In a moment of self-reflection as I near the dreaded 3-0, I replay the emotions and events of my pre-baby life.
It looked like this:
- Anxiety- worried if I had Saturday night plans with the gals or a prospective date. If my weekend wasn’t planned in advance, I’d lament that my “best years” were being wasted on rom-coms and Sex and the City reruns.
- Love- highly idealized checklist of character traits. I fell hard and succumb to the silly, text-waiting games. I was perfect bait for lurking alphas or Pick-Up Artists (ex: baby daddy was quite the Lothario.)
- Fashion- spent my hard earned cash on Arden B. dresses and Forever 21 frocks in the hopes that I would stay forever 21.
- Work- obsessively churned. I ALWAYS stayed late. I did the extra work even if it meant I wouldn’t be compensated accordingly. Interestingly, I was passed over for promotions.
- Fitness- endless Soul Cycle classes. I went three times a week to stay svelte. I was an ANIMAL. I should have taught the class…
- Relationships- brief and contentious. I was always fearing he didn’t love me enough or I wasn’t good enough. I always wanted a commitment early otherwise I’d retreat emotionally. I was too OCD about my feelings instead of living in the moment.
- Partying- too much. Almost every weekend. I’d have to line-up my dates in rapid succession during the week.
- Grad school- put this off for years. I was always talking about WHEN I’d go. It took me seven years to apply.
- Stability- craved the feeling. I was always planning to do things, like buy a house, when I had the perfect life partner.
- Sense of self- changing with the wind. One moment, I wanted to move to Seattle and live a hipster, free-wheeling lifestyle. The next moment I wanted to be a powerhouse lawyer. I didn’t trust in my own strength and needed validation that I was someone special. So, I set unattainable goals and berated myself when I failed.
Post-baby life looks a lot like this:
- Anxiety- worried when I don’t have enough me time to read tabloid magazines, catch up on TV, and finish my grad papers. I constantly worry that I’m not giving Andrew enough love- that I’m not doing this whole mommy thing the “right” way.
- Love- on hold. It will come. I don’t know when, but right now I need to continue loving my son and myself.
- Fashion- what? I wear my old Arden B. clothes like they are going out of style (and they are!). (Re: Mom Jeans Styze)
- Work- I leave work at 4:30 on the dot. I don’t ask to work from home or remotely, I just do it. And you know what? I’m getting promoted :-).
- Fitness- once a week IF I’m lucky. On weekends my mom has Andrew or he’s with dad, I steal time and head to my apartment complex’s gym. I mean, it’s something, right?
- Relationships- settling no more. I break up when it’s not right (re: I Know You Hate Me…But I Really Miss You). The best relationship I can have is with myself right now. I’m working on it.
- Partying- nonexistent. Maybe every other month if there is something I just HAVE to go to like a birthday party. Most of my friends are childless, so our activities together are rather limited. Post-baby, I really don’t have the same thirst for alcohol.
- Grad school- accepted a month before I was pregnant. I put it off for a year so I wouldn’t be pregnant and in school. My ex discouraged the idea after I gave birth. As soon as I got rid of the abusive SOB, I started this September. I no longer have the luxury of waiting.
- Stability- white picket fences don’t exist. The financial stability I cultivated is from my hard work and dedication. Only I can change my situation. Only I have that power.
- Sense of self- getting better. I still struggle with the single mom stigma (re: 5 Single Mom Myths and It’s a Secret to Most That I’m A Single Mom). I am learning to accept my new life as a single gal, with a baby, in school and working full time. I’m not doing everything right, that I know. At least now I see myself as the strong woman I always wanted to be. I hope that’s role model enough for my kid. Something tells me that I am “enough.”
So for all the New Year’s Resolution-ists, I challenge you to reflect on your past growth, not what you need to accomplish to be a better “you” in 2015.
Besides, I think you’re pretty damn amazing already.
Much love #singlemoms. You guys are my rocks. Keep writing.