Tiny Boss (aka Raynor) is taking up all the room in the bed, so I figured I might as well just stay up and blog.
Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. Hence, this:
But something happened during those 24 hours of well wishes. As I was going through and responding to posts, I started feeling nostalgic. I started really missing my friends I hadn’t seen since high school, or even before that – although to be honest, our lives have completely grown apart to the point where if Facebook didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be in touch.
So what was happening? It’s because I’m a mom. I realized that as a mom, I was now mourning my old life. That part of my life pre-baby – it’s gone. What do I mean?
Well, for some of us, it means that the days of late-night partying, clubbing, and drunken debauchery are gone. We’ve settled down. We’ve given up vanity in exchange for parenting and what little sleep we can get. I used to think that I would never leave the house without wearing eyeliner or go to bed without washing my face or other similarly silly thoughts. Now that I’ve worn maternity pants post-pregnancy, probably pooped on a table in front of strangers (during delivery, although my husband swears up and down that I didn’t), spontaneously leaked milk, gained 50 pounds during pregnancy, spent entire days in the same clothes I wore to bed – well, you can definitely say I am somewhat less image-conscious.
But still, there’s an even more subtle change. The best I can articulate it is to simply say you will never be the same once you become a parent.
Sure, you will have the same dislikes, likes, attractions, sense of humor, taste. But you’ll also have new fears, or at least feel them more intensely.
For example, nothing frightens me more than the thought of something happening to my child. This is easy to understand, but only a parent really knows that special fear.
Child abuse cases, starving babies, the state of the world and our humanity – you can’t and you won’t look at them the same once you’re a parent.
But while there are more fears, like Dr. Seuss says, your heart will grow three times bigger.
No higher heaven, no lower hell.
I am 33 years old. Many of my friends are having kids – and I can’t explain to them what being a parent is like. I can only wait for them to experience it.