A lot of things change once a baby arrives. Your body. Your mood. Your ability to tolerate nonsense (mine is zero). Often times, your relationship (at least for a short while) while also change while you try to navigate post-baby life. There's new demands to meet and consider all while trying to stay true to yourself (or what little you can preserve). Still, there are many things having a baby didn't change about me and, because I think they're what make me me, I'm thankful for them.
Before kids, I went out quite a bit, was fairly social (thought it caused much anxiety), and had little in the way of what I would consider a pretty mundane schedule. Once my first baby came into the picture, I had to learn how to multi-task (and really fast, by the way) as well as a whole other host of tasks and responsibilities. Every part of the journey was a learning experience (and still is). By the time my second baby came along, a lot of things had already been cemented; my work habits, our living arrangements, and the way we took on life as a family. With my son, whatever was to change would do so at a much slower speed, because I was already so set in my ways. I'm a strong, independent woman, after all and thank you very freakin' much. I hope to raise my children to be the same, whether they have kids or choose not to, so my strength and independence isn't something I'll be apologizing for anytime soon.
As I think back now, with two children in front of me, there's far much less that's changed about me than I thought. I'm still the same woman (albeit with more patience, learned over time) just with two little people to look after. Here are some of the ways having them hasn't changed me (thank you, kids).
I'm Still Not A Morning Person
I loathe mornings. Its doesn't matter how much sleep I did (or didn't) get the previous night, either. Mornings are suffocating, tinged with the day's long list of to-do's, talkative children (who never seem tired), and a sort of dread that comes with that initial grogginess. After my fist cup of coffee, it does get better,but mornings will never, ever have my heart; no matter how early I have to wake with the kids.
I Still Need Time With My Partner
Having a baby doesn't change the need to be close with your partner. It just gets a little more complicated as you try to figure out the "how" and "when" parts. I'd even argue the need to be close is greater, because you're giving so much of yourself to this little human your partner can remind you all the other things you are, aside from "mother."
I Still Work (Now, More Than Ever)
I worked before I had kids, because I like having another outlet. I even worked from the labor and delivery room so if that's not commitment, I don't know what is. My workload has increased dramatically since having kids, because I think the need to have other aspects to my identity is more important now. I love being a mother but I also love the fulfillment my work brings. It's an unparalleled joy I hope will challenge my babies to seek when they're older.
I Still Have A Sense Of Humor
What I mean by this is, I could laugh at anything before my children came into the world, and I still do. If anything, having children may have made my sense of humor raunchier or less socially acceptable, but it makes me laugh. Maybe it's from being exhausted to the brink of a mental break or maybe life really is that funny. (Honestly, it's probably a healthy combination of both.)
I Still Go Out
Albeit, I don't go out as regularly as I once did, I still think it's important to get dressed in something that isn't as comfortable as my stretchy sleep pants. I think being around other humans that don't relay on me constantly is important — especially if my partner can join. I don't always feel like it, but I do it for the sake of not morphing into a total hermit. Plus, I forget what the sun feels like sometimes.
I Still Make Room For "Me" Time
Oh, man. I have always loved the simple things like a hot bath, the minutes to paint my nails, or even just the serene moments I can spend staring off into space. These things are super important for my inner peace and when I find that, I'm able to be a better mother and partner. While it's easy to unconsciously allow those moments to take a back seat right after baby, once you start putting yourself first again there's no going back (and it feels good).
I Still Suffer From Social Anxiety
As much as I appreciate keeping some aspects of myself, the other side of that are the things I wish had left when the baby came out. For example, my anxiety. I've never really liked being in crowds or talking to people I don't know, and when you have children you have to put yourself in these awkward situations where it's expected. It's pretty uncomfortable but, over time, well, it doesn't get better. Ha. Sorry.
Having a baby doesn't have to change every part of your life. Think of it as enriching a life that's already awesome.