People told me having a baby would “change everything” – and to a point, they’re completely correct. It’s the most demanding part I’ve ever played, but also the most rewarding. And once I got the hang of it, I found I didn’t have to sacrifice all the stuff I loved to do before. I just had to tweak my expectations and face a couple of facts.
It's okay to want to do what I used to. It’s also okay not to. Just because you've become a parent, it doesn't mean you're supposed to squelch your hankering for happy hour, or forget about your old hobbies. You may not want to leave your child at all at first – and that's fine too. But the old you still lives within and she'll resurface, eventually. It took some time to figure out how to balance the tremendous demands of parenthood with the things that make me, me.
My powers of endurance were compromised. You may be one of those moms who can't wait to snap back to her old self. But stand warned: Your new 6 AM wake-up call might interfere with your powers of endurance. First night out with the girls? Pace yourself. Trying to have some grownup time with your spouse? Make moves before the ten o’clock news.
Remember to breathe. As much as you might want to return to your routine, you still have to remember to breathe and have “me” time. I enjoyed picking out a good book and allowing my mind to explore subjects outside of diaper changing techniques.
Make a few moderations to your mantra and you'll still be able to do all of the things you used to, like meet up with old -- and new! -- friends, go on unique adventures, and just, well, relax.
Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.