Also known as "becoming a parent".
Those of us who are 9 out of 10 on the selfish scale (looks in mirror) may not be prepared for this new life. Nobody warns you about the absolute and total demand a newborn has on your life. You're breastfeeding, being woken up in the middle of the night to change diapers or feed or sometimes you don't even know why you're awake right now. Gotta feed yourself somewhere in there, oh don't forgot to shower as well, laundry, what's that? Dishes pile up, the dog goes un-walked, did you even remember to brush your teeth today? And all of that is inconsequential compared to the happiness of this tiny human you have.
Add on top the language barrier between parent and baby. You have to somehow figure out your baby's needs based solely on its cries. And you'll get it down.
It's pretty crazy how your world takes a complete 180 from focusing on yourself alone to having to care for this miraculous little being. Add on top the language barrier between parent and baby. You have to somehow figure out your baby's needs based solely on its cries. And you'll get it down. After weeks of getting to know each other on the outside (because baby does recognize your voices from being in utero) you'll be able to tell with ease what it is your baby is asking for just by listening to the cry. My mom was an expert, she knew after 2 days if our daughter had trapped gas versus being hungry. That's when I REALLY started to pay attention to the length and pitch of her cries (shout out to you Mama!).
It's a learning curve for us all and the only way to really learn is to live it, observe and put that ego on the back burner. It's not just you anymore so dinner may have to be at 9pm instead of 7pm or showering in the morning is a must instead of the evenings. No more sleeping in, unless your kid truly understands how great sleep is in which case, congratulations you won the jackpot lol! Paw Patrol or Coco dominates our TV until after bedtime and cursing has to be kept to a minimum lest our toddler-parrot repeats it (it's going to happen eventually...sorry). And if all the above isn't convincing enough that your self involvement is R.I.P. wait until you don't even have your own name anymore. I now introduce myself first as Sol/Reia's mama THEN my government name because if I simply say "Reva" I get greeted with a blank stare that says "Who?".
You'll learn to make time for yourself around this little person and their needs and wants but perhaps more importantly you discover who you truly are. You find out what really matters to you, what drives you and you'll have the audacity to go for it not caring about outside opinions. It's liberating. If I hadn't become a parent I don't know if I would have found my passion as a doula and I definitely don't think I would have been pushed to pursue it. Once your ego is removed from the picture, what is left? That is the beauty of losing yourself in parenthood, that rebirth of who you truly are.
What fears have you overcome as a parent or what are you looking forward to overcoming? How have you changed? Let me know in the comments!