Obviously having kids changes you. That's like, the biggest "no shit" statement ever.
One of the major ways having kids has changed me is that I've come to realize there are people who are just Negative Nancy's, and I've decided I have no time for their nonsense and drama. I don't have a lot of free time (shocking, I know) and what free time I do have I want to spend with people who appreciate their lives and what they have and want to be happy. I want my kids to be happy, and I want them to grow up not focusing on the negative stuff in life but the positive.
I know, super cliche, but it's true. And it's harder than it sounds.
Turns out, the world is full of Negative Nancy's. Turns out MY LIFE was full of Negative Nancy's.
The main problem with people like that is that they somehow manage to suck you into their world of negativity. You find yourself complaining and bitching and moaning and stirring up the drama pot and you don't realize it right away. The smallest problem becomes a huge issue. A meaningless interaction becomes the focus of hours of thought. You end up wasting so much time and energy bitching about shit that doesn't matter. And then eventually, the bitching becomes your default attitude. You LOOK for the negative. Sure, you don't realize you're doing it, but you are. And other people realize it. Soon there's nothing that's good enough, and nothing that makes you happy because all you see is shit that sucks. You're judging everyone and everything and hating every second of life. That's a pretty crappy way to live.
It's hard to get out of that world. Trust me, I was there. It was partially my own fault - I have a natural tendency towards "bitch" that makes it easy for me to hate everyone and everything at the drop of a hat. But part of it was some of the people in my life. There were family members, close friends, and acquaintances that were pulling back into Negative Nancy Land and sucking me into their drama.
Once I realized what was going on I realized that's now how I wanted to live my life. That's not how I wanted my kids to live THEIR lives. It was time for a change.
Turns out, changing myself was the easy part. There's a fine line between Bitch and Negative Nancy but I think I figured it out and can cheesily "look on the bright side" while still retaining the natural ruthlessness and snark that those around me love so much. There's being happy and bitchy and then there's being judgy and whiny. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.
I complain less. I bitch less. I'm not on the lookout for drama and trouble as much. I see the bright side of things more. I laugh more.
I'm happier. It's good - for me AND for my family.
The problem is that while I was able to change, there were still Negative Nancy's in my life. I tried keeping them at arm's length. I tried getting them to see the bright side of things. I tried telling them to just plain shut up, and that I didn't want to hear their complaining.
It did no good. They were firmly planted in that world. And I get it - I was there too, it's hard to escape that mentality. It really is. But I really wanted no part of it anymore.
I ended up having to cut people out of my life. Family members and friends. I decided that my happiness and the happiness of my family was more important than some relationships. If a relationship is sucking more out of you than it's giving you it's time to cut the cord. It's not easy, it's painful, it's not something done on a whim, but sometimes it's what needs to happen. And those Negative Nancy's were certainly draining me, and having a negative effect on my family. I let them change my attitude and outlook on life and since that's something that I struggled with and clearly couldn't compartmentalize, they had to go. It hurts, but in the long run I think it's for the best.
Sometimes you need to be selfish and stop thinking about what others might feel or think and do what's best FOR YOU. For some of us that's a hard thing to do, but I'm glad I did. The decision to cut out the Negative Nancy's has made me a better person, and a better mom.