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How I Self-Indulge Pre-Baby vs. Post-Baby

Photograph by Twenty20

The other night, I went out to a local bar with an old friend of mine, ordered a stuffed avocado salad, and got thoroughly buzzed from just two beers. Afterward, after stumbling into my home office and discovering I couldn't write a coherent email, I did some shopping on Amazon instead.

The next morning, I said to my husband: "I went drunk shopping on Amazon last night!"

"You went drunk shopping on Amazon last night?" he responded, wary. Because once upon a time, I had a major shopping problem and ended up in a highly sensationalized CNN segment after writing a personal essay about getting out of debt.

"Yes!" I said, practically squealing with excitement about my purchases. "I bought a bunch of new cups for Emily so she can learn to drink without the nipple! Also, I bought a couple books so I could get the free shipping on the one add-on item!"

Yes. This is what counts as a boozy night out and a wild shopping spree now that I'm a mom. What else has changed?

1. Shopping.

Pre-Baby: Immediately before getting pregnant, my biggest indulgence was yoga leggings, each pair usually running me between $60 and $80 each. I justified this by dividing the cost of the pants by the number of times each pair would be worn. After all, I took four to six classes a week. I also taught four to six classes a week. Plus I'd worked my ass off and my butt looked good in them.


Post-Baby: I just got really excited because the indoor floor mats I ordered arrived. If that tells you anything.


2. Practicing Yoga.

Pre-Baby: As mentioned above, I lived and breathed yoga, and also meditated at least once every day. Being at the studio so often also afforded me the opportunity to interact with other human beings.


Post-Baby: I try to get to the studio one to three times a week, but it's harder than it once was. Now I'm lucky if I can bust out a wheel pose between running upstairs to change Em's diaper and running downstairs to switch the laundry.


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3. Having a Night Out.

Pre-Baby: I've always been more of a homebody than a party animal, but my fellow OMies and I did have a Friday night ritual where we'd take a yoga class and then head directly to the bar.


Post-Baby: Intro to this post aside, I don't often find myself at my local bar, drinking with my girlfriends. I do, however, belong to a book club that meets once a month. And there is always booze there.


4. Relaxing with a Good Book.

Pre-Baby: There was once a time when I was able to read in the morning before rolling out of bed. And then I would read later on, curled up in an easy chair, as I took a midday break. And then I would read again when the work day was done. And finally I would end my day by reading.


Post-Baby: I now read when I am waiting in line at the post office. Or when I am brushing my teeth. Or when I am drying my hair. Or when I am pooping. Or when...


5. Binge-Eating.

Pre-Baby: I work from home full-time. So it was always easy for me to find the time to bake cupcakes or bake a lemon pound cake or bake an orange bundt cake or bake an applesauce bundt cake with a salted caramel glaze or bake bread or...


Post-Baby: I think I may have eaten four full boxes' worth of those Drake's apple pies in the past week alone.


6. Drinking Coffee.

Pre-Baby: It was no big thang to just pop out to my favorite coffee shop in the middle of the day and shoot the shit with a fellow writer for a couple hours while consuming massive cups of coffee with whipped cream on top.


Post-Baby: I now sprint from my office and tackle my husband if I suspect he's going for the last cup of coffee in the pot. And if he suggests we brew another pot, I respond with such enthusiasm you'd think he'd just offered to take me on a tropical cruise.


7. Enjoying Good Music.

Pre-Baby: I have some lovely memories of seeing Jill Sobule at House of Blues. Of harmonizing with the audience at a Ben Folds concert. Of bouncing around to Pulp.


Post-Baby: Once a week, I take my daughter to a music class and we sing and dance and clap our hands and bang on drums together.

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8. Being a Complete and Total Sloth.

Pre-Baby: Sometimes, there were days when I just couldn't even. So I didn't.


Post-Baby: I still can't even. But I have to anyway.

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