So, I had a kid, and my life changed a little bit. (Okay, fine, a whole flipping lot). I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there who feels that way. Frankly, if anyone tells you that her life DIDN’T change post-kid(s), that’s probably because she’s your mother or mother-in-law, and she’s romanticizing the past slash lying to your face so you’ll give her grandkids. Life with children is just a whole different ball of waxy glue-y sticky popsicle mess of a thrill ride than it was before they came along. And one thing it’s forced me to do is shift my priorities in fairly significant ways. Example: no more actual physical shopping. EVER. Except for food, for which I shop constantly and begrudgingly even though trolling the produce aisle week after week is pretty much the definition of gouge my eyes out with a pink plastic fork.
Okay, but “shopping” is kind of a silly thing to care about giving up, especially given that internet shopping is infinitely more pleasant, anyway — yes? Yes. It’s bigger than that, of course. I feel like I’ve had to re-introduce myself to what’s important to me, figure out how to fit those tasks and goals into my limited time, and learn to let go of the rest. I don’t have time to spend with friends like I used to, and when I do see them, it’s either a) with kids in tow (which means our conversation is taken down a million IQ points because who can think when you’re trying to stop your kid from hurtling into a head injury b) at night, when a babysitter’s at home with Wee One, and I’m constantly checking my watch to see if it’s 10pm, ie “time when I fall apart time” or c) I don’t actually SEE friends; who does that? We gchat. It’s silent so it can be done even while your child is napping. SCORE-IO!
Ethan and I don’t have much unadulterated time together, either. We’re either a) DOING KID THINGS (FUNNEST but still, with our child) b) eating dinner and so tired we hardly talk or c) on a date night but so tired we hardly talk. I don’t talk on the phone as much anymore (kids get all grabbity grabby with iphones) and my exercise time has to be carefully plotted to fit in between snack time and tantrum #3. Furthermore, I’m OBSESSED with efficiency. If a barista acts like she might be thinking of maybe taking a while to brew my drink, I freak. It’s not pretty, but hey, I’m being honest.
My time is split these days between writing (blog, novel), parenting (sippy cups! Cheerios! Goodnight Moon! Cry it Out!), scattered exercise, cooking, cleaning up, and a TV show here and there if it’s really fucking good like Downton Abbey. I know things will get easier when my kid (and potential other child/ren) is older. Right now, we’re in that hardest phase where you look away for one second and your kid is eating body butter (sounds edible but isn’t). My kiddo isn’t in school, either. I hear that’s like this magical, happy prison where the wardens are butterfly fairies. I can’t wait.
So. How have your priorities shifted since you became a parent? What have you learned to “let go of” — and, whatever it is, do you even miss it anymore? I’m not gonna lie, I miss long, luxurious workouts, long, luxurious showers, and — the biggie — sleeping in. On the flip side, I have a freak of a lot of joy and laughter and tickling and exploring and TINY TODDLER FEET in my life. Really, the trade-off is pretty damn worth it.