By: Revanche

Life plus baby: what’s changed?

March 22, 2017

Just add baby: How our lives have changed since welcoming JuggerBaby homeParents typically gush that having babies is a life-changer. They’re not wrong, but it’s a toss-up whether they mean in a good way or a bad way. Might depend on the day(s) they’ve had. 

Two years on, I’m still happy that we made the choice to try for our kidlet and confirm that it’s transformed our lives in many unpredictable ways, and a few predictable ways though I wouldn’t have admitted it was possible years ago. 

Clothing

I’ve frumped around, making do with my existing closet minus a few pieces of generously gifted maternity clothes, since getting pregnant in 2014.

This isn’t out of the norm for me. I tend to stick to the tried-and-true even when it stops working, sartorially, so it’s a self improvement project to do better at this. It doesn’t mean cycle through the latest trends with every season, nor become a wasteful consumer. Never that. Just making an effort to form a more classic and therefore all seasons wardrobe, as an adult might do. 

The past 6 months, I started adding some essentials: 2 pairs of flats, replacing 3 pairs that have worn out or hurt my feet, 2 tops, and PiC replaced a couple pairs of trousers that were too dreadful.

I’ve focused on removing things first. After that, I’ll hunt down some basics that will work for my combo career and mom roles.

I look for high quality, now. I can stand the thought of spending more knowing that it will truly last me years of good wear. Of course, the same can be said for that handful of shirts bought cheaply 15 years ago that just won’t die. I can’t just toss clothes that still have wear in them, but they’re so old and don’t quite fit right anymore!

Social life

Never a partier before, I’ve morphed into even more of a homebody since JuggerBaby. It’s a lot of energy conservation and a little bit of disinterest. I’d LIKE to go out for a show or a spontaneous overnight trip sometimes, but it’s never appealing enough to try and find a sitter, or prep another meal in advance. I’m too easily entertained at home, and much more easily tired out by week’s end.

Some of this shift had already started between aging and with dog ownership. With a senior dog, you can’t just take off spontaneously if you don’t have reliable friends or family you regularly trade favors with. Back in the SoCal days, I could. My family could feed and walk the dogs if I took off to NYC for a week, but here it’d be boarding Seamus for $400 plus prepping all his food and his medications. Life was simpler in my 20s, though certainly poorer.

We have become friends with the parents of JuggerBaby’s bestie, though, and that was a nice surprise. My parents were never friends with the parents of my friends, and we only spent time with family during holidays and weekends, so this is new to me but it’s a good way to build a new network of support when all our family lives hundreds of miles away.

When pregnant, I refused to make friends with other moms solely because we were gravid together on the grounds that I didn’t want to, but also because I wasn’t prepared to invest time and energy into caring for a relationship that didn’t have staying power. I need to observe a person around their family and friends, and see how they care for them, to see what kind of person they are.

Eating habits

We trend towards healthy eating but I continue to have my vices, in small doses. I demolished PiC’s bag of Micro Snickers today, and every couple of weeks we get a box of delicious buttered, sugared pastries that I have to force myself to share. Chocolate lasts much longer in our fridge than it used to, though. This is clear evidence that I’m simply nowhere near the stress levels I used to marinate in.

Time Management

This has to be the biggest change of all. Before JuggerBaby arrived, I was pretty convinced that we could stay homebodies and introverts, even with kids. WRONG.

Our weekends are now centered around keeping JuggerBaby busy, for survival. Ze has ten times our energy so we have to keep the kid running. We take zir grocery shopping, to the park, to the errands that ze can help us with. Adult-only things like medical appointments or work are done during the last remaining afternoon nap. PiC always feels awful about ditching me for the gym when ze is awake, even when I say it’s totally ok, so any work I have to do, and any working out he wants to do, has to happen during zir nap.

I do miss the two-nap schedule sometimes.

With the two-nap schedule, I could have a nap and get work done, one per nap.

Overall

Even with a toddler on the rampage trying to eat the dog’s treats, and a senior dog with periodic health surprises, my life is more pleasant and rage-free than twelve years ago. Surprise! I have found some Zen.

:: Did you grow up in a children- or family-centric community? Did your parents welcome the changes you wrought in their lives? 

6 Responses to “Life plus baby: what’s changed?”

  1. Mrs. BITA says:

    That nap is pure gold. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Toddler BITA stops napping. The mind boggles. I hold out hope that she will keep napping until it is time to pack her off to college.

    We haven’t yet made friends with the parents of any of Toddler BITA’s friends. They remain mere acquaintances. I would love for that to change. My parents knew the parents of all my friends really well, right up until the time that I was around fifteen. I would very much like Toddler BITA to grow up the same way.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Parenting on FIREMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I shudder to consider life without a nap. I hope Joe (at Retire by 40) is right and that stage is survivable.

      It took us months to even consider spending more time with zir bestie’s parents, and luckily, they were fun and sensible and low key right off the bat. It would have been awfully awkward otherwise! My hope is that we can slowly add to this category and that the kids and we parents stay friends as well.

      I’m crossing my fingers that you find one or two likely parents to befriend as well!

  2. Femme says:

    They always tell you a lot is going to change, and I knew it intellectually, but I didn’t really get it until I had kids. Fun story. Okay, not so fun story. When I was expecting #2, I couldn’t find a sitter and had to take my first to the OBGYN with me for a checkup. NEVER AGAIN. I will break an appointment before doing that again—something I never used to do. They were running around the room like crazy and I was obviously incapacitated.

    Socializing definitely changed. We’re more family-focused now, and are extremely fortunate to have a lot of our extended family close, at least the family of our own generation. I’m on the same page—if something sounds like too much work, I’ll stay in now where before I used to be a pretty spontaneous person up for anything.

    And the CLOTHES! I’m up in the air on quality for price. I feel like I have to spend A LOT of money to jump up to the quality level where things will actually last, and like you, I have those 15-year-old tees…

    But when I can find that quality, I’m definitely more okay with dropping the money than I used to be. Who wants to have to go shopping ever again?
    Femme recently posted…Why Lake Louise Ski Resort is a Great DealMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Ohhhh goodness. My OB told me to feel free to bring JuggerBaby anytime if I had to for an appointment and I was like uhhhhhh…. I don’t think I will, no. That sounds like a bad idea.

      I agree, the willingness in PRINCIPLE is there to spend more money for quality but it’s also hard to find quality as well. Price isn’t the only marker of quality and sometimes it’s not at all related to the quality either. May we all not need to go shopping ever again 🙂

  3. OMG, is that spectacular creature JuggerBaby? Definitely worth every aching arch, displaced wardrobe item, disrupted work life, and “disappeared” dog treat!

    “Did you grow up in a children- or family-centric community? Did your parents welcome the changes you wrought in their lives?” I grew up in an adult-centric family. The short stuff (that would be me) was expected to behave like a miniature adult. Or else. I think they welcomed having a child; the difference is they expected the child to adapt to their lives, not the other way around.
    Funny about Money recently posted…The Palace of Impulse BuysMy Profile

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