Not that we were ever hard-core party goers to begin with (although we did meet at a club!), but we still had our late nights where bedtime usually clocked in around midnight, or when we could randomly go out on a Thursday night (even with work the next day!). And we were more likely able to attend social functions—any time of the day.
Now, we tend to stick to day time events and bypass night time invitations. Even day time events take some scheduling—our toddler still goes down for an afternoon nap, so we try to work around his sleep schedule and often have to miss a few invites because of that. Recently, my cousins have been getting together, often on short notice, and often in the evenings, which, as much as I miss them and want to join in the festivities, makes it more difficult to hang out. Never mind that even if I do see them, I’m usually tending to my two-year-old to fully engage in conversation.
I’ve also had to turn down (or put on hold indefinitely) plans to hang out with other friends whose schedules only allow for outings in the evenings. We can get babysitters, but sadly we tend to reserve those for we-have-to-absolutely-attend events. And even outings with other friends who have kids don’t happen as often as I once thought; try coordinating two families’ schedules—especially if we don’t live all too close—and it makes for a hard get together.
In addition to a different social life, we also have limited time to pursue our own interests. Before, I would come home from work around 5:30pm with the whole evening waiting for me—and I didn’t have to sleep until midnight! Now, our evenings tend to start at 8:30pm and end by 10:30pm, all while cooking the next day’s dinner, showering and fitting in any other chores we still have to do.
Now that our lives sound ridiculously boring and unglamorous, I’d like to insert that I wouldn’t go back to my old life if it meant never having the little guy in my life. My husband and I have fun, just a different kind of family fun. With my son in tow, we’ve grown to appreciate a whole lot more of our city, as we go on outings and adventures the city has to offer.
However difficult or different my life is as a mom, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love being a mother; I relish the days like today when I was lying down on the couch exhausted and my toddler approached and snuggled close to me. I can’t get enough of watching him learn new things and helping him develop his skills. I even love how he looks like me.
This is a role that leaves me constantly drained and tired, with little of a social life and limited time to myself… and I still love it (on most days).
Some of you may not have had that much of a change in your life before kids; others may have gone from all-night partying to sleep-by-9pm mamas like night and day. So:
How was your life before kids? What have you given up and what have you gained?