Has Having Kids Changed Me?
Having kids and becoming a family changes your life drastically for obvious reasons; there are more of you for a start!
But I was recently asked the question, “What has changed for YOU since having kids?”, and when I sat and thought about it, my life has changed in so many ways that I hadn’t realised until I had been asked that question.
Prior to starting a family I was a very career driven person; I wouldn’t say that I fell into the bracket of ‘live to work’, as I had a social life. But I definitely devoted a large amount of my time and effort into furthering my career, thinking that this was the most important thing in my life. I would regularly work 12hr+ days and would never say no when asked to do something.
In fact, I had this mentality out with of work as well…….
My family moved home when I was 12 (from Aberdeen to Glasgow) and I started high school in a new town not knowing anyone. This left me being quite an insecure person and on reflection, I would often go out of my way to help and please people as it would make me feel more accepted. This also continued into adulthood, where I would often be more concerned about doing what made other people happy rather than myself, as it would ease my insecurities about being liked and accepted; things like not sharing my opinion if it didn’t agree with everyone else’s and just generally going with the flow. But it wasn’t because I was just being laid back. I was essentially being a sheep and following the herd just to fit in (and ironically my nickname at school was sheep, for a completely different reason).
Having kids has changed all of that, both consciously and subconsciously……
When my first son arrived I made the conscious decision to change my attitude towards work. I decided that whilst having a career is still important to me, it’s not and shouldn’t be the most important thing in my life, my kids are. I instantly stopped working extra hours and left the office as soon as the clock hit 5pm each night so that I could go home and see my son, and overnight I became a much happier person. Prior to Rudy being born I would find it hard to leave work behind when I left the office, but now I am able to completely switch off as I leave as I know I am going home to a little guy who is desperate to see me.
Subconsciously it has changed my mental health; from the point of view that I feel far less insecure about myself, and am a far more content person. Having kids has made me realise that it’s not important to fit in and please everyone else. What is important (in my opinion anyway) is to do what makes you happy, and you will be a happier person for it generally. I now often have to decline invitations to things as comes with the responsibilities of being a parent; something that I would have felt so anxious about the consequences of doing previously, that I would have moved my life around to accept. But now, I happily do it. I no longer feel the need to fit in as I have found what makes me happy, and it’s my kids.
Follow on Instagram at @diaryofaglasgowdad.