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How has having babies/kids changed you?
102 replies to this topic
Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:39 AM
I remember after having #1 that thete was a long period of feeling a bit lost (who am I if not working, socialising, etc).
Then going back to work was another phase of reassessing. Just got comfortable, then another readjustment when #2 arrived.
Am thinking of a career change to accommodate the parenting. This is also tied to a reevaluation of sense of self.
Has anyone else experienced something similar? How did you deal with reassessing your sense of worth / value?
Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:48 AM
I am not sure I think I fell different now in my 40s than I was in my 20s but not sure if that is just an age thing.
I also have less energy than 20 years ago
Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:53 AM
Our kids fit into our lives at the time we had them not the other way around. I didn't want to be the person that said no to everything or turned up late etc becayse of kids. I shouldn't have worried though, my friends are all only having kids now 20 years after me and I never hear from them.
I loved kids and babies when I was a teenager. I now can't stand babies and kids so I guess it changed me that way. Other than that I'm still the same me.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:12 AM
Probably was too honest!
Edited by rubyskye, 19 October 2019 - 09:51 AM.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:20 AM
I still feel a bit lost 8 years on. I think it's so many people needing things from me and it can't always be on my terms. The loss of control over my time and attention has been extremely challenging to come to terms with. Anxiety medication has helped.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:27 AM
I had a good year of therapy to deal with it after number 2. But now it’s all gone to poo again after number 3 & I have neither the time, desire or energy to return to therapy to begin the battle again.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:35 AM
I think I am more assertive after having children. I care less of what people think of me. I am less willing to let rudeness slide and will call people on their behaviour.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:43 AM
On reading the title (after another thread!) my first thought was ‘well I can’t hold in farts any more’....
Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:48 AM
On reading the title (after another thread!) my first thought was ‘well I can’t hold in farts any more’....
I am more willing to see grey, I have always seen grey but nowadays I see grey everywhere, nothing is ever black and white.
It has taken me the last 16 years to figure out the parent I want to be, my kids will need therapy.
I think life is all about changing. If you are the same person that you were in your 20s, have you even lived or learn anything?!
Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:02 AM
Did my kids change me or was it my job or is it just life? I just don’t really know. So much has happened I’m not sure I’d be willing to put a change down to just one thing.
All the things I think I am *supposed* to have changed by being a parent like, I don’t know ... patience or more responsible I can either attribute to something else - teaching has made me way more patient than parenting - or I haven’t actually changed - still as lazy as all get out.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:12 AM
Lots of ways.
1. I developed 2 chronic health disorders as a result of the pregnancies.
2. I am 10-15kg heavier and have never shifted it.
3. I don't now have time to exercise 2h/day.
4. I am ALWAYS tired (no doubt related to #1-3 above).
5. I changed career track to accommodate being there for my kids, and am bored and unstimulated.
6. I feel like I have to earn lots of money to provide for them.
7. I hang around many more women now. A lot of their discussions on kitchen renovations and domestic worlds bore me. I try to find interesting mums to hang with. It doesn't really work. I can't be bothered to fake stuff well enough to maintain female hierarchy friendship group regimes. It makes me sad how I don't seem to fit in with the whole mum crowd.
8. We eat boring stuff the kids will eat for dinner lots of nights.
9. I don't travel overseas numerous times a year any more. My life is narrower.
10. I don't take risks with my life any more, because I think I should try hard to stay alive for the kids, so they have a mum.
11. Most of my choices are about the kids, not me.
12. I live in a different area and type of dwelling because I moved for good schooling options for the kids. It's more conservative, less diverse, and high SES than I'd choose for myself.
13. I have no rest from the mental load about family and household now. Pre-kids none of this burden ever crossed my mind.
14. My memory - which was stellar if I do say myself - has declined and I'm less cognitively sharp. So, so much less functional IQ than I was blessed to enjoy earlier and didn't appreciate.
15. My periods changed from light and short and hardly noticeable, to painful, heavy, long, more frequent, and accompanied by anger and nausea (hot water bottle on my tummy right now).
16. I could go on for another 100 points but that's not the EB etiquette... (Not sorry, couldn't resist)
Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:29 AM
Oh Ivy Ivy, right there with you on not feeling like I fit in with "mum crowd". I didn't really click with my mums group.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:31 AM
I’m more tired but happier. They’ve made my life much better by being in it. Although they’re probably ruined me physically. I also worry about them all the time so that’s the worst downside for me.
I feel more connected to the community now. I was a total loner before I had kids and tended to move from place to place quite a bit, that’s not so much of an option now even if I wanted it.
They are easy kids though and I was pretty old when I had them, so I don’t feel like I missed opportunities, that probably helps.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:43 AM
Ivy ivy - I could have written your post. Agree with everything you wrote.
But there have been some great positives I have observed from becoming a parent too.
1. I am much more patient, considerate and tolerant than my pre-kid self
2. I have a much wider view of the world
3. It has made me a better people manager
4. It has made me a better version of me.
Oh, and ETA, it brought me to EB
Edited by CCABW, 19 October 2019 - 09:45 AM.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:09 AM
I still feel as lost as I did before I had DS. I've felt this way since I lost my job, had a serious accident and moved countries in the space of 6 months. I thought becoming a mum would give me purpose and maybe find my niche. Now DS is at school, I feel lonely.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:15 AM
yes it changed me....made me more insular, introverted. i was never really an anxious person before kids, i am now. i don’t really have time for my friends...we all live these disparate fragmented lives, trying to hold it all together and running after kids. human children are greedy...they take a lot of resources away from their parents - mental, emotional, physical.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:16 AM
It's hard to figure out what to attribute to having kids vs getting older and wiser. But the ones I think are:
1. I have never truly cared about someone else more than myself, till having kids. I'm a pretty selfish person, and I presume would have remained entirely so if I hadn't had kids. Which is not to say I'm not still selfish, but I guess you could say it's now selective.
2. I changed career, to something I love but with very limited earning potential, to be more flexible around kids. I love it and am mentally and emotionally stimulated by my work more than I ever was, but it's also hard emotionally and not great pay. I work 2 days a week at it but I think would actually not be able to go full time even if home life allowed me to. It just takes too much out of me. And similar, it's not work I'll be able to do if I'm not feeling really on top of things emotionally (and to an extent physically), and that scares me. So I'm for more financially dependent on DH than I've ever been, and in general our finances have taken a downward turn since I went back to study.
3. My periods stopped hurting after childbirth. Which was amazing, they used to be debilitating. I got 10 good years out of that (plus menstrual cups making them more manageable), but they are now going haywire pre menopause. But it was a good 10 years.
I think I've also become more adaptable and less black and white in my thinking. But that's probably a combo of kids and age.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:19 AM
Oh and I learned a huge lot about myself. Nothing like having all your bad habits done back to you to hold up a mirror. I've had to do a lot of self work, which has been awesome but hard, and sadly is probably mostly too late. I think by the time I know how to parent well they'll be fully grown and I won't have any way to use it!
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:23 AM
I was very much better at my job than I was pre children but aside from that I do not feel too much differently to before children aside from that constant state of anxiety about the well being of the people we have created and now the people they have created.
The essence of me is the same, I have been broken by things which hadn’t nothing to do with having children but having them made it a complicating factor.
I often wonder how my parents would respond to the same question.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:35 AM
I am tired all the time.
I am much less patient.
I find it hard that by my nature I like to commit to getting things done and working hard to achieve that. I work part time in a fairly boring job and there is no career progression for me but I am going to have to stay there because I have to fit in with my kids.
I used to like to do nice things and be helpful to others and this was a source of self esteem for me but it is so hard and expensive to get babysitters so I feel like this isn’t part of me anymore.
That all sounds so negative. I love my kids I just don’t feel like I am a good mum most of the time.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:38 AM
Having kids has destroyed me mind, body and soul.
It damn near destroyed my relationship with DH.
I'm trying to think of a positive about being a Mum but the only positive I have is that I love them with all my heart.
Everything else has been destroyed.
For reference - the girls are now aged 14 and 12 years old.
Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:59 AM
I hate how much changed in my life compared to DH, and that was one thing I dont think he quite gets. I gave up my body to be pregnant (I'm not a good pregnant person- hate the feelings, constant nausea... love the kid though), then the hours upon hours for breastfeeding... once parenting could actually be shared, I've found life a lot easier and feel more normal (but here I am 16w pregnant with the second...).
I also went back to work quite early as I needed to be me... and to be quite honest, I needed to be treated like someone who knew what they were doing. I'm good at my job, but I had no idea about parenting. Work kept me sane.
My friendships havent changed, but how we socialise has I guess?
Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:02 AM
Well my tummy will never ever look the same and I don’t think I’ll ever get my belly button back, that is for sure. I have a short torso and carried twins to 38 weeks. Excess skin is still awful 3 years later.
Other than that, I now truely know the meaning of exhaustion...
Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:04 AM
Constantly sleep deprived and I am not the best person in that state.
Memory/organisational skills have diminished.
Lost my social skills after leaving work for a few years and they don't seem to be returning.
No hobbies anymore, no time for myself at all really.
I feel much more anxious and judged about every aspect of my person and life.
I have discovered a whole new level of love though.
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