“Are you ready for everything to change?” “Get ready… nothing will be the same.” “Once you’re a parent you’ll understand.”
If you are already a parent (or are going to be soon) then you’ve probably heard one, if not all, of these statements/questions before. There are many other life “events” that have a similar connotation: going on your first deployment, graduating college, moving to the big city, etc.
But will you really change the instant a baby pops into your life? No. Plain and simple, nothing changes.
A week after the birth of my first born I’m sitting on my couch, baby cradled in one arm and my computer on my lap applying for jobs. An email “dings” in and I quickly switch from Indeed.com to my email to see, “Thank you for applying, unfortunately we have decided to move forward with other candidates whose skills and experiences more closely match our needs.” I wasn’t surprised. Months before, I was in the exact same situation, except instead of a baby I had a pregnant wife next to me. Nothing changed. I deleted the email and continued to apply for jobs. I was determined to get a better paying job and move my family up north before and still am after. I feel these life “events” illuminate the person you are. If you were strong before, you’ll continue to be strong for your family. If you are a turd, you’ll just be a turd with a baby.
Change, real change that sticks, is a slow process and positive change will mostly likely take time, effort, and cognitive awareness. Your situation may quickly and dramatically change, but you don’t (excluding major injuries, trauma, birthing… etc.) I’ve personally gone through a lot of changes in my life and I am still very cognizant of things since my adolescence. Whether it’s a mental blockage, learning a new skill, losing weight, or being a good dad, it takes time and effort.
One of the first and most difficult parts about change is having the cognitive awareness to realize a problem or goal and then act upon it. Mental awareness has become tied to yoga, meditation, and other similar practices. However, everyone is different and what may get people in their own head might differ dramatically from person to person. I like to run with no music, in nature if possible, and for as long as possible. This allows me enough time to really break down things that I want to work on and goals I want to achieve.
If you want to change: think, plan, endure.