Someone told me the other day that motherhood suits me. I agree. It’s like someone took the square me and rounded off the edges. I’ve mellowed, suddenly. I’m nicer, more patient. I’m saner.
I think the early scares we had and just parenthood in general has made me a lot more appreciative of what’s going right in my life. I was expecting the first few months as a new mum to bring chaos and uncertainty and mayhem into my life, but instead, parenthood has brought me peace.
The riff-raff has been weeded out. I find myself moving away from drama and self-absorption, whether other people’s or my own. I no longer have the patience for people who constantly put me down or try to walk all over me because of their own low self-esteem. I’m more aware of people who genuinely care for me and my family and those whose actions prove otherwise. I no longer work with editors who act like schoolyard bullies. I say “I love you” more often. I dance frequently. I laugh a lot.
I try and associate with people who add value and happiness to my life and whom I can respect. I try harder to see the good in people. I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m more mindful of my words and actions.
I think about the kind of person I’d like my son to grow up to be– kind, compassionate, fearless, honest, someone who stands against injustice, someone who is capable of giving and receiving love– and then I try to become that person myself.
I find myself increasingly looking at the bigger picture and thinking of what my life will look like in the next ten, fifteen, twenty years. Do I want to be surrounded by positive people who bring a smile to my face every time I see their name pop up on my caller id or Inbox or petty unhappy people who’re always looking for an argument? Do I want friends who are compassionate and take the time to give back to the world around them or those who’re full of their own accomplishments and self-importance? Do I want to work with people who give me respect or people who give me prestige at the cost of my sanity?
Basically, do I want to be surrounded by people who think I’m hot stuff and can do no wrong or am I going to continue this pattern of succumbing to people who get their jollies by provoking, attacking, and belittling?
Life is a series of choices. We make ourselves happy or sad by the things and people we either allow or choose not to allow into our lives. No one else, not parents, not spouses, not siblings, not children, can be held responsible for our happiness or misery. We have the power of choice. To sit back and let life take over or to get up and take control.
The choices I make today will determine my future tomorrow. The people I allow into my life today will be the influences my child has tomorrow.
All I want for my son is what I want for myself and for those I care about: To love, to be loved, and to be happy. And to be surrounded by people who bring him those three things.
Because that’s what is most important in life. Everything else is just gravy.