The new me

The new me? A toy made up of the parts of several well-known super heroes.

We had a bit of a scare recently. Xander fell down some stairs and we ended up in A&E. Amazingly, he was unscathed and is fine, so that’s fantastic. My reaction to the incident made me realise how much becoming a parent has changed me. Here are a few ways in which it has created the new me…

Don’t panic!

As alluded to before, I take things in my stride now and don’t panic. Of course, the prospect of him being hurt was horrifying, but I remained calm and zen throughout. I used to be like a headless chicken in situations like this, but have somehow learned to take a step back. It probably makes me look like a psychopath, but Tom knows that he isn’t.

Stronger

I’ve never considered myself particularly strong, but am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I actually have visible muscles now and this is all down to carrying around two wriggly lumps known as Dylan and Xander. There is a limit, of course – that being when they insist on being carried at the same time. Oof.

I’ve got the knowledge

I’ve always been good at retaining information. Most of it before children were on the scene was the kind of stuff that only really comes in use at pub quizzes. Indeed, we won one mere days before my older son, Dylan, arrived. The stuff that I’ve learned about since though has actually served other purposes. From looking after babies and first aid to the workings of the education system and how to function on two hours’ sleep, I’ve got it all stored where my knowledge of capital cities and football grounds used to be.

More sensitive

I’ve definitely become more in touch with my emotions since becoming a dad. I’m always thinking about Kate and the boys when I’m at work and feel rubbish if they’re not happy for any reason. Some stories in the news over the last few years have really affected me like never before too. Just don’t tell the blokes’ union though, okay?

Don’t make me angry…

Despite being calmer and more attuned to my own feelings and those of others, I’ve also got quite angry in other respects. I’m angry about what the idiots in charge of the country have done to it and the rise of the thinly-veiled racist party that are gaining popularity by preying on the petty anxieties of stupid people and capitalising on the apathy of the lazy. Bloody hell, I’ve become politically aware…

Pennywise

No, I haven’t become the scary clown from Stephen King’s It – I’m much more sensible with money now. A lot of it is down to learning from Kate who’s always been very shrewd with the stuff and five months of unemployment last year helped improve our thriftiness too. I also find that I don’t really want anything for birthdays and Christmas anymore. What’s going on?!

How has becoming a parent changed you?

Comments

  1. Sarah Miles

    I agree about becoming more politically aware and sensitive. It all started when I was first pregnant and weeping at the NSPCC ad. Then came the realisation that I was bringing a life into this (sometimes awful) world and, what have I done?
    However, when H fell down the stairs and split her head I was a complete mess. My husband, however, cool as a cucumber. Maybe it’s a male thing…

    As for stronger…mentally, perhaps!

  2. The DADventurer (Dave)

    You definitely sound like a super hero with those characteristics – you just need to throw in something like lasers from your eyes or the ability to fly! With ours now 5 months, I’m still trying to figure out how I’ve changed – unfortunately I can’t think of any positives, only negatives, like being more grumpy and easier to snap. Hmmm maybe I should do something about that… 🙂

  3. Tim

    Agree with all of these, Tom, but particularly your points about not panicking and being more sensitive. Being calm on the surface is a valuable parenting skill and takes a lot of effort (or it does for me, anyway), as kids are very quick to sense the fact you’re not in control of the situation, which only makes things worse, which makes you panic more and so on.

    I don’t think I’d appreciated before becoming a dad how much my sensitivity to pretty much everything would grow. I’ve never been emotionless by any means, but there are times when I definitely have a strong reaction to things I see, read or hear, especially if it’s family-related. And we become much more tuned in to censoring content, don’t we? Song lyrics, music videos with an, ahem, low clothing quotient, the news … my oldest was asking about Passover last night and I had to think really hard about how to talk to him about a story of what is, basically, the murder of innocent children.

    As for being politically aware and Farage’s thinly-veiled lynch mob, well, as a second generation immigrant, you can imagine how angry that makes me …

  4. Jonathan

    I enjoyed reading this and can relate to what you say about the impact of becoming a dad. Given the picture at the start of the article, I was also expecting to read about new found confidence in the ability to get by just wearing a pair of blue jeans and red boots in any weather 🙂

  5. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)

    Your brain adjust doesn’t it. You get to know what to do and where to concentrate (with little sleep) on. Things that you can use to be a better parents. I notice changes in me too. A wee bit different than yours but same in so many aspects #pocolo

  6. Pingback: Love All Dads | The new me

  7. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    Great post! I concur with all of this. I also have to say that I value my ‘me time’ FAR more now I am a parent. When Grace is away, despite the fact I miss her, I do enjoy a bit of a freedom without someone shouting Mum every 5 minutes/seconds* Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo
    *delete as appropriate!

  8. Wicked World of Lucas

    This really hit home with me. You don’t realise how much you change. I find it anything to do with children. Before, I was totally sympathetic and felt for them but now my bloods literally runs cold. Great post 🙂 #pocolo

  9. kidGLloves

    Lucas says – The Mother says she’s changed a lot. Dad says it’s a lot like a mummy Lion protecting her baby lion. She says she always hated blood and even fainted when she saw it. I get a lot of nosebleeds and she’s really good at helping me with them. She’s not a bad sort really……… #pocolo

  10. Dominic Cope

    Glad Xander was okay. It’s horrible when they hurt themselves.
    I wrote a post similar to this last month. The change from man to dad happens almost without realising and takes a moment to reflect back to notice the difference.

  11. Pete

    Don’t laugh… but ever since the birth of my sons I seem to have developed lightning fast reflexes! People are always astounded in the office when I miraculously catch mugs and pens falling from desks. I put it down to having to be on constant look out whilst two active toddlers attempt to bump into every piece of furniture in the house!

  12. John

    If I had to sum up three ways I have changed since my son was born it would be:

    1) my patience threshold (while never my best trait) has become a little bit longer – it had too!
    2) learned to be a semi-pro around all things safety related (yes, he fell off the bed once, but he bounced and he didn’t even cry)
    3) to use my free time like it is so very very precious – its amazing how much you can get done when you know you have an hour before they will wake up from their afternoon nap.

  13. Ashley

    I agree. Being a parent changes you, whether you like it or not, sadly. We have to be the strong ones, who do not panic, who show no fear, shame, regret, to be confident and always wise. On the other hand, changes are good, help us look at a new perspective. Wish you all the best.

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