For a lot of first time parents, having a child results in a change in the way you look at life. Just about everything you do now is with your child in mind, and what is in their best interests, first and foremost. But while that is definitely a decent mindset to have, it is oh so important that you don’t let parenthood change you who innately are as a person.
Before you had your child, you almost certainly had some unique interests. Or hobbies that you just couldn’t live without. If you are a woman, you likely enjoyed going shopping with friends, or just spending time with your girlfriends. Or if you are a man, you likely enjoyed working out, or playing sports, or just watching sports for the less athletically gifted. These sorts of activities made you who you are, and they should not just be thrown away as soon as you have a child to raise.
As great as it may seem to be a true 100% full-time parent, the reality is that doing so will not benefit your child as much as you may hope. Being there for them at every waking hour is a noble endeavor but doing so is not really a necessity.
In fact, if you spend too much time caring for and raising your child, the end result could very well be an overly coddled and dependent child, which is something you should prevent from happening as much as possible. Instead of letting that happen to your child, make it a point to spend time away from your child. And with that extra time, you should go about living your life the way you lived it when you were not yet a parent.
Go back to going out on the weekends from time to time, or just spend time with your friends on a week night. Whatever makes you happy outside the context of your child, you should definitely do, and continue to do on a regular basis. Living a full and fulfilling live is not just good for your own health, but also shows to your child that life is a beautiful thing and well worth living.
Not to mention that doing your own thing from time to time can help you combat the stress involved with raising a child. No one raises a child completely devoid of stress, and so it is definitely good to have an outlet that you can turn to when you need a pick-me-up, and doing things that make you happy is a natural way to decrease that stress in your life, so you can go back to your child with newfound resolve.
In short, although your child should definitely be the center of your world, there should always be some extra room on the side to continue living out your life.