We are a huge influence in our children’s lives. Everything we do as parents goes a long way to shaping how our kids think, feel and act. They look to us for guidance and support. In many ways, they want to make sure we can make everything right for them. It’s a huge responsibility when taken seriously.

But the strange thing is how influential our children are in our lives as parents and people. It’s not just a one way street. They will shape our ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Whether you realize it or not, children change you.

Before children (BC), we were driven by work and having a good time. I guess we were pretty hedonistic and really didn’t take too much notice about certain things. After children (AC), the world began to shift in many subtle ways. What was less of a consideration in the past, all of a sudden became hugely important.

For instance, I think I suffer from road rage more now than I ever thought possible. I see people driving at one hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic like lunatics. I see others driving so close to me that I feel they are almost giving me a hug. And the biggest horror story of all is those people who are texting while driving. Don’t these crazy people know that I have two precious little boys in the back of the car? A moment of stupidity by them could have huge consequences for innocent others. It really makes my blood boil how people don’t think about the dangers they could cause.

I’m not trying to be over protective and wrap our boys in cotton wool, but as parents you do become a bit more concerned about things like this because you know bad things can happen. I see tragedy involving kids on the news every day. Of course you will sympathize with any parent that loses a child, but when you become a parent yourself, I feel you begin to understand even more just how horrible it can be to suffer such a tragedy. Keeping your kids safe becomes a priority. Keeping yourself safe for your kids also becomes very important.

Another thing our kids have taught is to be silly. Everyday our boys make me laugh. The things they say and do can have us both in stitches. And as parents we both enjoy being silly with them. I think it’s healthy to get silly. Like going to the gym or having a glass of wine after a busy day, being silly is a huge stress reliever. The boys have taught me to be silly again, to play meaningless games, pretend and run around as if my hair is on fire.

And as a consequence of being silly, I now know all the names of the trains on Thomas the Tank Engine. I even know most of the songs word for word. In fact, we both end up singing the songs when we least expect it. No more Kings of Leon or Lady Gaga for us. Instead I get really excited when Laurie Berkner releases a new track. You should check out her website The Laurie Berner Band.

In so many ways, we have been changed by our kids. Yes, we have become a bit more protective but it’s not all about the fear we have because of stupid people who can’t wait a few minutes to text while not driving. We have also become far more relaxed and we have learnt to have fun again in a simple and innocent way. The boys have taught us that it’s not all about the serious stuff; it’s also about the silly moments of fun. They are really good teachers.

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