Around 10 years ago, a friend had a baby. She was the first of my friends to have a child, and I couldn’t understand why she was suddenly spending so long crossing roads. I would happily run across the road, leaving her standing, waiting for the traffic to stop. She told me, “I can’t just wheel my child out in front of a car; she’s my baby!” I didn’t really get it.
Fast forward ten years, and I have S. My life revolves around her, and I am super cautious with many things. We always wait for the green man when crossing the road. I still go upstairs to check on her several times every evening, and sometimes in the night I have to reach into her cot to check she is breathing if I can’t hear her.
A few weeks ago I was going for coffee with a friend while S was at nursery. As we waited to cross the road he remarked that I’d missed several opportunities to cross while I waited for the lights to change. My response was, well, I’m more cautious these days.
Not only is S my life, but I am very conscious of the fact that I am hers. She doesn’t have a father to rely on; she only has me. I can’t afford to take stupid risks with crossing roads, because it’s not just me who would be affected, if anything happened.
On the other hand though, I took a massive risk in going self employed
. I’m not sure what came over me, because when I think of the cold hard facts, they scare the bejesus out of me. But I still did it; I think perhaps because for me, it’s the only way I’ll have any sort of control over my ability to earn, and eventually earn enough so as to not be reliant on tax credits and housing benefit. That could never have happened in a normal job.
I’m wondering: do others feel that becoming a parent has made them more cautious? Have you given up base jumping or a circus knife-throwing act since becoming a parent? Do please leave a comment and tell me your opinion!