Being Momma Bear has changed me. I’ve changed drastically and dramatically and for the better. We grow up, drag ourselves in to the world of adulthood and expect nothing. For some people things don’t change. They blend from one decade to the next with the same ideals and shoes. Others change quickly, become bigger, better versions of their younger selves. And then there are new parents. The change is sudden and immense. The growing up and learning is vast. Parenthood is like an affliction that changes the internal mechanisms of your body and brain – in a positive yet frightfully severe way. Has parenthood changed you?
There seems to be an instant switch that is automatically turned on when your baby takes their first breath. As though, their newfound life is connected to a trigger in the brain that downloads the parenting gene. But this change is an odd meandering of trials. You are forced to recognise who you were and who you now are. You’re almost blindsided into accepting that the old life and the old you are to be no more. It’s not an easy process. It’s almost akin to a death – there’s mourning and acceptance. And life goes on.
The Mourning Period
The old life is gone. The freedom and youth you reveled in shimmers to a memory. Someone else takes center stage as you become the understudy. And yes, that is of course the way it should be, as this helpless, beautiful miracle coos their way into all of our hearts.
But there is a loss for an identity which you know will slip away, for the person you were and loved. Becoming a parent is a big deal, bigger than anything you’ve ever imagined. Your world, your life gets twisted, turned upside down and wrung out to dry. Every month, every week, every single day, you delve deeper into parenthood changes something in you.
How you thought life would be, filters through a million changes. Things you said you would do are revised. Ideas you had for the future, fragment and refine.
But all is not lost. Change brings new opportunities, new ideas and new loves.
Accept Me the Way I Am
Old traits become quashed by new attributes. They’re not gone. They are simply placed in the shadows until they are ready to peek through again. And they will. We never really lose parts of ourselves. We pack them away until its time for them to shine again.
Parenting takes over your life on a level you can’t comprehend until it happens. Before I became a mum, I didn’t think parents had it hard. I didn’t believe they had it any better or any worse for that matter but I definitely didn’t think their life was hard. It never crossed my mind that raising children of any age was difficult. Sure, wasn’t I the perfect child, never giving my parent grief? Well Mum, wasn’t I? I can practically hear my Mum laughing to my Dad, “Look what I just read on the perfect child’s blog!”
But it is hard. We all know that. It’s hard because it’s impossible to prepare for this huge change. And as they grow older, we can’t account for their actions. There are no puppets in parenting. There are strong, determined and stubborn characters that we must guide and love and nourish. And that changes you.
I sauntered through life, living, loving, working and learning.
Before I became Momma Bear, I was selfish. Selfish with my time, with my money, with my space. And why not? It was mine. Mine to do with as I pleased. I begrudge no one to spend their money and their time in ways that a child free life allows them to. But once you become a parent, there are very few “that’s mine” moments (unless you’re the toddler, then there’s a lot!) And that’s ok. In fact it’s more than ok.
Becoming a parent loosens parts of your mind that were tight and particular. You live for more than just yourself, more than just your partner. Your children encompass your world, and they won’t realise this until they have children of their own.
It Takes Time to Find Yourself
I’m still learning and still changing. I’m still becoming Momma Bear, becoming the new me through parenting! I expect I will always be learning. I expect my own Mum and Dad are nodding in agreement. I have changed and I love the new me. But it’s only the last few months that I’ve started to love Momma Bear. I love her positives and I love her faults (because we all have them). I love her thoughts and dreams and I acknowledge her fears. I love Momma Bear.
I am stronger, faster and more capable. I am gentler, happier and wiser. I live more in the moment but am terrified of the future.
How has Parenthood Changed You?
I asked a simple question on twitter (my new favourite social media platform – If you’re not following me yet, hop on board!) to fellow parents – How has Parenthood Changed You? I don’t think I’ve ever had as many twitter notifications beep their way through my phone! Parents like to talk. And why not?
I started writing this blog because I love to write and what better to write about than our family and our beautiful daughter. So, I asked the vital question and ping, ping, ping, the answers came flooding in! Twitter, for those of you who are unaware, only allows you to write 140 characters. How do we Momma and Papa Bears trim our whole parenting world into 140 characters?
The answers were wonderfully succinct, precise and to the point. The nuts and bolts, nitty gritty, the essence of parenthood. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing their thoughts with me for this post.
So, how has parenthood changed you?
~ TJ from The DADgum Blog
~ Alex from fatherof5blog
~ Hannah from Hi Baby Blog
~ Jordanne from Life of a Glasgow Girl
~ Kimberley from Forever Kimberley
~ Emma from Self Care Mom
~ James from A Life Just Ordinary
~ Rachel from Our Rach Blogs
~ Colette Singer Songwriter Colette O’Connor
~ Wendy from Naptime Natter
~ Hollie from Trusty Mama
~ Claire from Now My Name Is Mummy
~ Val from Magmum Lady
~ Laura from Dear Bear and Beany
~ Sarah from Sarah Lea Stories
~ Kate from The Less Refined Mind
~ Lucy from Lucy at Home
~ Cécile from The Frenchie Mummy
~ Nicola from All Things Spliced
~ Jade from Raw Childhood
~ Amy from Mama Amelia
~ Cheryl from Reimer and Ruby
~ Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine
~ Louise from My Gorgeous Boys
~ Kate from Along Came Poppy
So tell me…
How has parenthood changed you? How are you different? How is your life different?