I didn’t realise it when Aanavi was born, perhaps not even when she was 6 months old. But now, after 18 months of being a mum, I can totally relate to the cliché,
“Life will never be the same again!”
As I sit at home on a Saturday evening, while my whole family is just across the road having dinner without me, it’s finally hit home… It will be a VERY long time before I can go out on a Saturday night again simply because I don’t have childcare on a Saturday. Every other day of the week is fine, but who goes out on a Tuesday night?
Earlier this week, the husband and I had a lunch date for the first time since our daughter was born because ever since we’ve become parents, we want to rush home to see her at lunch time and we haven’t even thought about lunches out!
It’s a beautiful feeling – unconditional love and always putting a little human before yourself. But there are things I wistfully long for:
- Nights out! Whenever we want, for as long as we want.
- Relentless focus on my career.
- Conversations that don’t revolve around parenting. Especially with my non-parent friends.
- A full night’s sleep!
- Sleeping in past 6.30am Every. Single. Day.
- My thoughts being selfishly my own rather than filled with Aanaviness every few minutes.
- The energy to actually do interesting things in the evenings (if I could go out).
Nevertheless, here is what I’ve traded it in for and no matter how much I miss the pre-parenting life, I could never let go of:
- Evenings filled with love, bedtime cuddles and stories instead of nights out.
- The flexibility and luxury my work allows to still be a present mother whilst pursuing my passion.
- Conversations about pandas who eat pink doughnuts.
- Being woken up with kisses, monkeying around and giggles every morning.
- My time, thoughts and energy being consumed only by someone who makes my heart sing. It’s the best kind of exhaustion.
- The absolute delight of raising a child in Gaborone and being able to take her to London on holiday instead of vice versa.
For every negative, there’s an even greater positive. I don’t want life to ever be the same again because life today is so much fuller, inspired and more purposeful… As am I.
Personally, I feel that in our youth we all experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) but beyond a certain stage (marriage, children, 30, whatever), it matures into JOMO (joy of missing out) once you realise this:
No matter what you choose to do, you’re always ‘missing out’ on something else.
You choose to snooze your alarm clock, you’re missing out on a few minutes saved in traffic but gained that valuable 5 minutes of satisfaction.
You decide to travel for Christmas so you don’t get the magic of a family Christmas in your own home but experienced the world in a completely new way which is its own kind of magic.
You eat at an Italian restaurant with a friend and you’ve missed a super meal at the Chinese with another set of friends… but really enjoyed yourself with excellent company, wine and pasta.
You miss out on Saturday night dinner with the family but spend time with your baby, get a manicure and pedicure on your sofa and write a blog post after months – writer unblocked!
It’s just a matter of perspective. Sure, our lives as parents will never be the same again and there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ with a toddler! I choose to savour the changes… They’re little and sweet.