This is a collaborative post.

When you become a parent,  you expect your life to change in all kinds of ways – a lack of sleep, less spontaneity, eating meals one-handed, drinking cold cups of coffee. Not to mention having to work out potty training!

However, alongside the actual lifestyle changes, you will also find that there is a whole range of changes to your mind that you never expected at all.  You will find that your entire outlook on life changes and that you start seeing things in a completely new light. Here are just a few of the surprising mental changes you may experience as a parent.

A herd of elephants walking across a dry grass field

Photo by Eric Heininger on Unsplash

You develop an increase in determination and resilience

Conceiving a baby in the first place is often the first step in resilience and determination for many couples. For some, it is straightforward, but for others, it may require the assistance of a procedure such as IVF.

When you have your child, you are more determined than ever to overcome hurdles and barriers that stand in your way to give your child the very best start in life possible. You will also notice that some of the little things that used to bother you or feel like a huge deal seem minor and inconsequential in comparison.

You learn to appreciate the little things more.

Like lie-ins and hot cups of coffee! In all seriousness though, when you begin to experience life through the eyes of a toddler or a young child, you begin to appreciate the smaller things in life – the joy of splashing in a puddle or picking a daisy. The significant material things like owning a flash car don’t seem to matter quite as much as whether the cup for your juice is the right colour or your sandwich has been cut in the right way when you are little!

You become braver and more courageous.

Sometimes, you may not feel it. New worries and fears creep into your mind, sometimes in the middle of the night, but as a whole, you become a lot braver and more courageous when you become a parent. That spider you used to run screaming from? You find yourself tackling it calmly and quietly, so you don’t upset your child. You may have heard of the ‘mama-bear instinct‘ kicking in – it is the overriding need to protect your child at all costs, no matter how scary something is.

You appreciate what your own parents sacrificed.

In most cases, anyway. Of course, some people have difficult childhoods, and it goes the other way, but for most people, they see the many sacrifices that their parents made to provide them with a safe, comfortable and happy childhood. Those times when they wouldn’t let you hang out with that particular friend? You now realise that it wasn’t them being mean and trying to ruin your life; it was them trying to protect you. When they wore those tatty clothes to the school, pick up that you were embarrassed by? It was because they had spent their last tenner on your new school shoes so you wouldn’t be bullied. You now recognise what your own parents did for you.

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