I’ve been pondering this subject for quite some time now, thinking about the best way to put it across without sounding preachy or judgmental. I’m not sure I can so I’m just going to be honest. I’ve probably written about it before in some ways but not exactly been 100% honest or expressed how much this subject affects my daily life.
I’m a mum. That’s what I do. Every, Single, Day. It’s what I chose to do every single day when my husband and I decided to have a child. Now, to say I love it isn’t necessary but I will anyway, just to put anyone’s mind at ease, I love being a mum to my daughter, she is absolutely wonderful, people tell me how wonderful she is all the time. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t because there are days she annoys the shit out of me and I want to pull my hair out, but overall she’s a pretty cool chick. I think (some may disagree) I do a fairly good job being mum, (do I sound up my own ass? sorry…) maybe because it is all I’ve been doing for the past 3 and a half years. I’ve said in the past that being a mum doesn’t define me but the more I think about it the more I’m starting to think it does, at this point in my life anyway. (which I am not 100% happy about…believe me!)
When I became a mother I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I said before that I chose to be a mother, but truth be told I didn’t know what that title actually meant, the only other mother I knew before I got pregnant was my own mother…and no-one ever really thinks their own mothers job is a hard one, we believe as children we were angels, right!?! We don’t think our parents had lives before we came on the scene. So, I knew it would change my life somehow but I didn’t really think about in too much detail. I didn’t think about the amount of decisions and sacrifices I’d have to make personally.
I liked the person I was before I had my daughter but I also I like the person I am now….because I AM STILL ME! I don’t think I’ve changed that much, and if I have, I’ve become a better person. The things in my life that have changed are the circumstances I find myself in…my core personality is still the same. My life experiences until now have still shaped the person I am. Ok, I don’t go out and party as much as I used to, but my friends are still my friends and I have some absolutely wonderful women (and men) in my life, some with, some without children. If I do find myself out with my friends in Glasgow, I still have as much fun with them as I did before, I don’t sit and chat to them about my kid though because I need a break from kid chat and they know that. I’m not just a mum to them, I can talk about other stuff. I don’t know if my friends feel the same way about me but I hope they do.
Now, to say that sacrificing things I once loved, like drinking beer, going to the pub, hanging out with friends, traveling, has been easy would be lying. It’s hard to stay home at christmas and new years when your friends are out enjoying themselves. It’s hard to not be able to just go out whenever I want to with all my friends, (haha, all the friends that I don’t have here in Lyon!!! Though, I’d maybe have more friends if I didn’t have my daughter, maybe I’d go out more, make more of an efforts to meet people…) circumstances have changed though and I guess my want to do these things has too..I don’t want to go out as much anymore. I enjoy curling up on the couch watching TV whilst my daughter sleeps sound in her bed. I love waking up in the morning with a fresh head. I enjoy spending time with Mark, just the two of us. I don’t remember the last time I was drunk, I don’t know if that’s a bad or a good thing now. Is that just getting old or is that being a parent, I don’t know. I still take Little Miss out with me when I can, I go for coffee now instead of beer. I have lunch now instead of dinner. We have people over to the house now instead of going to the pub. I can’t just jump on a flight when I want to visit the UK for no reason, my daughter is in school and it costs a lot more to do now. I can’t just book a ticket to visit friends in the US or Australia. It’s not just about me anymore, I have to plan stuff. I have to raise my daughter. It’s difficult sometimes to accept but my circumstances changed when I had my daughter, it’s part and parcel of being a parent, and I don’t regret any of it. I have to be a good person because my daughter NEEDS me to be. Little Miss has no idea what I sacrifice, that’s not her job to think about and that’s why I didn’t think my mum had a life before I came along…because she did a good job as a mother!
Of course everyone’s situation is different. I’m in a situation where I don’t have babysitters, but I’ve spoken to a few women over the past few weeks and months who have children and aren’t in my expat situation and they find themselves with the same thoughts as me. They chose to have a child so believe it’s their responsibility to raise them as best they can, by spending time and energy on them, they aren’t able to just do what they want anymore. Some of them have lost friends due to having children, they felt like they didn’t have anything in common with their “friends” anymore. Maybe that happens for a lot of women?
What are your thoughts everyone? Do I sound too preachy or judgmental? Do you still go out as much as you like, or want to? Has your life changed dramatically since having your child? Has your group of friends changed? I’m really interested to know your thoughts on this subject. Do share!