I have a greater sense of purpose. To clarify, I always had a purpose pre-child and pre-relationship and don’t believe having a baby makes you a better human – just now I’m very aware that every penny I earn is providing for my son and the time I spend in the office is for him.
I’m in a permanent state of surprise. My son literally surprises me daily with things he’s learnt and can now do. I love seeing him develop and the pleasure it brings him when he’s mastered something new.
I’m far less judgmental. I’ll admit it; I judged people who I saw in supermarkets giving food to their kids and thought to myself that they should wait until the goods were paid for. I am now the person giving a banana to a screaming toddler. Hypothetical parenting is much easier…
I’m much more empathetic. I’ve always been reasonably tuned into people’s feelings, now I’m on turbo. I also cry a LOT more.
I understand what ‘being in the moment’ means. I’d read so many stories about women setting up successful businesses or writing books on maternity leave, I assumed that would also be me. It wasn’t. I wasn’t capable of much more than getting both of us dressed. But for the first time in possibly forever, I switched off and did nothing more than just be with my baby.
I’m more patient. My son is 15 months old and switches from one thing to the other all the time. I just go with it.
I have a sense of perspective. I don’t worry as much about the little things. Work is something I leave in the office (mostly) and I try not to get bogged down in internal politics. Those things don’t matter.
Guilt is part of my life. I work because I need to financially. If money wasn’t an option though, I would still work because I need to use my brain. I feel guilty that means I’m not a good enough mother. In all honesty, I feel guilty about pretty much everything to do with my son. From what I’ve read, this is pretty standard.
I’m now a routine person. I work for a fairly flexible company and that suited my personality. I loved the fact I could work late one day and finish early another. Now life is totally different. I have to be on the train to pick my son up from nursery and yes, there are days where I’d like to go for a glass of wine with a friend, but mostly I love it.
I’m winging it on a daily basis. I know what I’m doing 50% of the time, the rest of the time I’m making it up. And you know what, I’m ok with that.