Monday, April 1, 2013

Reflections on Life Before Kids

I have decided to participate in the April blog challenge by Green Moms Network.  They have put together a list of blog writing prompts for the month, and I really want to make it a priority to post at least once a day this month, so here goes!Reflections on Life Before Kids

Today's topic is "My life before kids."  I suppose I am not perfectly qualified to respond to this prompt since my son will not be born for another 3 months or so, but even though he has not yet arrived, my life has already changed in so many ways.

Life before my son was...

Spontaneous.  Although we both worked a lot, especially Jesse, we also played a lot.  We were both healthy, reasonably rested individuals, and in spite of some lingering back pain for me from time to time, we could go, go go!  We thought nothing of making last-minute weekend trips to different states, and we often would drive between 2 and 4 hours one way to attend a family function or a party for a friend, only to turn around and drive home the same day.  When we traveled, we would spend hours roaming all around foreign cities, just trying to get a feel for them.  Our first day in Istanbul, Turkey, we walked over 10 miles, just exploring.  When we got hungry, we would stop and eat at whatever place grabbed us.

Now that I am pregnant, things have changed.  In the first trimester, we had to plan ahead to make sure that my stomach would not get too empty.  If I got hungry, I got sick.  Now, as I approach the end of my second trimester, we are preparing for what will likely be our last international trip for awhile.  We leave for Spain and Ireland in a few weeks, and we have had to plan most of the trip around me.  My husband generously spent a ton of frequent flyer miles on upgraded seats for us, so that my pregnant travels would be more comfortable, and we are planning to stay in centralized locations, rather than our usual off-the-beaten-path locations, in order to accommodate my inability to walk for long periods of time without resting.  Everything is focused around keeping me as comfortable as possible, rather than seeing as much as possible within a short period of time.

Career-Focused.  I am a licensed attorney from Virginia, currently doing contract work.  I have been looking for a job for a LONG time now, but it has always been my intention to work for at least a few solid years before taking any time off to have children.  When I found out that I was pregnant (surprise!), everything changed.  All I want now is to find a way to work from home so that I can be home with my little guy all day.  I know that working from home will be even more challenging than working outside the home because I will essentially be doing two jobs all day long, but I don't care.  I want to be home with him so badly that I am willing to take on the challenge if I can just find a way to make it work.

Different.  There is no better way to sum it up than to say that everything is just so different.  When we lie in bed at night, my husband and I talk about our little boy.  Our special shared moments often involve me putting his hand on my belly to feel some of those amazing little kicks.  We talk about the vacations we will take in the next few years, vacations that never would have made the list otherwise, like Disney World and trips to the zoo and maybe even a cross-country venture.  Sometimes, we just sit and marvel at the fact that we are going to be parents in just a few months.

I spend time singing to my baby and even reading to my baby.  When I go shopping, my first stop is the baby aisle.  Even when I don't have anything to buy, I still have to stop in and just look at all the baby stuff.  Sometimes, I go and look at my slowly growing cloth diaper stash and imagine the day when I will actually be using those diapers on baby boy, instead of just on his stuffed animals.  In short, life before kids was a different world than the one in which we live now.

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