The person you are now is a thin shadow of who you thought you were. You may have spent a substantial amount of your adulthood figuring out your identity. That’s discarded when you become a parent. You’re forced to say goodbye to all the superficial things you thought comprised your core self. It’s a earth-shattering kind of thing that will change you in a good way forever.
There are the clothes you used to wear post-baby you will never ever wear again.
There are the jobs you won’t get because employers and clients can smell a sleep-deprived mother thousands of miles away.
There are the interests that used to define who you were, but you no longer have time for.
There are the friends that grow weary of hearing baby talk or rescheduling their lives to accommodate yours.
There are the beliefs you used to have: “I’ll never be that lenient/hard as a parent. I would never look that disheveled. I will never be that parent.”
But with everything that’s taken away from you-there is something that comes in its place.
Through the cracks of who you once were, there is a stronger, braver, more authentic you. When you are forced to leave behind the person you once were with all of her demands and expectations, you become a soft, vulnerable heart that suddenly understands the world’s ache.
Here’s what happens:
If you allow your children to change you, other people’s stuff won’t affect you in the same way. You will grow compassion for the mother that’s super slow in the grocery line. You won’t even wince when someone is rude. You will have saved your energy for the things that truly matter.
Because your time is so precious and valuable, you will willingly let go of friendships that don’t serve you. You will give up jobs you thought were necessary for your self-worth. You will want more for yourself the way you want the world for your children.
You may even grow forgiveness for your parents.
Children are our mirrors. They remind us that we are responsible for our own actions. They teach us that presence is the greatest present there is. They re-awaken the part of us that always knew that time is our most valuable resource.
If we see our own longings, frustrations and inner issues through their tantrums, cries and rebellions, we will be better changed for it. We are wounded children ourselves trying desperately to heal so we can become the parents we needed.
Children give us that second chance.
What I once thought was a sacrifice, I now realize was a blessing.
Yes there is a painful shedding and mourning of the old shell.
The person that arises aware that our children are here to teach us and not the other way around, will triumphant and so will the world.