I'm going to take a chance and suggest that right now you probably already think you're a pretty good person. At least I hope you do. You've had a child. You're eating more healthily, staying home at night and going out much less often than you ever used to.
But, the real work is just beginning. Because no matter who you are or where you come from, the child before you is going to change you. It’s changed me, and I believe, for the better. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
Learning Patience. Whether your child is a sleeper or a screamer, you will learn the true meaning of the word “patience.” Believe me on this one.
Being Curious. My child has taught me how to be curious again. This has opened me up to seeing the beauty and mystery of the world all over again.
Showing Affection. My child has taught me how to be more affectionate. With every hug and gentle action, she has given me the chance to become a more loving me.
Back to Reality. My child has put me back in touch with the things that truly matter. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to not worry about myself and shift focus to another living being which is curiously very liberating.
Finding Joy. I always tell my friends that before my child was born, I thought my life was full and complete. I had no idea that in actual fact, I was viewing the world in black and white. Then suddenly, there was color and I felt like I'd just landed in Oz.
Having Fun. My child taught me how to play again. When was the last time you got down on your hands and knees to be a pony or had a pretend tea party? For me, it was yesterday.
My child, most of all, has taught me how to love so deeply and fully. In doing so, I’ve learned that I’m not the center of my universe anymore; putting my family first is something of far greater value.
Julian Haber is a writer and photographer living in Montréal, Québec with his wife and four (and a half!) year-old daughter, who teaches him something new every day. When he's not working on an assignment or photographing corporate events, he's at home cooking with his mini sous chef, reading stories and playing made-up games with his daughter. Which, somehow, he always loses.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.