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.
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