For example, before I was a mom I couldn't before imagine why a highly educated woman (or man for that matter) with a satisfying career would abandon it for the full-time-stay-at-home-and-get-paid-nothing gig. I understood how a person could put their kid in daycare, day-in-and-day-out but not the flip side. I get it now. If it were possible, I would opt-out of the full-time job (but not fully out of my professional activities) and I would be there more now. I now get that my child is who she is for such a very short period of time and that the role of 'mom' is so much more than I had previously thought. It's so much richer and more meaningful than I gave it credit for - I'll even concede that its more meaningful than what I get paid to do (so perhaps I ought to be doing something more meaningful that gets paid??). That being said - having a stay at home parent must be a joint decision and until certain other things are done, it's just not feasible right now - but if it were, I would be there now instead of in my office.
I now also have a new perspective on a lot of parenting - one that has eased up A LOT. I'm a lot more individualistic now - more of a 'if it works for you, then run with it!' kind of girl - with the caveat of course that a person should be fully informed so that they are making the best choice for themselves and their kids. As a result I'm neither pro-breastfeeding nor pro-formula...I'm neither pro-natural child birth nor pro-medicalized childbirth (but I'm definitely not pro-natural child birth when it comes to me and my girly bits) rather I am pro-whatever-is-in the best interest of the mom/dad and the baby...I now think that many parents are far too hard on themselves and don't give themselves enough credit for what they do right - there's a whole lot of parents who aren't failures (by any measure that really counts - like the health and happiness of their own children and families) that feel like they are. Lastly, I'm more socially minded - I don't think that I matter as much as I used to matter.