The year 2018 has been most re­ward­ing be­cause you wel­comed a baby! Whether you’re aware or not, here are nine ways par­ent­hood has changed you for the bet­ter, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

Have you re­alised how be­com­ing a par­ent has changed you for the bet­ter?

You are less self-fo­cused

Be­fore you be­came a par­ent, you only had to think of your­self and your spouse. It wasn’t that you were selfish, it’s just that you didn’t have com­pet­ing pri­or­i­ties and you could fo­cus all your time and re­sources on your­self.

Now, your baby comes first, and you spend less time think­ing about your own needs.

You’ve learnt new skills

Chang­ing di­a­pers, breast­feed­ing and bathing a wrig­gly baby used to be a com­plete mys­tery to you. By ne­ces­sity, you had to learn these skills very quickly, and that has helped your lit­tle one thrive. You never knew that you could do all these things and multi-task, as well.

You’ve a stronger sense of fam­ily

You had a close con­nec­tion with your par­ents, aunts, un­cles and cousins. But hav­ing a child has helped you ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of fam­ily re­la­tion­ships even more.

You use your time more ef­fec­tively

Be­fore you had a baby, your time was your own. You could choose when to go out, when to sleep, when to work, and so on. That has all changed. And the only way you can jug­gle all those de­mands is by treat­ing your time as a pre­cious re­source.

You share more with your hus­band

Rais­ing a child is much eas­ier when it is shared – not just the prac­ti­cal tasks, but also the par­ent­ing de­ci­sions which need to be made ev­ery day.

Through this, you and spouse de­velop a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of each other, in­clud­ing strengths and weak­nesses.

You are bet­ter at plan­ning ahead

The de­mands of baby-care mean that you can’t leave things to chance.

Ev­ery­thing needs to be planned so you don’t run out of, say, di­a­pers or baby food. And when you in­tend to go out with your lit­tle one, you can’t leave all prepa­ra­tions till the last minute.

You are more condent

You were prob­a­bly all over the place when your baby ar­rived. You may have felt you knew noth­ing, had too much to learn, and per­haps even doubted your cop­ing skills. Hardly a minute passes with­out a new chal­lenge or a mi­nor cri­sis.

But look at you now – you take things in your stride and your baby is thriv­ing. No won­der you feel con­fi­dent.

You have more fun

Car­ing for a baby is hard work, but it is also great joy watch­ing her change and grow. Her smiles fill you with de­light, and her gig­gles make you chuckle along with her. When­ever she learns a new skill, your heart bursts with pride.

All in all, you have much more en­joy­ment in life than you did be­fore she was born.

You are more car­ing

Par­ent­ing brings out your al­tru­is­tic, em­pathic na­ture. You can’t care for your baby with­out be­ing sen­si­tive to her needs, with­out putting her first, and with­out be­ing lov­ing and at­ten­tive to her.

That af­fects the way you re­spond in your other re­la­tion­ships as well, so you have be­come more car­ing all-round.

What­ever chal­lenges that come along now, you’re able to sort them out quickly and take things in your stride.

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