I ran across a forum and the day’s question was: How has parenting impacted your life? And what would you do differently?
My writing itch kicked in, and I posted the following parenting vs. lifestyle type response I had to share here as well:
Parenting changed every aspect of my life. Before becoming pregnant with my beautiful daughter, I enjoyed the lifestyle of most young, successful, blonde mortgage loan officers with smaller waists, larger wallets and an affinity for a healthy social life. I slept as late as I wanted, pampered myself on a weekly basis and partied up all the time! Dancing into the early morning hours and sleeping all day encompassed my typical weekend routine, and I came and went as I pleased.
Parenting vs. Lifestyle
Enter: Baby Ivy. My friend pool diminished sharply because many single, childless people seem to be allergic to kids or afraid they might “catch” one, and my time to get ready in the mornings increased from 45 minutes tops to an hour and a half minimum. Rather than learning new personal skills, I learned how to finesse dirty diapers and used wipes into Kroger shopping bags one-handed, and I learned how terrible Nestle Good Start formula tastes in coffee!I learned babies don’t like having cold feetsies or bottoms, and facing the impossibility of fitting into my pre-baby jeans again became reality.
Parenting vs. Lifestyle
The days partying and late sleeping days were in the rearview mirror. I’ve learned to wipe tears, kiss boo-boos and give my child magical “powers” through vegetables. My favorite blouses are ruined with spaghetti sauce and spit-up, and I long ago traded in my lacy bras for Gerber breast pads. The very concept of personal time and space changed and became void after repeated violations of both.
Parenting vs. Lifestyle isn’t a fight, after all. It’s surrendering to the needs of the little creature you brought into the world and building a new lifestyle around said creature. I wouldn’t change anything, though. In the wake of forfeited selfish luxuries, I discovered the mysteriously powerful love only a mother feels and understands, and it trumps any superficial love of my formerly childless lifestyle. Parenting isn’t easy but it certainly has its perks.
Fellow parents, when did you realize parenting vs. lifestyle weren’t opponents in the ring, but an entire lifestyle overhaul?
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