It Should Change You

Everyone says that becoming a parent changes you. The responsibility. The stress. The unconditional love. The cuteness. This is big stuff.

But as the comedian Tom Segura observes in one of his great Netflix specials, it’s wrong to say that it changes people–that’s just not the right language. It’s that having kids should change you. If it doesn’t he says, if you’re still the same person? If you have the same routines, the same behaviors, the same priorities afterwards? That’s a big problem! You’re doing something wrong!

But it’s hardly unheard of.

Having a kid is a biological thing–an objective life event. It’s not different from growing old or getting married. Plenty of people do those things without really changing. But as we’ve said many times before here, becoming a parent is something different. Becoming a parent–not just being one–is a choice, it produces a change. Not everyone that has a kid makes that choice, just like plenty of people reach 40 without maturing.

You have to choose to be changed, to let all this stuff in, to change yourself around it. It’s not a given. It doesn’t happen the day you come home from the hospital with your newborn either. It’s a process, it’s a transition, it’s something you actively do as well as passively accept. It’s a role you embrace, a person you allow yourself to become.

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