Monday, January 14, 2013

The times are a-changing

Online reading and conversations of late have led to this blog post. It's not a criticism of anyone, more of a clarification between old beliefs of mine and the questions I have received from others.

I have a child and my life has changed because of it. I cannot do things at the drop of a hat anymore. Except in the rare moment when the seas part, the baby is napping and my husband is home and usually, by that point, everyone has made plans, the esthetician is booked up, and there is nothing good playing at the movies.

I probably will not want to come to your house for dinner. It's not you, please know that. It's not your cooking - you are a lovely cook. It's the fact that you don't have a baby gate, you keep magazines on coffee tables as most do, and you have breakable/stainable/lovely furniture which I would rather not spend my entire evening protecting. When I am at your house I am constantly on the defense, ensuring my child doesn't destroy the things you like to look at and keep close, and why shouldn't you? When I am at home, I have baby-proofed, and can sit back for at least five minutes and know there is (almost) nothing within reach of The Babe. But I appreciate the invitation, and will make an effort to attend more.

I probably will not invite you to dinner. But it's not because I don't want to have dinner with you. It's because the idea of putting away the plethora of toys, having beverages other than water and homo milk in stock, and figuring out the timing of our dinner versus when The Babe needs to eat while managing not to burn anything is mentally exhausting. Sometimes I forget that we can just order in. Sometimes I still forget to brush my teeth and where I put my cell phone which is on silent so I can't hear it ring.

Any free time I have that I don't spend cleaning or having quality time with The Babe and my husband, is time I feel guilty for not doing those things.

I am "one of those parents". The kind I spent several conversations saying I would never be. I would rather be home for naps, because she sleeps longer at home. I don't go downtown. Ever. Because the idea of putting The Babe in the car, which she hates, for more than 30 minutes for anything other than to see family or go on a holiday, is completely unappealing. Your child doesn't hate the car? Lucky you. Mine does and there is no amount of Cherrios, new toys, or Charlotte Diamond singalongs which can change that for now.

We don't have a lot of babysitters. Our family, for the most part, is not close by. Other people offer, but the times we want to go out are often the times they would want to go out too, and the babysitters are often the people we want to go out with! Plus, people are busy and have commitments and their own families and late jobs and we don't even ask if we know it's not feasible. And if possible, we like bringing The Babe with us because she's funny and most people like her and I have a lot of cute clothes still left for her to wear.

But here's the thing - I like my life. Yes, I miss certain things but I don't miss them more than I love the things I have gained. I don't go dancing anymore, but I spin around the kitchen with The Babe and she laughs really hard. I don't go out for as many dinners, but perhaps I cherish those dinners out a little more now when I do get them. I do miss my girlfriends, but we're getting to a place where we all just seem to have less time. My life change is just one of many and we see each other when we can.

If you are thinking about becoming a parent, or have a friend who has become a new parent, I hope this helps to understand why you may see and hear from them less. Know that my feelings towards my friends haven't changed, my child doesn't shackle me to my house, but there are things which are more complicated and involve more stuff than they used to.


  1. When you were younger, I never could have envisioned you as "that kind of parent." Now, I can't imagine you being anything else.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. you are a wonderful Mother Heather!

  3. This is such a great post Heather! I feel both warm and fuzzies AND fierce pride in motherhood. :)