Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How my life has changed

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.)

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Originally uploaded by ashmom.


Laura said...

I think you have changed a lot since I first met you but that was WBA (way before Ashlyn). Whether it was Ashlyn that changed you or just time itself is hard to say but I have really enjoyed watching you evolve. And man, now I am craving TCBY. Thanks a lot.

Katie said...

Okay, first of all, are those panties around Ashlyn's neck?

This was a great post. Very thought provoking. You are still able to talk about other stuff than just Ashlyn, you know. But these babies do take over our lives...especially as moms. I know I am very different than I ever was before. What is weird is that I don't think that really applies to the dads. Its like they come home and have a baby there. During the day, though, they are still the same. But we eat, sleep and breathe that baby. It consumes me, I know.

I was glad to see that they are sending another brigade over early to replace Allen's. That is certainly good news (as far as I can tell). I can't wait for Ashlyn to get to know her daddy!

Angie said...

Yes, those are panties around Ashlyn's neck-her newest necklace. Seriously, she just grabs whatever she sees and wants to wear it. So, I figured it wouldn't hurt.

I wonder if the difference in the mom/dad thing is that we grew them inside of us. So, we were far more intuned to their every movement even before they were born. Then, they feed off us for many months after they are born.

Yeah, the brigade replacement makes me feel a bit better about having Allen back for Christmas.

Vicki said...

I hadn't heard the news about a Brigade replacement...GREAT news! Have they given you a date?

Angie said...

The official word at this point is that the brigade replacement means they won't be extended again. They might come home early, but that could just mean December 12th, instead of the 13th.

C and J said...

Good post. Life is about change, right? Otherwise we would be boring. I think you have changed since having Ash. But for the better. (not that you were bad before) Having children many times just brings the best out in some people (AKA most good parents). Oh yeah, sorry if I didn't follow through with "not letting you talk about baby all the time" But, I don't think we do. That isn't are common link. A common love but not link.

Anonymous said...

Wow - your post really resonates in so many ways, especially regarding leaving a little one at 6 weeks. Before Beth (BB - :)I always figured that's how it would be for me - but I can't really imagine leaving Beth every day even now, at 6 months old, much less when she was 6 weeks. My heart goes out to mothers who must do it this way, because their hearts must be shredded at leaving little ones so tiny and brand new. And how in the hell do they ever sort out the breastfeeding if they do it - Beth is like, whenever, wherever, no schedule, thank you Mom. I'm beginning to think that this six-week leave thing is nothing short of insane. I've heard that standard leave in Europe is anywhere from three months to a year - with pay, mind you!

And I agree about the dad thing. Kelly is the best dad I could ever wish for Beth - loving and funny and adoring - but even so, he doesn't feel that same constant tug I feel, even (or especially) when I'm not with Beth. It probably drives him a little crazy, but I think he's also glad that I'm wired up this way - and like you're all saying, I think most mothers just are.

Good news about Allen. Oh, and Beth was transfixed by the video of Ashlyn dancing.

Arkansas Amanda