Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the mommy lens.

I know I've said this before, but it's worth repeating - having a baby changes EVERYTHING. Just in case you're not a parent and you get sick of parents saying that, let me tell you - never a more true statement may have been uttered in the history of life.

One of the ways it changes you is that you start looking at everything through a mommy (or daddy) lens. Everything is now looked at from a parental perspective.

Some examples (of things I have thought recently):

1. Watching the news. Before, I'd see a news segment about a suspect getting arrested for some sort of violent crime and go, "ugh. What is this world coming to." Now, I think, "ugh. Imagine what his poor mother is going through."

2. Sports. Sort of as the flip side to #1 - before, I'd watch an awesome athlete (my new fave is Cruz) and go, "man, he/she is good." Now, I think of all those athletes' mommies and the countless hours they spent driving their kids to hockey/football/etc. practice.

3. Work. Before, when I saw women dressed in suits/work clothes, I wondered what job they had. Now, I wonder if they left behind children at home to go to work and whether that was a difficult decision/process for them.

4. Penn State Scandal. Most people's hearts break for kids who've been abused, whether you're a parent or not. But now, as a parent, I not only feel heartbreak and sadness but extreme anger because it hits closer to home. I seriously think I'd be capable of committing a violent crime against someone who hurt my child.

Maybe this is obvious, but it surprised me. I'm surprised by how everything is now perceived through the mommy lens. And since I'll always be a mom now, I wonder if this will be the case forever. And I wonder if my mom, in her mid-50s with three grown kids, still thinks of everything through the mommy lens. Or I wonder if she's recently been surprised by the way she sees everything through grandmommy lens? Just thinking out loud on this one. And then I'm reminded that this is part of growing up - becoming a parent and learning to live and think and see like a parent, which ultimately is about, for the first time in your life, living your life dedicated to someone other than yourself. It's awesome but scares the **** out of me at the same time, I guess like all things worth doing in life.

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