I can remember the moment we walked into our little apartment, our newborn son in his little carseat bucket, sat him on the coffee table and looked at each other and said "now what?"
Somehow, life goes on from there. One day at a time you transfer all of your concern, worry, time, devotion and love into this tiny little person. You become concerned with each detail of their lives. Are they sleeping enough? Are they eating enough? Growing enough? Time marches on and you soon have a little person on your hands. No longer a baby with basic needs, but a person whose feelings can be hurt, whose heart needs tending, whose mind needs filling with all the right things.
I've come to realize that whatever stage you are in with raising a child, that stage is easier than the one to come. They only get harder. Babies are easy: eat, sleep and fresh diapers. Children are different. They change you and make you into better people as YOU try to make them into good people. The older they get the more they challenge you. And I don't mean in a defiant way, I mean in a "why do I say/do/believe/advocate/choose this or that?" way.
As you develop their character, they develop yours. They make you see yourself more clearly than any mirror. From the moment they repeat "get outta the way jerk" from the back seat of your car, you begin to take a closer look at all you do.
How do you treat people? Talk to the cashier? Help a stranger? Treat a homeless person? From the moment of comprehension, having children makes you analyze who you are because they are watching and listening to you. And soaking it all in. And not just externally, for show but internally they begin to shape and shave the very core of who you are because children don't do as you SAY, they do as you DO.
I know that having children has turned me into the kind of person I am not sure I would have become on my own, without them. Raising children well requires a certain level of forced selflessness that I am not sure comes naturally to anyone.
I, personally, have to work hard to be selfless, putting my needs last and theirs first. I've learned to be more patient and flexible in my expectations of others. More eager to serve them and less needy about serving myself.
Overall, I've learned to take a situation, almost any situation and think "Is this an issue of the heart or mind?" because that should form how you react to it. Is someone talking this way to me because they are having a bad day or because their mom is sick or their baby is running a fever? Being around children 24/7 makes you realize that the surface behavior may be linked to something far deeper. Tantrums and crying fits are always linked to something more, no matter the age of the person. There is a need there that is looking to be filled. My kids helped me realize that this is a universal idea.
Children have a way of causing a lot of self-evaluation. How well am I taking care of myself? How long will I be able to keep up with them? How healthy is the food that I am eating? Does it matter how it is grown? Suddenly it really matters how long you are alive and how great the quality of that life.
Children change everything about you. Priorities shift along with your bed time. Suddenly a solo trip to Target sounds like just the vacation you need. And the best part, is that is OK. With priorities appropriately shifted to their right order, the things you thought you needed are no longer even on the list because the fulfillment of joy in someone else's life is suddenly the key to yours.
Dreamworks' Delivery Man film focuses on this very idea of children changing you into your best self! Watch David's journey (Vince Vaughn) as an unexpected discovery unfolds as a heartwarming story to find his long lost children and his true self. You can bring home this hilarious and heartfelt 'Special Delivery' on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD 3/25/2014.
You can watch the Delivery Man trailer here: http://youtu.be/V1lZKDNJ4aQ.
To Order Now click here.
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AND, just for fun, BlogHer is going to give one of you lucky folks a $100 Visa gift card! Leave me a comment with the answer to "How have your children changed you?" in the comment section on this post. BlogHer will choose a winner and notify you directly! :)
Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/19/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!