When I had my first child I was young, and brand new to the area where I lived. Besides my husband’s friends – most of whom had no kids – I didn’t really know anyone. I spent a lot of time at home. Sometimes we’d watch TV together or play with toys. Sometimes we’d go for walks around the apartment complex. There was an extreme lack of activities and definitely no play dates.
Fast forward to my second child. It had been a few years and I had made more friends. I got a lot more social with other moms during my pregnancy. Suddenly, I had two kids. I could have easily stayed home like before, spending our days watching cartoons or playing with toys, but I knew that wasn’t fair to my oldest. He had just turned three years old and was a social butterfly. So with my tiny newborn in tow, we were out of the house almost every single day.
When our third child came we had a grade-schooler and a preschooler. We were as busy as could be, but adding another one in was seamless. I simply carried him in a wrap, and we went wherever we needed to go. Six weeks into his life and he had been to the circus, the fair, and the zoo already! There was no such thing as staying home for us.
Having more kids helped me break out of my shell. I mean, you can’t be shy when you have kids who strike up a conversation with everyone nearby. We’ve made plenty of friends at the park because of my childrens’ tendency to talk with anyone and everyone. All of a sudden I’d find myself in conversations with other moms, and I was okay with it. You can’t keep to yourself when you’re chasing multiple boys around the playground.
My kids make me want to branch out. To do crafts, science experiments, explore the outdoors, cook new recipes. They are all so different and they like doing different things. Without them I’d be stuck doing the same things over and over. Because of them I am always looking for new experiences. Because of them I am a better mother.
Did your parenting style change after you had more children?