Monday, January 13, 2014

Remembering The Good Ole Days

Remember the good ole days?   

The days of staying up late, maybe drinking, maybe not?  

The days of going out to eat regularly and actually taking our time to eat, enjoy drinks, and having a conversation? And not caring if you drink too much, because who cares if you have a hangover - you've got nothing to do the next day anyway, right? 

The days of sleeping in and then falling asleep while watching football on Sunday afternoons?  

I remember them, too. Vaguely at times, but somewhere deep in my brain I recall that my lifestyle was once led by a go-with-the-flow sort of mentality and the last thing I wanted to do was to miss an event or a party.

Now, the last thing I want to do is go to an event or a party that is going to prevent me from getting to bed by 9:00. 

And that is just the beginning. Here just a few of the ways my life has changed since I became a mother.

1. Enjoying adult beverages is a rarity. When I got married, I had a fully stocked wine fridge and a stash of beer in the "beer fridge" in the garage. I didn't get wild and crazy too often, but a few glasses of red wine on a cold winter's night or a cold beer on a hot sunny day were a regular staple in my life. Obviously, when I got pregnant, those habits changed, but I looked forward to the occasional drink once that little guy was out of my belly.  

Turns out "occasional" meant very rare. When JJ was a newborn, I was too tired to drink. The few times I did, I realized that as you get older, hangovers are no joke. It didn't take much wine for me to be down for the count the next day. And guess who couldn't care less if I was hungover? JJ. He still expected to be held, fed, and to be wearing a clean diaper.  

Now that he is a toddler, he thinks that red wine looks like juice and he should be able to drink it. It is really hard to enjoy drinking a glass of wine when you have to constantly try to convince a toddler the drink is only Mommy's drink. Sometimes it is easier to just do without.

2. Eating at a restaurant is a challenge- not a leisure.  Pre-child, eating out was a way to relax when we didn't feel like cooking or cleaning up dishes. We sat at a table and enjoyed a nice conversation while others cooked our food and served us. Post-child, eating out is (usually) a constant battle. The battle has changed over the last two years. When JJ was a newborn, the goal was to get through the meal without being the people with the crying baby. As he got older, the challenge was to keep him entertained in the high chair long enough to throw enough food in our mouths to keep us full until the next chance we had to eat. 

Now that he is two, the battle is to find a restaurant that serves macaroni and cheese, get him to eat at least two bites of the said mac and cheese, and to come up with any and all distractions that will prevent him from running wild around the restaurant.  

And the changes don't stop there. The term "restaurant" has a whole new meaning. The days of going to a nice Italian joint or a fancy Chinese restaurant are a thing of the past. "Restaurant" now means any place that has quick service and preferably brings the food on moving trains. 

3. Sleep? Forget about it! Every parent knows that when you have a baby, you get very little sleep and the days of sleeping in -well, that is never happening again. What they don't tell is that the whole "sleeping through the night" is really just a myth. First off, "sleeping through the night" for a baby is sleeping six straight hours. That is about four hours short of what I like to get. Second, that never lasts. Babies go through teething and wake up at all hours of the night. Some get night terrors. Oh- and when they are sick and throw up in the middle of the night- that's the best!  

Then they become toddlers and want to sleep with mom and dad. My little guy goes to bed in his own bed, but that only last a few hours. At some point, he trots his cute little butt into our room and snoozes (usually horizontally) between us. He seriously makes me wonder how 28 pounds can take up 90 percent of a king sized bed. 

4. I don't even remember what the inside of a gym looks like. Remember this?  
Well here's my excuse, lady - I work full time. I get to see my kid for about three hours per night. I'm not taking an hour of that time away from him so that I can have rock hard abs. That is just not a priority for me anymore. And I'm not getting up any earlier or staying up any later so that I can run an eight minute mile (who am I kidding? 10 to 12 minutes is more like it) and be exhausted all day. See #3.

5. I used to love reading books in my downtime.  Downtime? What the heck is downtime? I think I've read all of three books in the past two years. Back in the day I would knock out book in a matter of days and toss in a few magazines in the middle. Now- I'm trying my best to get through the book that I've been reading for over three weeks. I'm about half way through. And magazines? I don't even bother to try. 

6. I now fully understand the concept of unconditional love. Sure, the good ole days were just that - good.  The new days - even with the rare glasses of wine, the stressful meals out, the lack of sleep, the belly flab, and having no clue what was printed in the latest issue of People - are amazing. Everyday, I get to see my son laugh. I get to watch him learn and grow. I get  to receive his big strong hugs and his slobbery kisses. I get to feel his foot kicking me in face in the middle of the night that reminds me I am the happiest I've ever been.  

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