7 unique ways having children makes you a stronger, more resilient person

Life is a rollercoaster, filled with twists, turns, ups and downs – and there’s no bigger ride than becoming a parent.

You might look back on your decision to have children and marvel at how it has altered your perspective, reshaped your priorities, and charted a course for personal growth and resilience.

So, how does parenthood transform you into a stronger, more resilient person?

After observing the dramatic shifts in my life and the lives of my friends post-parenthood, I’ve compiled a list of 7 unique ways having children fortifies your character.

If these resonate with you, it suggests that parenthood might indeed be the most transformative journey you’ve ever embarked on.

1) Embracing unpredictability

Before parenthood, you might have been a stickler for schedules, a master of meticulous planning. But once you have a child, all that changes.

Babies and children are masters of unpredictability. They have their own rhythms and routines – or lack thereof.

They wake up at odd hours, they throw tantrums at the most inopportune times, they get sick just when you thought you had a day off.

This constant unpredictability can be stressful, yes, but it’s also a crash course in adaptability. You learn to roll with the punches, to adjust on the fly, to cope with the unexpected.

In other words, you become resilient. You discover an inner strength you didn’t know you had and develop a skill set that prepares you for life’s unpredictable curveballs – in and outside the realm of parenthood.

This is the first and perhaps most profound way that having children makes you a stronger, more resilient person.

2) Thriving in chaos

It’s a common belief that peace, quiet, and order are essential for mental wellbeing. That tranquility is the ideal state of mind. However, parenthood often turns this notion upside down.

Children bring noise, clutter, and a whirlwind of activities into your life. From scattered toys to impromptu dance parties and endless questions, your home and life can sometimes resemble a bustling playground more than a serene sanctuary.

Contrary to popular belief, this chaos is not necessarily detrimental to your personal development. Instead, it fosters a unique form of resilience. In the eye of this storm, you learn to maintain inner peace amidst external chaos.

You find ways to stay focused in the midst of distractions. You become adept at juggling multiple tasks and prioritizing under pressure.

In short, you grow stronger in the face of chaos. You learn that resilience isn’t about avoiding disturbances, but about thriving amidst them. 

3) Mastering patience

Before becoming a parent, you might have thought you were a patient person. Then, you had children and realized that your patience can be stretched to limits you never imagined.

Children, while a source of immense joy, can also be demanding, stubborn and impulsive. They take their time to learn new skills, they ask the same questions over and over again, and they test boundaries repeatedly.

In the face of these challenges, you’re left with two choices: lose your cool or cultivate patience. Most parents learn, often out of necessity, to choose the latter.

You discover that patience is not just about waiting; it’s about maintaining a positive attitude while waiting. You learn to manage your emotions, to stay calm under pressure, and to handle stressful situations with grace.

This ability to remain patient in the face of adversity not only strengthens your character but also contributes significantly to your resilience.

4) Unleashing empathy

Did you know that our brains are wired for empathy? It’s true. Humans are inherently social creatures, and our survival has depended on our ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others.

Parenthood amplifies this capacity for empathy. When your child is upset, you feel their distress. When they’re joyful, their happiness becomes yours.

You become attuned to their needs and emotions in a way that expands your own emotional range and deepens your understanding of human experiences.

This heightened empathy doesn’t just make you a better parent; it makes you a stronger person.

It fosters resilience by enabling you to connect with others on a deeper level, to understand different perspectives, and to respond with compassion in challenging situations.

5) Encountering vulnerability

Becoming a parent is like having your heart walk around outside your body. It’s a love so profound, it’s terrifying.

Every scraped knee, every tear shed, every fear confronted is felt tenfold. You worry about their safety, their happiness, their future. You experience a vulnerability that’s as breathtaking as it is gut-wrenching.

In the midst of this vulnerability, however, you find strength. You realize that caring deeply for another human being isn’t a weakness but a source of immense power.

It motivates you to become the best version of yourself, to fight for what’s right, to be brave in the face of adversity.

You also discover that vulnerability is not just about experiencing fear or pain; it’s about being open to all kinds of emotions – joy, sadness, love, and everything in between. 

6) Discovering selflessness

People with high emotional intelligence often had these childhood experiences 1 7 unique ways having children makes you a stronger, more resilient person

In a society that often prizes individual achievements and personal success, the idea of putting someone else’s needs before your own might seem like a recipe for unhappiness or even self-erasure.

Parenthood challenges this notion head-on.

When you have a child, your priorities shift dramatically. Their needs often come before your own.

You might sacrifice sleep to soothe their worries, skip meals to ensure they’re fed, or miss out on social events to attend their school functions.

Surprisingly, this selflessness does not diminish you but strengthens you. It teaches you about unconditional love and the joy of giving.

It helps you realize that true fulfillment often comes not from pursuing your desires but from caring for others.

Furthermore, it cultivates resilience by teaching you to look beyond your immediate comforts and desires, to focus on long-term goals and the well-being of others.

7) Learning to let go

One of the hardest lessons parenthood teaches you is the art of letting go.

As a parent, you want to protect your child from every harm, guide them through every challenge, and be there for them at every step.

But as they grow, you realize the importance of stepping back, of letting them make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons.

This process of letting go is not easy. It’s fraught with worry and uncertainty. But it’s a crucial part of becoming a stronger, more resilient person.

Letting go teaches you about trust: trust in your child’s abilities, trust in the values you’ve instilled, and trust in the process of growth.

It also cultivates resilience by helping you cope with change, manage uncertainties, and focus on what you can control instead of fretting over what you can’t.

Parenting as a journey of personal growth

At its core, parenting is a journey of personal growth. It’s a transformative process that can bring out the best in you, even in the most challenging situations.

It’s important to remember that this journey is not linear or uniform. It varies from parent to parent and even from child to child.

You might learn some lessons earlier than others, or you might find certain aspects more challenging than others. And that’s okay. What matters is that you’re growing, evolving, and becoming stronger with each passing day.

In essence, becoming a parent is akin to embarking on a profound journey of self-discovery. It’s about uncovering strengths you never knew you had and confronting weaknesses you never knew existed.

You learn not only about your child but also about yourself – your capabilities, your limits, your potential.

So yes, having children makes you a stronger, more resilient person. But more importantly, it makes you a better version of yourself – one who is equipped to face life’s challenges with grace, courage, and perseverance.

Whether you’re a parent or not, these lessons are invaluable. They remind us of our capacity for growth, our ability to adapt, and our innate resilience.

Embracing self-love on this journey

When we think of parenthood, we often think of the love we have for our children. But what we sometimes overlook is the love it teaches us to have for ourselves.

In every moment, there’s an opportunity to extend kindness and compassion towards ourselves.

To acknowledge that we’re doing our best in a role that doesn’t come with a manual. To forgive ourselves for the mistakes we inevitably make. To celebrate the small victories that often go unnoticed.

I’ve found that embracing self-love as a parent not only makes me more resilient but also makes me a better role model for my children.

It teaches them to value themselves, to respect their feelings and needs, and to treat themselves with kindness.

So, embrace self-love. You’re not just raising a child; you’re also growing as a person. And in this growth process, self-love isn’t just important; it’s essential.

By loving yourself, you’re better equipped to love your children and to face the challenges of parenthood with strength and resilience.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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