The year 2018 has been most rewarding because you welcomed a baby! Whether you’re aware or not, here are nine ways parenthood has changed you for the better, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON.
You are less self-focused Before you became a parent, you only had to think of yourself and your spouse. It wasn’t that you were selfish, it’s just that you didn’t have competing priorities and you could focus all your time and resources on yourself.
Now, your baby comes first, and you spend less time thinking about your own needs.
You’ve learnt new skills Changing diapers, breastfeeding and bathing a wriggly baby used to be a complete mystery to you. By necessity, you had to learn these skills very quickly, and that has helped your little one thrive. You never knew that you could do all these things and multi-task, as well.
You’ve a stronger sense of family You had a close connection with your parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. But having a child has helped you appreciate the importance of family relationships even more.
You use your time more effectively Before you had a baby, your time was your own. You could choose when to go out, when to sleep, when to work, and so on. That has all changed. And the only way you can juggle all those demands is by treating your time as a precious resource.
You share more with your husband Raising a child is much easier when it is shared – not just the practical tasks, but also the parenting decisions which need to be made every day.
Through this, you and spouse develop a better understanding of each other, including strengths and weaknesses.
You are better at planning ahead The demands of baby-care mean that you can’t leave things to chance.
Everything needs to be planned so you don’t run out of, say, diapers or baby food. And when you intend to go out with your little one, you can’t leave all preparations till the last minute.
You are more confident You were probably all over the place when your baby arrived. You may have felt you knew nothing, had too much to learn, and perhaps even doubted your coping skills. Hardly a minute passes without a new challenge or a minor crisis.
But look at you now – you take things in your stride and your baby is thriving. No wonder you feel confident.
You have more fun Caring for a baby is hard work, but it is also great joy watching her change and grow. Her smiles fill you with delight, and her giggles make you chuckle along with her. Whenever she learns a new skill, your heart bursts with pride. All in all, you have much more enjoyment in life than you did before she was born.
You are more caring Parenting brings out your altruistic, empathic nature. You can’t care for your baby without being sensitive to her needs, without putting her first, and without being loving and attentive to her.
That affects the way you respond in your other relationships as well, so you have become more caring all-round.
Whatever challenges that come along now, you’re able to sort them out quickly and take things in your stride.
ILLUSTRATION CHENG PUAY KOON