Something amazing and entirely unpredictable happened over the last few years: women I, honestly, didn’t like that much just completely transformed and become some of my favorite people. What changed? You may ask. They became mothers. It was almost as if, when their babies left their bodies so too did all of the worst parts of their personalities. The reality is that, if you’re going to be a good mom, you really don’t get to remain exactly the same person you were before motherhood, after you have a child. So, in order to rise to the challenge of taking good care of their kids, these women went through some sort of metamorphosis. And everyone around them—not just their children—has benefited from it. Here is how having a child can improve your personality.
You’re more forgiving of mistakes
When you have kids, you’re surrounded by little humans who do things like…lie, yell, behave selfishly, say mean things…and then later cry and apologize. They don’t know how to be good humans yet—they’re just kids! But some of your ability to forgive them transfers over to adults.
You’re okay with a messy environment
If you were uptight about having a spotless home before and only spending time in spotless homes, you let that go. There’s no such thing as having children and a tidy home, so you’re more okay with spending time at your messy friend’s apartment.
You aren’t militant about scheduling
Perhaps in the past, you’d become really irritated with a friend who constantly ran 15 minutes late. Now, as a mom, you can rarely promise anyone you’ll be anywhere on time, so who are you to demand the same from others?
You’re just happy to kick back
The chance to just do nothing and not worry about someone for an hour is such a luxury. You truly become grateful for something as simple as a coffee date with a friend. You learn to appreciate a simple moment of peace.
So you aren’t picky about how you kick back
With that last point in mind, you’re no longer picky about what you do during relaxation time. You aren’t picky about the restaurant or the day spa or the movie. You’re just so happy you get to go to any of these!
You’re more nurturing to everyone
You’re nurturing, all day long, and that becomes difficult to turn off. So you help the coworker whose pants have ripped to quickly sew them up. You talk to the woman who is crying in the restroom because her date was rude to her.
Your ego dissipates
Perhaps before, your career was your identity. You took all sense of self-worth from recognition in the workplace and your status in your industry. You had a bit of an ego. Now that’s…gone. Being a mother is just humbling like that. You can’t feel good about yourself if you don’t feel like you’re a great mother, and every day is a struggle in that department.
You’re less selfish
Having kids makes you less selfish. It just does. For better or for worse. Some women become too selfless as mothers, but if you were someone who may have been characterized as selfish before, that will change once you become a mom.
You take joy in simple things
Through watching your children marvel at simple things, like a duck swimming or pretty flowers, you learn to enjoy simple things again, too.
You’re less judgmental
Maybe you once required perfection from your friends. Not anymore. You’re going through the process of teaching a kid how to become a thoughtful, kind, generous being, and you’re seeing firsthand just how easily that can all go wrong in a person’s development. So, if you have a friend who has flaws, you get it. In fact, you probably feel bad for her and blame her parents.
Your vanity drops
Vanity goes out the window. You’re lucky if you have time to wash your hair and put on one type of makeup—yes just one. Like either mascara, or lipstick. Rarely do you have time to apply both.
You get better at conflict resolution
You and your partner have to get great at conflict resolution—the wellbeing of your kids depends on it. And you have to resolve fights between your children. Overall, you become an expert in diplomacy.
You become a better listener
You have to be a great listener to understand what’s going on with your kids. When they’re toddlers, they don’t know how to express themselves. When they’re teenagers, they don’t want to express themselves. You have to become good at picking up the subtle hints and unspoken messages.
You become playful
You don’t get to take yourself seriously when you’re a mom. You have to make funny voices and use funny faces to entertain your kids. In general, you become more playful with everybody in your life.
You see the big picture better
In general, you learn what really matters in life, namely close and loving relationships. Everything else—career accolades and lots of money—is just nice, but not critical.