I was on the phone with my college roommate the other day–it had been an embarrassingly long time since we had last talked–when she asked me what the biggest change was for me post baby. It seemed like such a simple question, but I really was at a loss for a good answer. Where do you even start to answer that?
Sure, there are a lot of things that are different. My pant size and my cup size for sure. But those are minor and (hopefully) temporary. But the other big changes are that we really can’t do things on a whim (sure, let’s swing by so-and-so’s barbecue on our way out) or change plans midstream (you want to meet at what bar instead?). We haven’t really had any big nights on the town or those days where you’re on the boat or at a baseball game at 1pm and then next thing you know it’s midnight and you’re in a bar and haven’t eaten dinner. (I’m ridiculously afraid of what I’ll feel like the morning after.)
But it’s not like we’ve been holed up in our house for the past three months either. We go out for coffee, lunch, and dinner several times a week (sometimes even all three in a day). We go out for walks, yoga class, and boat rides. We’ve visited friends, gone to happy hour, taken in a couple concerts, and also entertained at our house. So, in that way, we’re still pretty much the same.
Maybe the biggest change is that we’re just going a little slower day to day. Whereas maybe we used to do six activities a day (a walk, coffee, boat ride, happy hour, dinner, drinks), we now do one, two, or maybe three. (Some days just getting the baby and ourselves cleaned up seems like a big deal.) So maybe baby has just made us Sarah and Ian light.
My husband probably wouldn’t like to think of ourselves as slowing down–he’s a pedal-to-the-metal kind of guy–but we definitely are easing off the gas in a lot of ways. And I think it’s making us saner.
It’s impossible to rush with a baby. And consequently we overcommit and overextend ourselves less, which means less stress and craziness. The little things that seemed to get blown out of proportion (you forgot what? you didn’t take care of what?) remain more in perspective and more manageable when you’re not speeding through your life.
So, the answer I would really give my friend about what’s changed is: not much. We’re just taking a little more time to enjoy the things we already love to do.