We asked you: What’s the BIGGEST change since becoming a parent?
In 2017, via the Bournemouth Echo Facebook Page, we asked “What’s the biggest change you’ve experienced since having children”? We were curious to hear from parent’s who visit the farm park how having a child has changed their life?
The response we received was overwhelming! Such open, honest and emotive comments. For those of us at Farmer Palmer’s who have had children there were lots of nods and comparative anecdotes. For those who haven’t; there were a few expressions of shock and horror. Plus plenty of giggles, tears and a somewhat broody atmosphere.
We were struck by how many of the comments followed four common themes. Many of you spoke about lack of sleep! A sure fire way to guarantee everything seems a little harder to do!
Losing your personal space – which is hard to maintain when you don’t have children, let alone when you have a bundle of joy entirely dependent on you for survival.
Putting your needs aside also featured prominently. It’s not easy accepting that you’ve gone from numero uno in your life to a servant! A poor second – at best. We appreciate there is no ‘How To’ manual. It’s not easy and there is a constant need to adapt because as your children grow, their priorities change.
But this leads on to the most powerful theme in all your comments – not realising how much you could love another human. The frustration over not getting two minutes to yourself or handing over your last £20 (that you’d been saving for a precious night out) to pay for a school trip, pales in comparison to how much we all love our children.
For all the bad days, teary days, “What the hell am I doing?” days; we wouldn’t change it for the world. Most of the time . . .
Ellie R: ” There are many big changes when you become pregnant, like the weird things you’d never thought you’d say to, or hear, another human being say. Agreeing to let a small version of yourself watch you poop because there can’t be a moment without you. Or requesting they not lick *insert object or person’s name here*. You never think you’d be so happy to watch another person sleep…soundly…and hope they don’t wake for at least 10 hours. Or that you’d be so happy to see the face that made you want to sit in a cupboard and cry an hour before. There isn’t a ‘biggest’ change, everything changes but we wouldn’t have it any other way would we?”
Jemma G: “The changes have been countless. The sheer amount of love you can feel for someone so tiny is incredible and then having a second child and wondering how you could ever love them as much, only to find your heart just grows and you have the same undeniable love for them too. Also one of the biggest changes was seeing the danger in everything and having a new found fear. You dream about the day your child will sleep through but when they do, you fear that something’s happened or something’s wrong. When you have children there’s a shift in your universe and they will always be the centre of it, no matter what. I wouldn’t change my two boys for the world.”
Lisa N: “Since becoming a mummy the biggest change for me, apart from much less sleep, is to stop being so selfish and putting their wants and needs before mine. Stopping the frivolous spending on another pair of much needed (winking face!) shoes and instead buying baby wipes or nappies. Also seeing my body in a new way, yes it is a good lot wobblier and has enough lines on it to be a map, but it is strong as I have grown 3 beautiful babies and I couldn’t be prouder!”
Is this ‘True Love’?
We came across two definitions online:
“True total love is to live for someone else’s happiness, without expecting anything in return” (YogiWarriorTribe.org)
“Love is when what you want is never important. But what the other person needs and wants is always paramount” (Lisa Capretto, Huffpost)
Do you think these quotes fit perfectly with the love you feel becoming a parent? Is the experience of “true love” the biggest change you feel since becoming a parent? It’s definitely food for thought….
One thing’s for sure, there are plenty of lessons to be learnt (and according to the comments we received, you learn them quickly!) these include; patience, inner strength and persistence.
But it’s also important to learn acceptance, balance, self-care and how to ask for support.
There’s an underlying feeling that parents are fighting to maintain their identity as a person and individual and not just a parent. Yes you may be Mum/Mummy/Mumma or Dad/Daddy/Dadda 98.99% of the time but remember you are still your own person and you can still enjoy being a ‘grown up’ or – in fact – a child too.
Retaining your inner child is a really important aspect of being an adult and a parent. It’s also pretty important for your mental health too. (Read our Blog Post: How to Find Your Inner Child).
Netmums have published lots of articles on ways relationships can change after having children. A quick search on their website revealed 208,000 results (14.03.18) including this one; 15 relationship truths after having a baby.
There is so much support out there for new parents if you need help and advice. You’re not alone!
Back in November 2017, BBC 5 Live ran a #MumTakeOver. Held at Blackpool Tower; parents across the country were invited to join the conversation about mums and mental health.
It was a fantastic programme with lots of advice from parents, celebrities and experts. It wasn’t all about mums, issues for dads were discussed too. If you missed it, here’s the link to download the podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05txmbn
It just goes to show, if you’re struggling with becoming a parent there’s probably someone else that’s had a similar experience and there’s so much support out there. Get the conversation going!
You’re doing great and instead of worrying about what you’re doing/not doing – use this as an opportunity to connect with other parents. Find somewhere to go to link up with others, going through the same/similar situation you are, it’s good to talk! Or talk to Grandparent’s if they’re around, remember they’ve been through this all before and are an excellent source of advice.
Choosing to have children is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make and you’ve no idea the difficulties you may encounter, or how you’ll handle it, and what becoming a parent will really feel like. But it’s okay because there’s probably someone else that’s been through it too. There’s a world of information out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
Farmer Palmer’s is generally quieter on week days during term time. If you’re looking for a place to meet up and have a chat with other parents/new mums/dads we encourage you to get together and come along, share your experiences and concerns over a cup of coffee and a slice of delicious homemade cake (because everything is better with cake!). If you’re a large group we offer a discount on pre-booking for 20 or more paying persons too. Check out the Group Page for more information.
Thank you for reading our blog.
Did you see the recent debate on Good Morning Britain – “Should Mums get to skip to the front of the coffee queue?” May be a good conversation starter . . .[NEEDs LINK]