How Becoming A Parent Changed Me

It’s common knowledge that a lot of things change once you become a parent. But what I didn’t realise was how this change would affect relationships around me, how I would look at everyone and everything differently, and how profound this change would be.

How Becoming A Parent Changed Me - Parenting Changes You - Baby Changes

I grew up in a less than ideal family, like some are. A broken home, squabbling parents, a lot of raised voices. In spite of the less than ideal circumstances, I took everything in my stride, married a stable man, and if you meet me, you’d never find any inkling of a less than ideal childhood. (I say less than ideal, because I realise a lot have it much worse, and I don’t have too much to complain about.)

I’ve always considered myself non-confrontational, preferring to walk away from an argument than dive in headfirst. In groups, when heated debates on economics or politics are underway I am the one who doesn’t voice an opinion, not for the lack of one, but simply because I couldn’t be bothered to get ruffled on a nice evening.

But ever since my son was born almost a year ago, lots changed.

Before, when it came to all aspects of my family, I tried not to have too many run ins. My mother-in-law would make statements generalising a population, for example and though, I really do not like generalisations, I’d prefer to let the statement pass, not wanting to argue, since I don’t have much of a chance of changing her views.

Today, maybe because I am worried about the influences on my son, I am quick to retort and ensure that no bias has been established.

More of the switch has happened within my parental home. Earlier I barely had too much to say when I felt anything happening around me was unfair; today I do not let anything pass without a confrontational retort.

Is this a good thing or bad?

Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that I care a lot more about the surroundings. I do know that I have gained an immense amount of confidence and a feeling of belonging. A sense of a real family – my family! And I do know I have changed through and through.

Apart from this change in me as a person, I’ve undergone a lot of mindset changes as well.

If some one told me a year ago, I’d be co-sleeping and nursing at night even though my baby is almost one, I’d have laughed. I had a lot of rules I wanted to make sure I follow. Like sleep training my baby, like ensuring he sits in his car seat, like making sure he sleeps in his room by 6 months, like not carrying him around a lot… and other such bizarre stuff that fantasies are made off!

Well, none of those plans really materialised, not because I couldn’t do it, but because I didn’t want to.

I evolved into being an attachment parent, because I love it.

I’ve evolved into standing up for myself, probably because I will need that skill when I have to stand up for my child.

I suppose so much when it comes to parenting is so instinctual, that we cannot foresee the changes it may bring in us. And I suppose that’s what is at play here: mothering instincts bringing about big changes.

Thanks for reading. Do you find you’ve changed a lot after becoming a parent, right down to your core?

Aloka Gambhir is a new mom (since October 2012). She is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast and a health and fitness blogger since 2011. She is a Mumbai mom following an alternative lifestyle called the paleo/primal or evolutionary lifestyle. She is passionate about helping fellow moms follow their instincts to a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their family by questioning the rules and conventional wisdom on her blog: www.wholesomemamma.in

  • Yamini Vijendran

    Parenting is a natural process, unique to every single person who is a father or a mother. Trying to bind it in rules with terms like ‘attachment parent’ 🙂 is only trying to count the number of stars in the sky. The beauty is in going with the flow, and learning and evolving through the journey.

  • ronita

    Nice Read

  • “Today, maybe because I am worried about the influences on my son, I am quick to retort and ensure that no bias has been established.” – EXCELLENT, Aloka. Good to know. God knows the world is divided along so many points of difference – of identity or opinion – and mostly based on nothing but flawed generalisations. I love this point in your article, as much as I love the honesty of this mother’s heart and mind. A different perspective on what changes after becoming a mother, and a very interesting one! 🙂

  • Reema Sahay

    Absolutely transformed, to the core 🙂 I never thought that I will be quitting my job and staying home with my baby. Those were the issues I never bothered to think about because I have never been too ‘motherly’. But when the time came, this was the most natural thing to do. I am consumed by the need to do the right thing as I am answerable to my child.

    • True Reema. The need to do the right thing is very strong.