(originally written 12/1/17)
Just a Few (Okay, 7) Sacrifices:
Ode to the days when I had the freedom to poop (*gasp* she poops?!) without someone trying to “help,” by putting as much toilet paper in the tiny gap between my bum and the seat as he can manage (all while I’m trying to keep him as far away from me as possible, freaking out that he’s going to put his hand too far down the rabbit hole and make a new mess of things).
Oh, dear childless friend, how I would love to get out of my PJs at 10:00 on a Thursday night and go out for a drink with you, but you haven’t given me ample time to find a babysitter, and bae is out of town. I guess I’ll just continue to sit here and drink my wine… that I bought a week ago… planning for this very moment. Thanks for the offer!
(I hear some of you saying, “well you can be spontaneous with your baby!” Oh, yes, of course I can! If you consider “spontaneous” spending 30 minutes packing for every what-if scenario that could arise while we’re out of the house– then yeah, totally, I can be spontaneous, for sure!)
I haven’t slept past 8:00 a.m. in a year and a half. I just recently started to sleep from about 10:00 pm (eleven if I’m feeling like a bad ass) until 5:00 am, and that’s on the good days. And sure, he’ll grow out of this phase, right? But he’ll still get sick every once in a while (and who do you think stays up with sick child? Right. Parent); he’ll inevitably have some sport that requires us to wake up at an ungodly hour; before we know it, he’ll keep us up because he went out with his girlfriend and hasn’t made it home by curfew. Until he’s out of the house, sleep is no longer a luxury. (It’s also why I finally look my age after resembling a highschooler for 10 years after I graduated. C’est la vie)
Throw back to when sacrificing sleep was most apparent – the first week CJ was born – Holy Tired Town!
Bye, bye, friends. I’ll see you on Instagram, and I’ll follow up with you every few months, but unless you also have a child – see ya on the flipside, because we are no longer living in the same dimension.
(I was SO mad at my friends when I had Cheeky, Jr. Do you know how long it took them to come visit? A week. It took a week to come visit me and the life that I just cooked up for nine months and pushed out. Why’d they take so long? It wasn’t because they are terrible people, or because they hate me (I hope), but rather because none of them have kids yet! They don’t have kids, they hardly know anyone with kids, and they don’t realize what having a kid does to someone – physically, emotionally, mentally. They don’t realize how freaking awesome it is to hang with this brand new life that you created. They haven’t gotten to this point in life yet, and it just doesn’t resonate with them. It was a tough thing to get through –realizing this heap of friends was no longer what they used to be, solely because I created this wonderful human that’s now more important than trips or concerts or bars. But the good news: you don’t really lose them – they’re just, like I said, living in a different dimension… and the dimensions do end up meshing sometimes, it’s just far less frequent.)
- Intimate relationships
Whether you’re married, in a committed relationship, or single – things get WAAAY harder to manage once you have a baby. If you’re married or in a similar relationship, you have never gone through something like when you have a kid. Patience is tested, priorities surface, teamwork and compromise becomes essential. If you’re single, then your dating pool becomes a dating puddle – and if you’re looking for someone who doesn’t have a kid yet, then the puddle is really, really tiny – more like a rain drop, really. Free time hardly exists, and because your priority is your babe, something you would compromise in a new relationship pre-baby is no longer an option.
It’s tough, ladies and gentlemen.
Hats off to every one of you. Relationships are no easy feat when your priorities shift.
Moms get stretch marks, hemorrhoids, flabby boobs, weight gain, pronounced bags and dark circles under their eyes.
Dads get “dad bods,” scruff (oh, that’s trendy? Cool.), and, uh… well, I think that’s pretty much it… so… cool, dads (and your never-changing hotness).
Anyway, you get it. We sacrifice a lot of our “image” after having a baby – and keeping that image up becomes much more difficult, much more time consuming, much less of a priority. Working out becomes close to impossible unless you really make a point to keep it in your schedule (and even then, some days you’re just too exhausted to function, never mind exert more energy in a workout routine).
Refer to “A is for Asshole.” Our sanity gets lost with our freedom and our sleep. We try to keep our cool, but as soon as that tiny little hand slaps the shit out of our face while we’re trying to get five more minutes of shut-eye; or that little mouth says very grown-up, rude things directly to us; or we catch our sweet baby doing some monstrous, unimaginable act, our cool runs away and we are HOT. We try to get back to normalcy, but we just… can’t.
And then there are days we lose our shit for other reasons, finding ourselves yelling at our five-year-old about how she never cleans her room, and how we’re doing so much as parents, and why can’t you just do this one thing?! When, in reality, she’s five, and the last thing on her mind is to clean her room, and she has no freaking clue why it’s such a big deal in the first place. But here we are, screaming until our faces are purple, for reasons that have nothing to do with the room (or even our kid) at all. (PS I’m the five year old – yep, I remember…)
And so we sacrifice. We sacrifice all of these things, and of course even more, because our children are the most important assets.
But the coolest thing about sacrifice? It makes us stronger.
So, thank you, Cheeky, Jr., for making me the strongest I’ve ever been.