There are things I’ve learned over the years about myself, I’m not one to survive camping or mountain climbing, but I sure as heck can survive the Herald Square Macy’s Christmas department the day after Thanksgiving….. which may actually be very similar conditions. Or that, sure, I can live just about anywhere, but I prefer urban settings since I’m not a huge fan of driving and delight in being able to walk everywhere - grocery store, laundromat, dinner dates. I enjoy the pace of life in walking cities. I'm also a major creature of habit. I like stability in my routine and over plan my days. These are things I've come to know about myself. Almost to the point of making them comforts. But, the thing is that now, it's more that I have to take all that I've learned about over the years, subtract that idiotic ages of 15-21 where I thought I knew everything, add in a baby, and I've realized...... I don’t really know as much about myself as I thought.
I’m not trying to make some dramatic statement that one encounters a huge life epiphany…. I’ll save that for when you try the Beauty Blender for the first time or realize the power of owning a Keurig, but I’d say things have shifted. And maybe it happens in different ways for different people, you don’t necessarily have to aquire a tiny human, but that was the way it happened for me.
We often get the question “What’s been the biggest change since you’ve had Parker?” You really want to know? Ok, here we go.
1. Perspective. I used to invest a lot of my energy into things that seem so trivial now. The worrying over materialistic things, the ways in which I drew value, my need for being a people pleaser and spending too much of my brain space feeling competitive. Why?
2. Personal Discipline. Let’s get real….. being pregnant followed by nursing for a year is really just a self induced detox program. Did I drink wine and coffee while pregnant? You bet I did. Really, it was for the better of anyone in my general proximity. No coffee in the morning before answering emails? Yikes. No wine at night after a long day? Double yikes. But did I learn the value of moderation? ‘Learn’ and ‘forced to adhere to’ we will consider the same thing for the purpose of this lesson. Long gone are the days of my two-a-day venti iced coffees and Saturday morning hangovers. I know its been my choice to cut out coffee completely now, but heck, I figured we’ve gotten this far, so why not. When else will I ever be able to hold out for so long. Now, for the wine, it’s just that my tolerance is currently at the level of a high schooler, and well, that’s awesome if you ask me. Cheap date y’all! I realized I’ve only touched on the points of my discipline towards my favorite liquids, but it also seeps into how I’ve learned to value my time. Nap time makes for some insanely valuable minutes. She’s asleep? Start your engines! Emails, cleaning, dishes, a shower AND blow dry, blog post and made myself lunch. Before, I’d realistically make it to the emails and then get distracted by an ABC Family Movie. Oh, now she’s awake? Turn the phone on vibrate, ignore emails and settle in on the floor for cuddle time.
3. Selfishness. I believe we are all inherently selfish regardless of how hard we try not to be. Most decisions we make on a daily basis we can try and justify are ‘with someone else in mind’, but really it’s just ‘what I want to do’. Trust me, I still try to get my way, but I’ve learned that those days are long gone and honestly, I’m thrilled about it. It really is no longer about me. Everything I could ever want in life, I now want for Parker.
4. Promptness. More like, what promptness? P has impeccable timing for making deposits in her diaper. It’s usually while I’m strapping her into the stroller and we are already ten minutes behind. After perfecting my power walking pace over the years of living in urban cities, it has since downgraded to a ‘mom speed’. Trying to walk swiftly with a baby strapped to your body is like trying to run in a pool. You can tell your brain to move your legs fast, but to the observers near by, you’re just slowly wading by. Walking with a nine month pregnant belly is just the training wheels for the babywearing years to come.
5. Joy. Like really, there’s nothing in the world that makes my heart nearly explode than the smile she gets on her face when she looks at me. Granted, she also flashed it to some homeless guy outside the subway the other day, but I’ll take what I can get.
There’s more. There always will be. This is an ongoing process and once you’re on board, you don’t really get to take a break from it.