When you become a parent, your priorities change. Along with that, so do your preferences and pleasures. Before momhood, I would plan what movies I wanted to see (in the theatre even), what parties or bars I was going to, spontaneous road trips (the one to 'Bama over 4th of July was a trip), frivoulous shopping sprees, etc etc. Actually, most of it was unplanned or spur of the moment. That's the objective of being carefree and young.
Now don't get me wrong -- I still have fun with friends, take road trips, go shopping. It's just been tweaked a bit. Now I have to arrange for babysitters (I normally have 3 backups for each event), pack diaperbags or a backpack, mentally doublecheck nap and food schedules, and unconsciously plan around major crowd fluctuations. Hint -- NEVER go to the mall on weekends and stay out of Walmart on Saturdays. If I have to leave the house at 3, I used to take 5 minutes tops to get ready to leave the house; quick makeup touchup, put on shoes and grab the purse. When Angel was an infant-2 years old, that was an hour ordeal. Now that she's 3, it's back down to about 20-30 minutes; longer if I have to find my budding nudist some clothes. One thing that hasn't changed (but may for some of you other moms) is my camera has a permanent spot in my purse or pocket. You never know when that little bug is going to do something awesomely cute, or the local fire department is driving the new fire engine around town and stops at the grocery store to grab breakfast for the department. (unfortunately, camera's batteries were dead, so didn't get to document Angel's private tour of the new fire truck). I've always been a bit of a camera nut. Drives my husband crazy. Going to drive myself crazy soon because I have over a years worth of photos that are still on my computer waiting to be sent to Walgreens once they have their 10-cent sale. :)
As I was saying, getting ready for outings have changed alot. So have the events themselves. The shopping sprees are at WalMart or a Goodwill instead of The Buckle or Dillards. Movies are rented now and usually watched after Angel's tucked in. Thanks to becoming friends years ago with the owner of a local video store, we don't have to pay late fees which saves us probably 100's of dollars a year hahaha. In the rare instance we go out to bars, I'm ready to leave by 11:00 because it's bedtime. That and I've found out that hangovers with a child are NOT fun. Not that they were fun before either. There's no such thing as a spontaneous road trip with a toddler. Road trips are carefully planned around naptimes and potty breaks. Instead, my outings usually consist of zoos (which I love anyway but now have an excuse to go see them), parks, playgrounds, parades, fairs, circuses, and playdates.
Along with all that, the things that make me happy have changed. For the better I might add. I used to revel in the perfect outfit, knowing everyone who's anyone, going to concerts, blah blah blah. Now I've learned to slow down and breathe. My heart beats faster when the scent of spring wakes me up. I listen to the song of the rain when I'm snuggled on the couch. Deciphering my daughter's drawings, singing silly songs with her, watching her face light up when she figures out where the puzzle piece goes...all that makes me proud of her. I'm amazed by how much her little mind absorbs (and ashamed when she imitates Mommy's road rage). When she took her first steps, I was so taken back that something we take for granted is such a huge accomplishment. That first smile at 3 months made all the crying nights worth it. There's nothing sweeter than when your child falls asleep while you're holding her, no matter if she's an infant or 3 or 12 (I'm guessing).No mother will ever forget when her child first says "I wuv you mommy". You know how the Grinch's heart grew and grew and grew? Yep. Like that. My heart skips a beat every time Angel comes up to me and gives me a hug for no reason. I never thought I'd be so excited to see some doodoo in the loo. Wait until you try potty training a very head-strong toddler that refuses to poop. You'll do the happy dance and tell your child how proud and happy that makes you too. (of course, part of that is the thought of not having to clean out and wash those dirty panties anymore). I've now found another one of those moments that makes me tear up. My daughter climbed on the couch, cuddled up to me and said "Mommy, you're my best friend!". Tell me that wouldn't tug at your heart too. :)
Yes, life changes enormously when you have children. But I would have to say for the better. Sure, I have moments that I get jealous of my single friends. But I wouldn't trade my family and life for anything. No matter what hardships I go through, whenever I look back, all I can remember is the good parts. Guess that's Gods way of ensuring the human race. Afterall, we're one of the few species that won't eat our young. :)
- Sandy Myers
- Manhattan, Kansas, United States
- I'm a 33 year old woman finding her own way in life, while being a mother of almost 7 yr old girl Angel, going to college full-time and working as many hours as i can to get by. I've lived in Kansas all my life growing up in SW and now living in The ne corner for 12 years. My ex is a medically-disabled/retired OIF/OEF veteran (TBI,PTSD) and my daughter is topping the scales on height and knowledge of her age. I'm just along for the ride sometimes :)