was tough going back to work and leaving my infant behind. But a mother got to do what a mother got to do right?
My friends had promised that the awful heartache would dissipate. I just needed to give myself time. A few months would do the magic. But my heartache seemed a little stubborn. It persisted several months later.
This led me to a lot of soul-searching. I started wondering whether I was in the right job. I wondered what my purpose in life was. I dug deep into my heart and began to evaluate the things that made me come alive.
I was suddenly aware of the humdrum in my job. I knew I wanted a job that I enjoyed. I loved writing but I wasn’t sure if it was a viable option. I scoured the web and discovered that a lot of moms make an income through blogging and Freelance Writing. My Eureka moment had dawned.
Freelance writing highly appealed to me because it offered the invaluable perk of working from home (mostly). Armed with lots of faith and optimism, I resigned from the bank and set on building my new career.
And those, ladies and gentlemen are some areas in which my children have overhauled my life. Do you feel like your kids have given your life a facelift? In which ways? Please tell me all about it in the comments.