“Having kids changes everything”. As parents we hear that classic line repeatedly, but until you’ve lived it, you just have no clue. About
most any of it. Pre-kid, my perfectionist and Type A self was completely delusional as to how my life would be with a family. Hint: it ain’t even close to perfect. My toddler has changed my life in more ways than I could’ve dreamed, and I have no doubt his little brother (who will be along shortly), will continue to grow this heart from its occasional “three sizes too small”. As I continue to find ways to “let it go”, there are a few once important things in my life I can now say I DON’T CARE ABOUT.
I always knew I was a selfish person, but I sincerely had no clue how selfish I was until I had a baby. Seems a little oxymoronic, being a “people pleaser” such as myself, but I think in reality, I want to please people because I expected the same from them. I learned really quick as a new mom that not only do people not care about pleasing me, but that a baby was the least of those ‘people’. I go to bed each night exhausted from <insert number> temper tantrums, negotiating, pleading, time-outs and the constant feeling of not making a difference, that I’ve somehow managed to survive. That’s just with my first born–throw in working full time, growing another little human, daily wife/life duties and keeping up with various extracurricular items, and you get a classic recipe for not caring. I don’t care about my hair, if I pulled my shirt out of the hamper or if I’ve even eaten more than a bite of something I randomly grabbed from the fridge at work that probably didn’t even belong to me (sharing is caring, y’all).
2. Time or Punctuality
This has been a hard one for me to cope with, especially with a job that deals with time sensitive appointments and paperwork. I HATE BEING LATE. I am a meticulous planner, and I selfishly expect everyone to respect a time schedule (again with the selfishness). You know who doesn’t care if you’re late? A baby who is ready to eat, decided to go off course of his usual nap routine for the day, or works up a good poop for you to change JUST before you walk out of the door. I used to apologize for the guilt I felt in this area, but I’ve learned to just go with the flow. That’s a lie, it still stresses me out, but I HAVE gotten better about, you know, not caring. You get us when you get us, it is what it is. If you really care about plans, feel free to come on over to our place and work with our schedule.
Another hard one to give up, but I try to reassure myself that “it won’t be like this for long”. I flourish with organization, combined with the smell of lavender Lysol and Pine Sol. I have issues, I know. Now days, I just feel blessed when my husband cleans the kitchen or vacuums up the afternoon Pop Tart smashed in to the carpet (which afternoon? We can’t really be sure). Realistically, most of us probably dated frat boys in college who had cleaner bathrooms than I do at this very moment. When you have to put every thing out of “Mr. Grabby Hands'” (son, not husband:) Stretch Armstrong-ish reach, it doesn’t really motivate you to take it allll down to wipe the toothpaste spittle from the mirror or countertops. Sure, the toilets are scrubbed, since they’re his newest fascination, but other than that? I. do. not. care.
4. Opinions/Unsolicited Advice
I don’t care what your opinion on breastfeeding/vaccination is, what product is currently changing your life and making you rich, or which Presidential candidate you’re voting for. Still don’t care that you think I’m weird for respecting my child’s schedule, or that you get butt hurt when I won’t drag him out to meet up for dinner two hours past his bedtime. I care even less that you want to blame every new “abnormal” (to you) behavior he has on daycare or any other decisions I’ve made as a parent. Social media and real-life social events used to be highlights of my week, but now I dread them both. Isn’t that sad? That people can’t even give an honest response to a question about their lives, because of the plethora of negative feedback or unwanted response from someone(s)?
I don’t care about what you have to say in regards to whatever you might interpret as a problem–especially if it is said in a way that makes me feel like I’m dumb, or insinuates “in so many words” that I’m not being a successful mother. Ask me how my day was and tell me about yours. Tell me about your life struggles and let me know how I can help YOU. Communication works both ways, and I cannot keep up with your life if it is strictly online. This has effected more relationships than most of us probably ever suspected, with people both close to our hearts and mere acquaintances. Unfortunately, it’s easier to hit that “delete” button online that it is in real life.
What have you given up caring about since becoming a mom? Gym time? Extra expenses that were once the norm? Sanity? Share your responses so that we can all reminisce together, and mourn lost hair appointments and eating Oreos in plain sight. 🙂