I remember back in my wild days of freedom, going to college in NYC that my friends and I would occasionally see a mom toting her children, a diaper bag, her groceries, and possibly be dealing with a screaming child all while looking entirely too frumpy and far from trendy. We would instantly, and probably not out of her hearing, proclaim that we could NEVER imagine being a mom. That it must be impossible and so hard. That we might never find such a lifestyle desirable. And if we WERE ever to find ourselves in the throes of motherhood, we would do it stylishly, our children would also be trendy and well-behaved, and we would only be raising children in Manhattan if we found ourselves wealthy enough to never have to take the subway! We were so sure of ourselves, so confident about our futures! Ahhh, how silly we were!
Fast forward several years and I have become that woman. I’m that woman that young girls are glaring at thinking my lifestyle is so far from theirs, that my fun is gone. To a degree, they’re right. I am not that young, silly, selfish thing skipping classes and hitting up bars. I don’t wear sexy clothes. I don’t party. I don’t even wear make-up. My hubby never cared for it and I admitted to myself that I don’t either. My wardrobe consists mainly of t-shirts and jeans. I recently cut my long, thick locks into a short pixie cut. I never find time to wear it down and I was always curious what I would look like. Well now I know: soccer mom-ish and a bit matronly (it’ll grow back though, right?!). My social life consists of weekly get togethers with my one mom friend and her son, a monthly date night with my husband if we’re lucky, and the occasional family dinner out. If my younger self saw me today, I would assume that I am boring. I would assume that my life is essentially over, that I’m constantly changing diapers (well, that one might be spot on!), that I don’t have fun. Oh how wrong I would be. For example, tonight I went for a tandem bicycle ride with the hubs and the little man after a nice dinner out at our local, tasty Thai restaurant. I water-ski, downhill ski, travel overseas, occasionally performs at our local professional theater, and even blog! I might not get to party every night, or stay out til the wee hours of the morning, or act like I know it all when I don’t but I’ve exchanged that for so much more. I didn’t lose my identity, I enhanced it. I get to watch my tiny, amazing human that I created learn new things at lightning speed. I get to be a part of a rock-solid parenting team of my husband and I. I get to see our parents turn into the best grandparents my son could ever ask for. I get to meet others like me, randomly at the park or in the grocery line, and share that moment of recognition that we are members of a growing club of strong, selfless, caring, a little bit crazy people who call themselves New Parents!