Holy shit, having a kid really, and I mean REALLY, changes the way you live your life. Time doesn’t even make sense anymore, it doesn’t mean anything. I used to look at the clock and do things at predetermined times. I was good at this. My life was organized, it had structure. Now, a clock means nothing. I don’t determine when I go to sleep anymore, or wake up. Ava does that for me.
What’s that? You’re having dinner at 6:00? OK, good for you, we may be there by 8:00. It depends if Ava is gassy that day, or congested, or over hungry. Michelle and I treat times like utility companies do. We’re not going to be there at a specific time, but we can give you a window. Dinner at 6:00? We will be there sometime between 5:30 and 7:30. Birthday party at 1:00? OK, we would love to come, we can be there anytime between 1:30 and 3:30. Please make sure someone is home when we arrive, as rescheduling can further delay visits.
Social life? Social life? Did someone say social life? My man cave is starting to collect cobwebs. Michelle has been inside so much that when I took her out yesterday she shielded herself from the sun like a vampire. Our favorite place to hang out is the candy aisle at Babies ‘R’ Us. We get overly excited when we find good coupons on baby items. We get pissed when we discover expired coupons we didn’t use. We used to talk about the issues of the day and discuss our interests. Now we discuss what is the best brand of diaper and debate about when should a wipe be used over a wet cloth.
Look at Facebook. Read all your friend’s posts. You can essentially divide them up into two groups: parents and non-parents. Better yet, do this with someone elses Facebook account so you are reading posts from people you don’t know. “Heading to the hills to do some climbing and hiking.” Obvious non-parent. You’re not doing any extra strenuous activities when you are a parent with a young child. You need rest, and lots of it. “Happy to be out of the house and going to dinner with my hubby, a night to ourselves.” This is a blatant parent. Non-parents go out of the house everyday, but for a new parent, just going past the front yard is a treat. This person is going to dinner. Before they get out of the car and go into the restaurant, they will sit in the car for an extra moment or two, just to enjoy the silence. There is no rush. Non-parnets are in a rush, they have a bunch of stuff to do. They have bars to get to for drinks and movie times to hit. Parents have poopy diapers to get back to. No hurry there. “Heading to the club tonight and getting my party on.” This one is a no brainer. The only club parents go to is Sam’s Club. However, this person is in dangerous territory. Some bad decisions and a few too many drinks can lead to a sudden case of parenthood.
Truth is, I never was much of a bar hopper anyway. Having Ava was a conscious choice by us and we are very happy with our lives. It just takes adjusting. The lack of sleep and headaches melt away when Ava looks at us with her little grin or wraps her little hand around one of our fingers. I will take going to the zoo or watching one of her softball games over hitting up a bar any day.