Whether we plan for it to happen or not, parenting changes us. I recently read this article about Jennifer Hudson where she attributes her new body and new found health to her son and being a mom. All I have to say is Amen sister! Kids can inspire us to do great things. (They can also bring out some not-so-inspiring things too, which is for another time …) While I was reading about her desire to be a good role model for her son, I found myself nodding my head the whole time. Probably because I can relate.
Once upon a time, seven years ago, I couldn’t run a mile. I also thought having a baby was hard work. And because I needed to find sanity that wasn’t in the form of a pill, I started running. As my kids got older, the miles started multiplying as rapidly as my need for more sanity. Now that I have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, those miles tend to just keep adding up. Having a baby was easy compared to where I am now! I started running marathons and surprising myself with a new found motivation. Now I run for sanity, but I also run because these little eyes are watching me and learning from me. That seems to fuel my desire even more.
I had several conversations with other mothers of young children about this topic and they agreed that motherhood does in fact, change us and the majority of those changes are positive. Here is the list of positive things our young kids are helping us develop …
1. Kids help us get moving
After talking to several mothers, we came to the conclusion that having young, wiggly children in the home forces us to move more.
2. Develop hobbies
Whether forced to find a sanity outlet or inspired to do so voluntarily, mothers tend to one way or another develop hobbies such as taking photos of our first-grader’s accomplishment, sew a halloween costume, bake or cook a new meal. A definite perk to having little bodies around us.
3. Live on a budget
How many pairs of jeans can a five-year-old boy wear through? How about shoes? I can’t count! Having little kids can really force us to re-arrange our spending and find ways to afford all the needs that come with them.
4. Drive safer
Do you find yourself driving in the slow lane sometimes, when you have a car full of little bodies? Do you obey more traffic laws because little second-grade eyes are watching you and calling you out when you don’t? One mother admitted that she had to change her driving habits.
5. Eat better
If we want our kids to load up on the green stuff, then we naturally need to ourselves.
6. Find balance
With little busy bodies going every direction, finding balance and order is a must!
7. Be grounded
Let’s face it, we can’t think about ourselves all the time when little voices are constantly in our ears. Having little kids is a dirty job that sometimes requires us to be more grounded.
8. Be more creative
Finding ways to keep little kids busy isn’t always easy. Being creative makes our life as parents a lot easier!
9. Be smarter
I’ll be the first to admit that by helping my second grader with her math flashcards has forced me to brush up on my Math and English facts as well. Other mothers agreed. Watching those little minds inspires us to learn along with them.
10. Learn patience
As hard as it may be, it’s true that being a parent to young children forces us to learn patience. And in the long run, it really is a good thing.
So, when you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything, going anywhere, and you’re kids are making you twitch, just think of all the positive things that are happening because of these crazy little monkeys! Hopefully this list can help jump start that process!
What did I miss? What are you better at because you are a mother?