Originally uploaded by ashmom.
Several weeks ago, a friend of mine wrote me about how when women have children, they become different people. At first, I thought "I am still basically the same person," but, oh how my life has changed. So, here are a few of the ways that my life has changed since becoming a mom.
1) BA (Before Ashlyn) dinner time was at 7. SA (since Ashlyn), that's bedtime, so we have already eaten.
2) BA, Allen and I used to decide at 6:45 to go see a 7:00 movie. SA, that would take several days of pre-planning to find a babysitter, pick out the movie, etc. Instead, I watch dvd movies or, more likely, not at all.
3) Deployment. Now, Allen would have deployed whether or not we had Ashlyn, so that part isn't different. How I view the deployment is the part that has changed. When Allen was gone BA I missed him terribly, and I would find ways to fill my schedule while he was gone, so I wouldn't be lonely. SA I still miss Allen, but the part that really bothers me is that he is missing her and she is missing him. Now, I know that she doesn't know what she is missing, but that seems like the worst part to me. Ashlyn doesn't know, and she would if Allen had been here.
4) BA my least favorite thing about Alaska was not being able to teach. SA my least favorite thing about Alaska is that we can't go outside when it is so cold. (which I didn't love so much BA, either)
5) This isn't just BA, this is more BPFC(before planning for children) BPFC, when I first started teaching, I figured that I would take the standard 6 weeks leave and go back to teaching immediately after that. I cannot imagine having to leave a 6 week old in someone else's care to go back to work, not even to a job that I loved. I am sure that even at 12 weeks, I would not have been happy. I would like to go back to teaching, and I think that I would have been (somewhat) more comfortable (sorta) after a year of staying home.
6) BA I had many more things to talk about to friends. SA she is often a central topic. It isn't because I don't have other things on my mind, or anything else to talk about. When you are going on your 5th month of not sleeping a full night, you don't care about politics, art, or where baby Suri is, you just want to know how to get your own baby to sleep. (Though I have never wanted to become one of those people who can only talk about their children. Jamie, you were supposed to tell me if that happened.)
Let me also say I don't believe that it is possible to become a parent and not have your life change. Having children is a "life-changing" event. In some ways that does make you a different person , I guess. I've heard people talk about how they didn't want their life to change when they had a baby. Even before having Ashlyn, I thought, "yeah, right!"
As I reflected on the many ways that my life has changed, I started thinking that maybe that did make ME a different person from my pre-baby self. But really, in just moving to Alaska, my life changed pretty drastically as well. And, hey, apparently being married to someone in the military has made me love acronyms so much I make up my own.
As far as all of this goes, we are all changing to some extent, whether getting married, having babies, moving to different countries, changing careers, getting divorced, going to school, etc. I mean, thank goodness I'm not still living with my parents with a 10 pm curfew and working part-time at TCBY. (They are glad about this, too. I'm sure.)