I told myself before I became a parent that I didn't want to be one of those women who has a baby and becomes a different person. I told myself that I was going to be back in the gym ASAP, I wasn't going to have a baby that slept in bed with us, and I would still listen to the same music and have the same friends. Here's the reality: I haven't been to the gym in months, Punkin usually sleeps with us for some or all of the night (and has since she was born) and the only music that gets played in my car or at home these days is Sunday school songs or some other child friendly CD (I now know all the words to Rubber Duckie and Teddy Bear Picnic). When is comes to friends after childbirth, I'm discovering that some friends don't fit in my new life. And you know what? I'm okay with that.
An amazing and funny thing happened when Punkin came into this world... I found myself profoundly humbled and changed. In an instant, my husband and I (two imperfect but decent people) became responsible for this brand new human life. I take my role as a mother very seriously. Being a parent is fun but serious business. It's our job to take Punkin's natural personality traits, abilities and talents and nurture them so Punkin can be her best self.
I'm not going to be a passive observer when it comes to parenting... just sitting back and seeing how Punkin turns out. I'm going to actively work to create an environment where Punkin can grow and develop in a healthy way. As she gets older, my husband and I are making an even greater effort to make sure Punkin is surrounded by positive people who share our values and beliefs. This includes limiting media influence as well as those we may have considered friends at one time. Toxic people or those who have conflicting values will probably not have much contact with our child, if we can help it.
Children are only young for such a short amount of time yet, they are absorbing and learning so much. I want to protect her and keep her naive as long as possible. There is no rush to grow up and be weighed down by adult worries or issues. I know some parents who don't make an effort to shield their children from anything. These children grow up creating their own value system, possibly one formed from what they see in movies and on on TV or through music and video games.
This doesn't mean I want Punkin to be locked up at home. I want her to have a wide variety of experiences out in the world and meet a variety of people over the course of her life. I want her to have hands-on experiences, not 2nd hand experience as dictated to her through television or movies. I want her to grow up truly believing she can accomplish anything and knowing her worth is not synonymous with her looks. It's my responsibility as her parent to keep out those individuals and influences that may damage my daughter's self-esteem or cause her to feel unnecessary fear and anxiety.
Motherhood has changed me and made me realize that I don't have time for negative people and probably didn't have that much in common with them in the first place. If you don't understand that, then you're probably one of the people who's getting cut.