There are a lot of changes that come along with becoming a parent. You lose yourself, and you find yourself again – only it’s a new version of you, and it takes a little getting used to.
If you’re a mama, there are the obvious physical changes – especially if you breastfeed. I was extremely lucky and the permanent body changes have been pretty minimal – the biggest change has been the tendinosis, and the stretch marks on my…. arm. This was completely unexpected, one of the many things nobody ever tells you about motherhood.
But the big changes are on the inside. You go from a carefree, unintentionally selfish person (because really, the only person you needed to take care of was you) to the life support system for a small being that is completely dependent on you. As your baby gets older and becomes less physically dependent on you, they still need you to teach them how the world works. They need to learn things you forgot you ever learned, like how to predict when they need to pee and how to share toys they really don’t want to share.
Another change I’ve noticed is that once you become a parent to one child, you instantly become a surrogate parent to all children.
Once I realized that as an adult and a parent, I am teaching all the children around me all the time, I started thinking more closely about what messages I was sending.
I want ThrottleGirl to see me doing things I love, like riding, reading, and enjoying the outdoors. I want her to see me doing things that go against gender stereotypes because then she won’t have those stereotypes to struggle with as she grows up. I want her to know that math and science are well within her grasp and that she has the power to do anything she wants to do. I want her to learn to use her imagination and to problem-solve. I want to expose her to all kinds of situations so she learns how to handle herself well, and how to be kind and generous.I am excited for her that there are
I am excited for her that there are more female role models in prominent positions than ever before, including the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The world she was born into includes legal gay marriage, the world’s information constantly at your fingertips, and high-ranking women in business and politics. I’m curious to see how all of these things affect her development and her life, and I know that the way I teach her about all of these changes will affect the way she thinks about them.
I want to be someone my daughter is proud of to help her become someone that I am proud of.