a baby changes everything.

Tess 4 months

When I had kids my world changed. Everything changed.

I mean I don’t go to nearly as many movies. I can’t just take off for a run whenever I want. I buy a lot more fruit snacks and Capri suns. I try to be a little more responsible with my money. I go through a lot more drive thrus. I watch more cartoons. I have to watch my step in the middle of the night not to step on legos and hot wheels.

I often feel guilty for it not changing enough.
I still have coffee with friends. I still go on dates with my husband. I still run races. I still read lots of books. I still don’t make my bed. I still go on the occasional road trip. Without my kids. I have missed a few soccer games. I don’t play kids music in the car (although there are a few songs that I have to skip).

And 90% of the time I feel ok about that.
That I am teaching my kids that they are important.
But maybe they aren’t the center of the universe.
That I am showing them how to cultivate their own relationships and interests.
That I am showing them what it means to be a wife, and a friend and a pursuer of Christ and not just a mom. But really they are just 5 and 2. And maybe it is less about that and more about me not being able to handle one more episode of Dora. So that other 10% I feel guilt.

And sometimes I sit in groups of women my age. And I struggle because I don’t want to talk about breast feeding. Or preschool. Or the latest PTA meeting that I didn’t go to.And trust me. My kids are cute. And funny. And I can babble on and on about them. And occasionally I do.
But sometimes I don’t want to.
Sometimes I want to talk about music. Or books. Or movies I want to see but probably won’t get to. Sometimes I want to go out to eat without my kids in tow.
And we dance in the living room. And we play Uno. And we go to the zoo.
All four of us.
But sometimes it is nice to just be two. Or even just one.

And so tonight I googled it.
I typed in “what does the bible say about parenting”
And was surprised at the lack of verses.
And how most of them were about disciplining and teaching your children.
Not so much about if I should feel bad about a girls night.
Or a trip to visit a friend.
Or not volunteering at the PTA carnival.

And so maybe a baby doesn’t have to change absolutely everything.
Except the size of my heart.
That has grown infinitely larger.

owen 3 months


This Heavenly Life said...

It's hard not to get sucked into that mom-guilt over appreciating the world beyond our kids...but it's important to savor that world, too!! We have to show our kids what life is all about, and that it's not centered on them alone. Which, frankly, I have a hard time doing: I get SO focused on only my kids and my family that I forget there's a WORLD out there waiting to be experienced.

Good for you for embracing that world while loving your kids beyond belief at the same time.

Kristin said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I appreciate this post and everything that you have to say. I think the exact same thing and wondered if I was the only one who thought these same things. It is refreshing to hear someone else say this for the world to see and hear!

katy said...

I totally understand this post.

When our son was born, my husband and I agreed this would not be the end of "our" life together. We make our relationship and alone time together a huge priority. We've spent the night away from James literally dozens of times in his almost three years of life. The first time, James was only about 8 weeks old. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, especially knowing I have friends with much older kids who have never left them for the night. But then I remember that my son needs to learn that tending your marriage is a huge priority.

And when spending time with friends, I'd much rather talk about nearly anything other than my kids OR theirs!! Maybe that's wrong, but I just want to maintain my identity, of which "Mommy" is only a tiny part.

Common Household Mom said...

I can really relate to what you are saying. But we Moms should now waste a single minute feeling guilty about maintaining our own identity. Being your own person is GOOD for your kids!