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How does it change you(33 Posts)
Ongoing discussion with male friend of mine. He has a four year old daughter and insists he hasn't changed since having her and never will. I say once you become a mother you completely change but I can put my finger on exactly how! Any opinions?
Priorities change. Someone else comes first over friends and family. Of course things change. Maybe more for the primary carer in some cases.
I haven't 'changed' in myself.
I still like what I've always liked, still watch what I've always watched etc etc.
The only difference now is that I'm happy to not do what I want because I'd rather my daughter be doing what she wants. Iyswim.
Time was I'd happiky sit playing video games from 9am till 11pm, I still would, but I'd rather take my daughter to the park, or sit watching frozen, or peppa pig, feeding ducks, practicing writing etc.
It makes you tireder. And you find there is someone in the world more important than you.
What changes? Time is for them not you. Risks are thought out. Decisions have them in mind. Their best interests are at the forefront. Yes, that fourth floor flat was idyllic but not with a full shop and pram. They ground you, they change your priorities but they don't change the fundamental you!
I don't think I've changed particularly, it's more that I have an extra priority in my life. But then, my working life continues unchanged from before I had DS -- I imagine that if I had stopped work and become SAHM, my life would split much more obviously into pre- and post-DS.
Your life's not you own anymore, everything revolves around them. I miss lie ins, going out and not coming home to the early hours of the moming. I havent done that in years because i cant cope with the aftermath. I've had to change my job, lost friends the list goes on. I'm Just going to say it if your not the main care giver I don't think your life changes. I don't think it changes the man's life as much as the womans.
Pre kids I thought I was busy, thought I was tired.
I have tripled my work load and have never experienced exhaustion, bone drenched utter utter exhaustion like this in my whole life.
That has changed me physically, I look ancient.
Emotionally I have turned 180°, unrecognizable. I was hard faced, fist of iron, poker faced, nothing troubled me type. Now, I cry at adverts, my heart crumbles when my child is sad or upset. I can't cope.
Definitely it changes you. Father or mother.
Apparently there are structural changes in the brain for mothers, but not for fathers, which could explain some of what you've said. www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38341901
However my partners life has changed almost as much as mine (outside of work). He tends not to do unpaid overtime now and works five days a week and I gave up my job and now only work one day a week. We both aren't able to do the things we used to on evenings or weekends. There's more housework (from being in the house more), less money, more washing, less sex and less going out. I'm not sure if that means our personalities have changed as a result of the above or if our priorities have changed.
My personality is the same and OH is the same too but our lives have changed. Have to always put DD first now and have far less free time. Miss my sleep so much!
But those 'structural changes' are strictly temporary, and are a side-effect of pregnancy hormones thought to improve mother-baby bonding, rather than anything more permanent. I agree that the primary care-giver, if there is one, will be the one whose life is significantly changed, , and that's as much about 'social' changes like giving up work as biology. My 'changed' period was only during maternity leave (which I found unspeakably miserable). These days I'm pretty much who I always was, but with a four year old.
It changes your life but I'm not sure it changes you as a person. People have told me I've changed for the better (used to party and drink A LOT) but I'm not sure I have, I still have that side to me but lack of opportunity means it doesn't come out very often!
I know it is a cliche, but someone said having a child is like having your heart on the outside of your body. It makes you vulnerable!
In a way everything is heightened:
Love, Pain, Tiredness, Desire to do better. Everything is just MORE, than it was before.
For me personally, I was a mess before I had DS. He gave me the impetus to sort my shit out (took a year of psychotherapy mind!) so I have changed immeasurably. His dad doesn't live with us, and says he often forgets he has a child..... so his life, not so much.....
For me I have become braver. I'm not so timid now and I put that down to having to speak up for someone else who depends on you.
*Pre kids I thought I was busy, thought I was tired.
I'm a much nicer person. I have more patience and empathy for other people's lives and understand better how little control we have over stuff. I've had quite a lucky, privileged life and having a tricky DS has made me appreciate how little control we have over lots of stuff.
I've changed. I'm more content, I am way less likely to give a shit over nonsense. I care more. I love differently. I appreciate my parents more now. I respect my work now, because I need that salary for all of us.
And life is different. I'm sick this weekend, but I can't stay in bed and recover. It's snatches of time resting and then getting the children through the day. My major passion (horses) completely put to the side while the children are so young. I couldn't half love the horses so they had to leave my headspace entirely for now.
It's different and it's all good.
DS is only four months old but I think I've changed for the better. He's given me a focus, where before I just pissed about, procrastinated and spent a lot of my time bored. I think I'm also more contented and more confident because if I can survive childbirth I can survive anything!!
I don't sleep as well - not just because they wake up early but because I sleep lighter to be aware of any noises, cries, falls out of bed etc, although I find it easier to drop off as I'm utterly exhausted
Personality wise I feel like I stand my ground more now and speak up more
I also feel more confident in talking to strangers - purely from having to make so many mum friends at baby groups and at school
I am a different person as a mother I think. I definitely prioritise DD over my career and am leaving my 17 year career soon to do something new as I do not want to be committed to the travel and short notice requirements my current job requires. The travel includes being overseas for quite long periods and I don't want to be away anymore. DH on the other hand has just chosen a career stream that involves him being overseas for a protracted period, then regular travel. He keeps saying it sucks and he'll miss us but he chose to do it, so in that respect I am definitely more grounded, but DH has chosen to continue to be more mobile. I have pointed out to him that if I kark it, he'll probably have to jack this job in. He mentioned his mum could look after DD. I said No! you'll be the primary carer!! I feel like writing it in my will!! So as said above it depends who the primary carer is really I think.
Me: happier, more relaxed, more content, more patient. More emotional in a lovey dovey sort of way. I gave up a very stressful job when I had my first baby tho and am now a SAHM, which I love and which doesn't feel like work AT ALL so not sure which changed me more!
DP: I think would say happier, more anxious, greater awareness of risks/ danger, greater sense of purpose re: career. He changed career dramatically after our first baby was born to be at home as much as possible.
Of the two of us, DP would say he feels he has changed more fundamentally than I have, even tho I am the primary carer.
More flexible and more confident - similar to a pp, if I can cope with childbirth/rearing a baby, I can cope with anything
* I think I'm also more contented and more confident because if I can survive childbirth I can survive anything!!*
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