At the age of 29, you start to see more and more of your friends get married. What I didn't expect was for me to have a kid so early. (Is this considered early?)
Let me be the first to admit that I didn't understand what it meant to be a mom. My mom would ALWAYS say, "Just wait until you're a mom. You'll see what I mean." I was sick of hearing that from her. What was she saying? Then I started to know people who had kids and wouldn't understand what seemed to be an endless amount of excuses:
"I'm so tired because my kid was up all night. I can't make it."
"I have to go home early to help my husband with the kids."
"I can't make it at that time because that's when my kid goes to bed."
I didn't get it because I compared all of them to each other. I would respond (in my head of course) with:
"Well I was up till 2am working last night and I'm still going."
"Why can't her husband just take care of it and give her a break?"
"I know a mom who brings her kids out at 8pm."
I look back and shake my head my old self.
How little I knew about what it was like to be a mom. A wife. Someone who also works full time. Tends to her baby, works during the day, cleans when she can, makes dinner, walks the dog, spend time with her husband.
How little I knew that, no matter how hands on your husband is with the kid and no matter how much he wants to help, she only wants you to tuck her in at night. She only wants you to cradle her when she's sick. She only wants you to comfort her when she has nightmares.
How little I knew to glance over all the little things in life as a parent. Everything that may sound stupid to my not-yet-a-mommy friends, is a big production for us. Let me give you an example: I know several of my friends, including myself, who have kids and a dog and we live in a place with no backyard. This means, someone has to actually walk the dog vs letting it do its business freely on their own. This has been a ridiculous production for us. Ray and I always make it a point to come home at a certain time or have someone lined up to walk our pup in the evening so that we never have to leave Riv home alone (because she is sleeping for the night), even for a few short minutes, so that Murphy can do her business before bed. This has unfortunately, caused Ray and I to cut our evening short when we are individually out with our friends. I've gotten a few looks when I broke the news, "I gotta go. I have to help Ray with Murphy." The looks ranged from, "WTF" to "That's just weird." Comments ranged from, "Why can't Ray handle it alone." to "Just have him take care of it, Riv will only be home alone for like 5 minutes."
Here's the thing. Every parent, has their own set of boundaries, precautions, and what they're comfortable with when it comes to their child and splitting the parental work. I think it's hard for my childless friends to understand that yet. And hey, I do not blame them at all! Remember I was like that once?
I think my latest struggle has been the realization that I can't join them in all their adventures but also, I don't even get invited anymore. It's a fine line. I have FOMO. I always want to be invited. I mean sometimes mom's need a break too. Don't assume just because I'm a mom, I'm automatically going to say no. But also, there is going to be a lot of times I am going to say no because I can't! I hate that I've become that friend who always says no or looks pathetic because I can't hang out.
Here's the truth. I suck at balancing it all. I'm faking it, winging it until I make it through each day. One day, I have all the energy in the world and the next several days, I'm exhausted. Ideally, I want to be an exciting hot mom with a hot bod who works out at 5am, who is also a great friend who joins in all the girls night outs, make brownies for my husband along with his dinner, and be a freaking master at my meetings at work... but I'm not that. I barely have time to breathe. My husband and I haven't gone on a date in months. I am always tired because I'm growing another baby inside of me and because I have a toddler who is attached to me. When I want to read a book at night, I end up falling asleep. I want to catch up on a show at night, I end up falling asleep. I, a beauty junkie, don't wear makeup if I don't have to go to work or an event because wearing makeup means I have to wash it off at night.
I guess at the end of it all, I just want to tell my friends, especially my not-yet-a-mommy friends, thanks for bearing with me and loving me while I go through this. I'll get it down one of these days.