Children change everything! From the first time you feel the baby kicking, to the first time you look in your baby’s eyes or hold your child, you have the realization that you made that little life form and now you are responsible to and for him or her. Parenthood changes your life, your perspective, and it changes your priorities.
Parenthood changes who and what is important. Your number one priority is no longer yourself. Number one priority is your child. Nothing is as important as the life you brought into the world. You no longer put your wants ahead of everything else. Your wants become second to your child.
The littlest activity in your life becomes a priority, but it is now a priority that you will wait on to do something for your child. For example, you may need to go to the bathroom. If your baby is screaming, chances are good you will go to your baby first and then, go to the bathroom. You have no way of knowing if your child is hurt without going to them and you cannot go to the bathroom without knowing. This is a sign that parenthood has changed your priorities because if you were just watching the child, you would just go to the bathroom. As a childcare provider your thinking would be as long as the child is screaming it is not a life threatening situation.
The biggest priority change in regards to parenthood has to be money or budget. What money you once spent on beer and partying is now set aside for diapers, formula, and doctors. You no longer spend all your paycheck on yourself and simple pleasures, you try to save for a rainy day or college – both for your child. Any savings you have or had goes toward taking care of your child or giving them something they might want.
Instead of purchasing beer first and food second, you now purchase whatever your child needs and then, your food. Your food is secondary to your child’s needs. When you go to spend money on yourself you find yourself wondering if there is anything else you needed to buy or you were supposed to buy for your baby.
Your money now goes to taking care of your child. If you are going to spend money on a snack for you, you make sure to purchase something for your child first or at the very least share whatever you are about to buy with your child.
Exercising has always been important to you and it still is. The reason you are exercising has changed. You are no longer exercising to impress anyone or to even fit in those tiny clothes. You are now exercising to stay healthy so you will be around for your child. You check out the gyms for the quality and safety of the daycare instead of the equipment and the people in the gym.
You discover that your priorities have changed because of parenthood. Somehow that little bundle of joy has become the only thing that matters and everything you do is for your baby. Somehow, you have become responsible.