October 24, 2012

Motherhood: The way we were

Before I became a mother, I used to have time to do many things.  Now it's always a race to finish something on time.  It's true, motherhood changes you in a fundamental level, and one day I will open up about that aspect in my life.  Today, however, I'd like to talk about the small things that once were, and now, not so much.  If you are pregnant or have not have kids yet, prepare for big and small changes. One of my favorite quotes, "When someone says they slept like a baby, they haven't had one yet,"  is the perfect prescription for realizing nothing is left unchanged. This is my list of things that I can't seem to get around to do [not that often] anymore.
  • Remember when you'd take the whole afternoon on a weekend to deep clean/redecorate/buy fresh flowers/ slow-cook and candlelight dinner-your house in underpants and mood music? Forget about doing this EVER again. This doesn't happen here that often anymore.  I mean, how pathetic is it that my mother arranges/organizes all my closets, dusts off the big bookshelf and magic-erases the grime off the walls.  And she lives 1,000 miles away!
  • I used to read more.  Reading was like a vacation, except I took one every couple of weeks. Now, I'm just as content to read the book review.
  • I used to write more.  Writing was work, but at least I sat on the chair and opened the notebook, and stared at the window.  Now, I don't even know where the notebook is.
  • We used to watch lots of movies. Around here it was called movie binging!  Now we have to wait until our carefully selected choices become available on Netflix.  And guess what? We can't even watch the strong/graphic content ones, because she's mostly around until we all go to bed around 10ish.
  • Which brings me to this one:  We used to stay up late,  past midnight.  And even then, we slept pretty good.  Which meant that we used to wake up after 10 a.m. on weekends. Now, weekends and weekdays are exactly the SAME.

  •  I used to get regular manicures and pedicures.  Not anymore.  It's not like I have let myself go.  I dress up for motherhood the same way I dress up to meet a friend for coffee or the movies. But when you don't have any hired maid service (oh yes, I would do this if I had the money) who can also cook for you, then you can't just leave everything and go do your nails.  And with many other interests always competing with each other, like reading, and writing, and doing crafts, or redecorating or taking pictures or simply venturing outside everyday with your kid, to the playground, the market, the bookstore, the library, the  hardware store, etc, then the luxurious couple of hours you do have on a lucky weekend or the extra hour that Tuesday, you rather rest, catch up with email or a friend.  These days my nails are bare, and I'm learning to embrace that.
  • Remember when you could wear jeans or trousers and occasionally a top more than once before washing it?  Scratch that off when you have kids.  They will soil it with everything and anything.  Their hands, their throw-ups, their watery noses, with paint, and food or milk.  If you breastfeed, you will leak no matter what.  And those breast shields are nice, but let's be honest, they end up stinking up your bras and shirts. ( I used to change mine 3 times a day)  These breastfeeding nuances can turn exhausting.  But hey, at least your kid is drinking milk not processed with equipment that uses soy, eggs, or nuts.
  •  While that kid is awake, they are constantly tugging at you for attention.  And some kids are very perceptive and demanding, like mine.  They are not content to be sitting next to you while you are in the computer.  They need your hands, your eyes, and your voice on them.  So you are basically participating in a triathlon everyday until they go to school. And by that time, you are so exhausted and have grown so much gray hair, you contemplate not having that second kid after all.

I could only think of these ones. But, I'm sure you mothers out there have a laundry list of your own. 


  1. And then you see that sweet face, and you know it's all worth it!

  2. I adore this post! I think maybe I knew it was going to be like this, which is why I waited 7 years before having my daughter. Still, it's a shock to the system almost every day. So so hard.