It’s no secret that parenting is hard – sleepless nights, teething and very little time for yourself can often give the impression that parents are constantly tired and stressed.
And while that may be true at some stages of your child’s development, there are actually many ways in which having children can make you a better person.
But the signs aren’t always obvious, and like most people, you’re probably harder on yourself than you need to be!
So, without further ado, here are 10 subtle signs that being a parent is bringing out the best in you:
1) You are more patient
There’s no doubt that as a parent you’ve experienced moments when all you wanted to do was scream or cry, or both at the same time.
Your little one is pushing your buttons, there’s a pile of laundry in the sink, the dog just threw up, and your mother-in-law just announced she’s coming to stay for the weekend.
If that’s not a recipe for losing your shit, I don’t know what is!
But you don’t.
You pull yourself together, take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time.
You know you can’t take out your frustration on your children, so you learn to put your feelings aside and create a warm, safe environment for them.
And even if they spill juice all over your freshly cleaned floors just as your MIL rings the doorbell, exercise patience. That’s a pretty good sign that parenthood is bringing out the best in you.
2) You strive to be a good example
Before you had children, all you had to think about was yourself.
If someone cut you off in traffic, you had no problem giving them the middle finger or even cursing out the window.
But now you have a little person watching your every move.
They see you and copy you.
So you take the main road. You are friendlier to people. You try to set a good example so that your child grows up and does good.
It’s not always easy (this is where the patience I mentioned above comes in), but you do it anyway because you want your child to grow up proud of having you as a parent, not ashamed or embarrassed .
3) You have better time management
Another sign that parenthood is bringing out the best in you is when you are no longer rushed, have trouble making appointments on time, or constantly fall behind.
That’s because you have the art of time management.
Just small things like bedtime routines or getting ready for nursery in the morning have forced you to change the way you do things.
You’ve learned to juggle multiple things while dealing with a little one who needs your attention and time.
And this brings me to my next point:
4) You are more organized
Oh yes – the days of just hoping for the best are long gone!
You know that if you want something to go well, you have to be prepared.
This reminds me of my cousin: she had twins and one day she and her husband decided to take them to the beach. It ended in disaster both children scream and both adults wants to scream too. Why?
Because they didn’t plan to. They didn’t take into account what the children needed to feel comfortable and included, and ended up going home early.
But this taught them a valuable lesson, and now wherever they go, they are always super prepared and organized.
For reference, she was probably the most chaotic person in my family growing up, so seeing such a positive change in her is a wonderful sign.
5) You appreciate the little moments in life
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life.
Until you have children. Then it’s all about those little moments.
The first time they clamp your thumb with their little hand. The first time they have a fit of laughter. Watching a movie together and cuddling, smelling their hair and seeing their faces light up with the images on the screen.
You no longer care about grand gestures or beautiful, big events.
Instead, you appreciate every little moment you get because parenthood has taught you that life moves fast and it’s worth slowing down to enjoy the simple things.
6) You’ve noticed greater resilience
I know I just described a scene from heaven in the point above, but let’s face it: kids can work hard too.
While you deal with the ups and downs of parenthoodyou will probably have noticed that your resilience has increased.
Partly because you have no other choice – little people depend on you – but also because you want to instill a resilient mentality in your children.
So when life gets you down, instead of staying in bed for days eating ice cream, pick yourself up again.
And even more, you do it with a positive attitude. You show your children that life always throws problems, but with the right mentality you can handle anything.
7) Your relationships are strengthened
They say it takes a village, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have people around you to support you through parenting.
And if having children brings out the best in you, you will find that these relationships are strengthened as a result.
You have had to become more vulnerable and more accepting of help (especially to maintain your sanity) and this has created gratitude and trust in your connections with those around you.
Whether it’s a best friend, parent, or sibling, this new phase in your life has given you a fresh perspective on your relationships.
And if anything, it helped you understand others better.
For example, now you might understand why your father worked so much when you were younger, or why your mother always worried about your school work.
You get it because you now have the same worries and concerns.
8) You are more empathetic
Following on from the previous point, your empathy level has also increased.
You no longer judge friends who cancel plans when they’re tired, or family who struggle to get together because they’re busy surviving life.
Of course, you are also kind and empathetic to your children, but this understanding and support is not just limited to them.
It shows in all your interactions – a true sign that parenting is bringing out the best in you.
9) You push yourself out of your comfort zone
One thing I remember friends saying when they had kids was the need to get out of their comfort zone.
Sometimes it can be as simple as striking up conversations with other moms/dads at daycare so they can arrange play dates for the kids.
Other times it meant following their dreams and overcoming their fears to provide a better life for their children.
So if you find yourself pushing yourself, no matter how intimidating or scary it is, it’s clear that parenting has made you a better person.
10) You are better at solving problems
And finally, what do you do when your little one just threw up on themselves, you’re on your way to a wedding and you’re desperately trying to avoid getting sick from your pretty clothes?
You will find a way to clean, comfort and change everything miraculously with one hand!
In other words, you’ve embraced problem solving.
You no longer look to other adults to solve problems – now you are the only adult in the room and you take on the challenge, no matter how small or big it is.
All of these signs show that you have grown as a person.
You have taken responsibility for yourself and your family and as a result you are flourishing. Well done you!
PS – save this list for when you’re having a bad day, and use it to remind yourself that you’re doing a great job!
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