Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maturity in Motherhood

It seems that after my first baby boy was born, I matured over night. At least, it feels that way. It’s not that I was overly immature prior to his birth, and not that him being born aged me, just that there are ways in which I grew up very rapidly.

I feel like I was always a bit more mature than my peers in many ways: I didn’t drink or party in high school, and rarely in college; I prioritized studying and intellectual growth over other things; I wasn’t glued to my phone when out at social events like my peers were… Yet there were many things I needed to change; ways in which I needed to “grow up.” I tended to be a bit lazy and hardly accomplished any housework, to my husband’s dismay. That laziness was also sometimes reflected in my appearance, especially when I was pregnant and didn’t feel like wearing “real” clothes. I also was not the greatest with sticking to a budget and enjoyed online shopping to a scary extent. 

Since my son was born, I am much less lazy, partly because he is definitely not lazy. He is not content with sitting on the couch for an hour (whereas I could be content there all day). I take a walk every day – sometimes multiple walks – and also attempt to get some type of housework done during his naps (even if it’s just wiping off the counters).

 I care a lot more about what my clothes and appearance say about me now. “Do I look like a competent mother?” “Does my look reflect my knowledge and wisdom about parenting?” “Do I look like I care about myself?” I certainly don’t want to let myself go – not yet! I was never a big fan of the new crop-top trend, but I am definitely not going for it now. I think there’s a certain level of appropriateness that parents should strive for. No bare bellies, sagging pants, exposed undergarments… parents should send a good message to their kids, even at a young age. I also used to be a bit tentative about cutting my hair, though I’d gone as short as chin-length before. But my long hair was getting in  my way and kept finding its way into chubby baby hands (and mouths!) so it had to go. In the end I rationalized that it is “just hair” and will grow back – it’s not something anyone should get terribly attached to. It’s much more manageable now and I can spend much less time with it and more time focusing on my little boy!

While at times I still spend more money that I should, I have definitely cut back. Diapers are expensive enough! I still enjoy making the odd online purchase, but instead of for me, my carts are now mostly full of baby stuff. I love having someone else to shop for, but I also am now better at prioritizing. I would rather have emergency money in savings and start saving up to buy a house than to buy a bunch of toys that he will probably never play with.

Are there ways in which becoming a parent seemingly matured you overnight?
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