The days of carrying a coach bag with MAC cosmetics are now replaced with a diaper bag full of sippy cups, snacks and multiple changes of clothing. The car is full of toys and the music is always playing some sort of Disney theme song. Your house looks like “Toys R Us” threw up in it and you dream of the day that you can spend one night alone with your husband over drinks, let alone a vacation spent on the beach somewhere. The calendar fills up with play dates, birthday parties, and sporting events. It’s about this time that you wonder, “What was I doing before I had kids that made me so darn busy”? But does it have to be this way? Not at all.
We can all agree that children are one of the most wonderful things that a marriage can be blessed with. But many times, couples allow these tiny beings to take over their lives. When you choose to have a baby, it’s inevitable that your life is going to change, but you certainly do not have to let them run the show.
Keep your style. If you love coach bags, get an oversized purse to lug all of your children’s belongs in. They also make fantastic diaper bags. Timi and Leslie has amazing diaper bags that are stylish and affordable. You would never know they were diaper bags by their fabulous style. Long after your diaper bag days are over you can continue to use them for work or carry-on bags.
Keep Going Out. A baby should adapt to your life, not the other way around. If you love to travel, take them with you. If a friend asks you to go for wine, let them come. There is nothing worse than changing everything about your life to accommodate your child. They are amazing creatures that can do more than you think. Take them up on it and get them into the habit early.
Keep Dating. There is nothing more important than making sure to take time for you and your husband. Schedule date nights just like you schedule kids appointments, play dates, and sporting activities. Make sure to continue to go on vacation together. Fostering your marriage is one of the most important things you can do for your children. One day your kids will be out of the house and consumed with other things, leaving just the two of you. Don’t become strangers until then.
Keep Taking Care of Yourself. Learn to take time for yourself, whether this means working out at 5 a.m. before the kids wake up, taking time to get together with friends, scheduling a pedicure or massage once a month.
Whatever it is, do it. You will be a better mom and partner for taking the time to refresh yourself and to not lose the core of who you are.
The fact of the matter is that even though children are game changers, it can be and should be a change for the best without having to completely change your lifestyle. They adapt to what you expect and the energy you provide them. Learning to continue doing the things that make you who you are will only foster a happier life for you, and ultimately a happier life for your children..
ANN NERI GAUSE Ann has been a middle school counselor for 5 yeas with Loudoun County Public Schools. She graduated from Ferrum College in 2002 and went on to complete her Masters of Arts Degree in Psychological Services K-12 from Marymount University in 2005. Ann currently resides in Leesburg with her husband Joey, their son Ashton and dog Charlie.