FAMILY | How Being Parents Has Changed Our Thoughts and Actions

Of course we knew becoming parents would force us to grow up pretty quickly. The responsibilities that come with becoming a mom and dad are endless. Rewarding yes, but endless.

Some of those responsibilities kind of snuck up on us.

That being, how much of what we say and do is passed on to him. How often we yell, how we treat one another, how we treat the dogs, what we eat, how often we exercise...

It's all a little... terrifying.

You realize quickly that those beautiful little eyes are ALWAYS looking at you, so you need to be on your game. (I want to put some words of comfort here, like "give yourself some grace, no one is perfect", but in this case, I think you really do need to strive to be best you possibly can).

On our own behavior

Actions & Reactions

When your toddler starts to repeat the things you say and mimic the things you do, it's real wake up call. I realized we yell at the dogs too much when Jacob walked over to their gate and screamed at them for no reason... Or when we say things not realizing he could repeat them out of context at daycare (yikes). But it's actually nice to have a legitimate reason to put ourselves in check and take responsibility for what we say and how we act. -------------And it is cute when your toddler walks around to everyone in the room to "cheers" with his water bottle.

Good Habits

Just as important as reeling in our bad habits is making sure he sees our good ones. We like to include him in things like picking up his toys. Even though he is still very young and hardly really helps, he tries and he understands that we pick up one room before we leave and go do something in another room. I also like him to see us do things like work out, cook healthy meals and spend time together without TV and electronics.

On who we surround ourselves with

This can be tricky because you of course don't need to stop spending time with your friends that don't have children just because you do, but things definitely do change. Your friends aren't going to (and shouldn't have to) become different people because a child is now present, but Jacob also doesn't need to hear or see some of the things that were okay before he was here. Whether you have a conversation with said friend(s) or just mitigate it on your end, it's definitely something to be aware of and we've faced it a few times over the past year.

On family

Becoming our own family

It's definitely an adjustment when you form your own little family. Your entire life you associate your family as your parents and siblings, then all the sudden you have your own little family unit. There are times when you don't always agree with your spouse's family for whatever reason and it becomes tough to navigate your place in all that. All I can say is honest and open communication with Jay (and eventually Jacob) is KEY to learning how this new dynamic will work best for us as our own family unit.

Making time for quality time

Speaking of your growing extended family - trying to find time for everyone can be tough (not to mention during a pandemic). Luckily Jays family all live very close to us so we're able to have Jacob see them on a pretty regular basis, but my family is spread out all over the east coast and into the mid-west so it gets a little harder for us to find a way to see everyone. We've had to get a little creative with Facetime and traveling but so far we've found a way to make it work.

On the current social and political climate

I've always been interested in politics and what is happening both in our country and on a global scale - that's not what has changed. What changed is my opinion and outlook on things now that it's not just me I have to think about financially, socially, educationally...and so on. Things take a turn in your mind when you have to consider what your child's life will be like if things continue to go in the direction they are going. Unfortunately, that is currently extremely scary to think about. It's been very present in my mind to consider how I will approach these topics when Jacob is old enough to discuss them and understand.