Once you become a mom, pieces of you slowly and unassumingly slip away. Unfortunately, this is inevitable because as a new mom, you have a brand new and very important role as somebody’s mother. The little miracle you created — who will be dependent on you for pretty much every basic need for approximately the next 18 years — could care less about the fact that you used to party hearty.
Long gone are the days where we wouldn’t leave to go out until 10pm; the days where we would shut down the bars; the days where a Taco Bell run at 4am was not unheard of, all the while knowing that there wasn’t a single person who was dependent on you. Long gone are the days where you didn’t have a wake-up call early in the morning; where you didn’t need to plan three meals a day; where someone didn’t need your constant attention the day after a night out with your girls.
Those were the days.
Or were they?
As I sit here on a Friday night in my pajamas, reminiscing on those carefree days, I realize that life was a lifetime ago. Please know that I love and adore my children, and wouldn’t trade what I have today — my family and my kids — for anything in the world. I am eternally thankful for what I have, but there are rare moments when I miss all of the hoopla that surrounded a big night out on the town all those years ago.
That noted, I do go out, have fun and socialize every once in a while. It’s just a different era now and it looks different from those nights out in my early to mid-twenties. I don’t want to necessarily relive those nights at my stage of life, especially with social media. (I am pretty sure my 11-year-old would be mortified if a video popped up of her mother dancing on top of a bar. I’m actually pretty thankful Instagram didn’t exist in my heyday!) The shenanigans I was part of in my younger days are not the same shenanigans I am getting into now. If I’m going out, I’m home by 10pm in order to avoid exhaustion the following day. And Taco Bell past dinner time? Might as well add a side of antacids or Pepto with it.
I think those days are viewed as a sort of rite of passage. We all remember our younger days and the good ole times before kids. As moms, we wonder sometimes what happened to the girl we once were. Can I get her to come out for an evening even with the season of life she’s in? Or can that girl and the person I am now coexist?
The conclusion I have come to is that going through these phases of life brings more wisdom, more maturity and more confidence with each passing year. So while I have no desire to go back to those club-hopping days with four-inch heels (ouch!), I do believe there is a happy medium once women become mothers. This happy medium is one that each of us has to reach on our own, as it may look different from one person to the next. Some people thrive on being parents while also having an active social life, while others are ok having a big night out once in a blue moon. I know my kids will grow up faster than I want them to and then I will have more opportunities for more nights away from them as an adult. And while I will remember my wild nights out, I am satisfied and content with where I am in my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So I leave you with this: while I relive my youth over a cup of sleepytime tea, smiling fondly over the memories I made years ago, I no longer think about them wistfully. I am thankful I had such good times before having children. It makes what I have now that much more precious. I know I can still like having fun and letting loose in an age appropriate way while still being the mommy my children need.