If you think motherhood’s greatest challenges are sleepless nights, changing diapers, finding the right nursery and school or taking a shower without a screaming toddler at the door, you are in for the surprise of your life.
The weirdest and most unexpected thing happens the minute you turn into a mother. Your personality changes 180 degrees. Other than the frequent nervous breakdowns, you actually turn into a better human being, at least in the judgment department.
1. I stopped pointing fingers
If a child ever misbehaved, the easiest thing was to blame his parents for being too easy on him. Before I became a mother, if I saw a mother relaxing at a restaurant while her nanny was feeding the kid, I didn’t understand that she just needed a short break from her daily routine to keep going. I had no idea what I was talking about.
2. Accidents happen, it’s not always the parent’s fault
It takes one second for a toddler to do something irrational and dangerous. I keep an eye on my child non-stop and accidents still happen when I’m less than a meter away. It took five stitches on her forehead for me to realize that parents try as best as they can, yet still accidents happen.
3. It takes more than a comment to burn your patience
I am the most impatient person; I don’t like repeating myself or hearing anything more than once. It’s a problem since I work with students and they tend to consistently nag. Now, thanks to my child, I taught myself to snap after an hour instead of two minutes.
4. Tantrums are not always a simple case of misbehaviour
Some of the tantrums you see at the supermarket or birthdays are actually meltdowns because the child just can’t express his feelings. You have children with all sorts of conditions that might leave them overwhelmed in crowded areas.
Parents don’t always understand why their child is crying, but they try to make them feel safe while avoiding everyone’s embarrassing glares. Stop giving parents that condescending look when their child is having a meltdown. It’s not always dala3.
5. Don’t expect everyone to have your capabilities
No one is dumb, stupid or slow. We are all different and just because your colleague or student isn’t getting your point, it doesn’t give you the right to feel entitled, superior, smarter or even angry. Some people simply have learning difficulties and they don’t know about them.
Others might find it difficult to communicate or express themselves, yet they are trying their best not to let their introvert nature get in the way of their jobs. When a student asks me something, I stopped thinking, “Wow, that’s a weird question” because I now understand that brains function differently.
6. Parenthood deepens your compassion
You find yourself crying when other moms are complaining. I turned from a sarcastic robot to Abla Kamel, crying at Juhayna and Pepsi TV commercials and that ElSaytara TV show. You start feeling everything all at once.
7. You forgive and forget because we all screw up
By the time you are over 30, you might find it difficult to be as compassionate and forgiving as your early years. I make mistakes with my child all the time and I’d like to believe that she will always forgive me for everything. We all screw up and if we can’t forgive and forget whenever possible, we’ll end up bitter and lonely. Saying sorry never sounded easier because having a child humbles you.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss Mommy Diaries: An Open Letter to Mothers Who Act Like Horribly Judgmental Mean Girls Online.