Three weeks ago, on New Year’s Eve, as my 2-year-old son and I clanked sippy cups to ring in the new year at the stroke of 8 o’clock before bedtime, it finally dawned on me.
I am no longer what I was B.C. (Before Child). I have become “the new me.” Tired. Tenacious. The typical mom.
For a night owl like moi to be in bed by 10 on Dec. 31 would have been unthinkable. But it’s just one of the many changes I could have never predicted since becoming a mom.
I’m talking about little things — studying the ingredients on food labels, unwinding with the latest parenting book instead of a mystery novel, and trying to actually be on time, instead of arriving fashionably late.
For the first time in my life, this former unstructured daydreamer has become a meticulous planner. I coordinate play dates and classes and keep a sharp eye on the clock to make sure that the day’s schedule is followed. And more often than not, I depart the house undone and makeup-free — much to the horror of my very glamorous mother.
Most significantly, I have a new attitude. My new life revolves around my son. Petty indulgences no longer matter much. The DVR is no longer filled with sitcoms but kiddie shows, and the car CDs are no longer Madonna but toddler tunes.
My son’s happiness and welfare come first, second and third. So you won’t see him conked out in his stroller at a restaurant at 10 p.m. because I was hungry, or woken mid-nap because we have a social function.
My focus is singular and my purpose greater than myself. Some question my singular focus. I sometimes wonder, myself, whether my life shouldn’t be more balanced. I’ve accepted and embraced the “new me” and am comfortable in my new skin. But I do still miss the parties!
– Moms and the City is comprised of Denise Albert, Melissa Gerstein and Raina Seitel Gittlin, three mothers who are also working media professionals. E-mail email@example.com.
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