One thing that I always pat myself on the back about is my ability to still go out, have fun and party like its 2012. I think my friends all know that as long as I have a glass of rose champagne in my hand, I am good to go. I remember that there was a time when some of my friends and I after a gruelling day at work, used to go out every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Those were good times and we somehow never seemed to get tired. Waking up at 6 am the following day to kick-start the day and get ready for work didn’t seem like much of a task. We behaved like robots. This was all before my first little bundle of joy came along.
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Now after a night out, my friends who are mothers as well and I wake up in the morning grumbling about how one night out has destroyed us completely and all we want to do is spend the entire day in bed. Ok maybe age has something to do with it as well J but a large part of is that we now have little human beings running around depending on us for their own day to start. At this point I know that I sometimes stare at my children with absolute wonder trying to figure out how my life before them had flown by so quickly. I have mentioned in some of my previous posts that many mothers struggle with their new identity once they have children. For me, it definitely has not been a struggle, but I do sometimes reminisce about the freedom that comes with life before children. You are able to wake up in the morning with the entire day ahead of you but with the ability to change the way you want to spend your day. My friends and I often discuss what changes we have experienced in life pre and post children. The changes post children are not all undesirable of course. Here is what I have come up with.
When we are young, saving money was not something we considered a part of our ‘responsibility.’ After all we had our parents to do that for us. When you start working, money starts having value. The importance of budgeting and not spending all of your allowance in one go is a concept many of us don’t grasp when we are young. However when you have children, that is when the value of budgeting and saving takes on a whole new meaning. Our children’s future depends on the way we handle our finances and how conscientious we are with saving.
Post children, it is no longer just you and your husband. Adjustments need to be made to include one or more tiny humans into the regular course of life. Having children takes a toll on any marriage as the marriage itself comes second. It tests the strength of the marriage. Holidays more often than not are with the children so the ‘honeymoon trips’ which are just you and your husband seldom occur. Having said that, in many ways, our children brought my husband and me even closer than we already were. No longer did small petty arguments seem even remotely important compared to the magnitude of the responsibility that comes with raising children.
Every decision you make impacts your children. During the pre children era, most decisions were about you and your husband. Spontaneity was conceivable. There was always the comfort of knowing that even if a decision you made was not the right one, the impact would be on you and only you. Post children, decisions more often than not have ramifications on your children.
Your wants and needs come second and this is probably the most difficult thing for new mothers to adjust to, and comprehend. Before children, we have always put ourselves first. Why wouldn’t we? However as mothers and their primary caretaker, it is our innate responsibility to most of the time (note that I didn’t say always), put your children ahead of yourself and anyone else.
Post children, you have a new found respect for your own mother. I know I do. I realise now as a mother myself why my mother did so many things which I at the time did not understand or not did consider reasonable. I now understand why she made the sacrifices that she did. There were times when I stood in front of her and wondered how anyone in their right mind could possibly be so unreasonable. The word ‘No’ used to be my favourite word in the English dictionary. Now? How the tables have turned!
Not everything is black and white post children. I used to see the world that way; something was either right or wrong. Nothing in between. My children and especially my elder son have taught me that there are always different approaches to things and that there are various shades of grey in between all the black and white. They have taught me to see the world through their eyes – with wonder and amazement.
Post children, I no longer need an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning! The way I am woken up in the morning is something I would not trade for the world – my elder son climbing on to the bed and wanting to lie in my arms till his morning milk is ready.
Among all the crazy days, hectic schedules, lack of sleep and minimal amount of alone time with my husband, there is not a thing I would change about my life. I can hardly remember what my life was like before we had our children and I cannot imagine what it would be like without them now. I always like to say that my children make me see things clearly; things that they see with perfect clarity. They are my eyes and window to the world. I am a better person today because of them.