One of the hardest things that people face in life is Change. They say the only thing constant in life is…change. It’s true. We spend so much of our lives going through major changes. In our youth, we transition between schools, we graduate, we start working, we live on our own, we pay our own bills, we get married, we buy houses and so forth.
So it’s no surprise that when you have a child, your life changes yet again. Change is hard. But boy does nothing feel so deeply difficult or unbelievably hard as having a child. A baby comes into your life and rips it apart. Ever so slowly, you bring it back together with tape, glue and thread.
Someone told me that I needed to take the time to mourn my old life. Having a child had irrevocably changed my life and I needed to understand that there was no going back. It’s true…and yet it’s not.
What I needed to do was find a way to not recreate my old life, but pick the pieces of my old life that I enjoyed and weave them back in to my new life. So I did.
Not in the first year. Not even in most of the second year. But I took the steps, once I was well, to reinsert elements of Old Molly into New Molly. Once I did that, as the hardest parts of having a child faded into new normalcy, I was pleased to see that Old Molly (or as my sister calls me, Fun Molly) came back.
I embraced the Ergo. Everywhere that I went, I took the baby with me. I carried him or carted him around. I have a standing Lady Date with my friend on Sundays. The baby comes with me either in the Ergo, the Osprey Backpack or the stroller. We pick activities that work for both us, but also provide accommodations for my son.
We embrace the babysitter. We use our neighbors when they offer, our parents and paid babysitters. But when we can’t make the babysitter work, we take our son with us, put him down in a packnplay in a dark room and enjoy the company of our friends.
I go out with my lady friends once a month for Lady Dinners and grab drinks occasionally during the week with other friends. My husband stays home on those nights; I then take the baby with me when he wants to play hockey with friends on Sundays and Mondays.
Life looks different now…but it feels the same in many ways. Our lives are slowing down and changing but in ways where I can still look at tangible events and feel that we haven’t become people that we don’t recognize. Getting back to that normalcy and holding firm to who we were has made the enormous change that parenthood brings, beautiful. It’s allowed me to look at the beautiful life that we created with kindness and wonder and truly appreciate what we have now.
Find ways to keep hold of who you are. You don’t have to give up your old life…just parts of it.