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I Miss My Pre-Mom Self

My entire life I have been a spontaneous girl. Moving 3,000 miles north on a whim? Check. Dropping everything and taking off on unplanned vacations? Been there, done that.

I was always that friend—the one who could appear at a moment’s notice for drinks or a movie or just to be a shoulder to cry on. The people who know and love me best kind of came to rely on that, and it was something I liked about myself, too. I had the ability to mold my life around the opportunities which may present themselves.

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Now that I am a mom, however, my spontaneous streak has disappeared. Everything requires planning, diligent orchestration and packing. I feel guilty keeping my daughter up past her bedtime and am still not to a point where I’m comfortable leaving her with sitters. So, instead, I hear myself saying “no” a lot these days to the invites which come my way.

The last of my friends to have children, I adjusted well to the shift our lives took when everyone else popped out babies. I happily traded nights out for sipping wine on couches with kiddos at our feet. I went to them—arranging my schedule around their schedule. And when my friends needed me after long nights up with crying babies or while husbands were out of town, I was always there without hesitation.

I am this hybrid of a working and stay-at-home mother, leading to confusion surrounding what my social availability actually should be.

Then I became a mommy, too, and those friends of mine rallied, taking over the last-minute preparations I couldn't handle myself since I was in too much shock over what was about to be my new life. They jumped into support mode, holding me up in the haze that accompanied becoming a first-time single mommy. Without them my daughter surely would have come home to an underwear drawer as her bed.

I’m part of the mommy club now. When we all get together I beam as my daughter plays beside their children. My friends always made me feel included before, but I love that we are all now on the same page. Yet the drawback is that I am no longer that friend I once was. I have become the girl who says “no,” the one who cites nap times and teething (and an ever tightening budget) as reasons for staying behind.

On top of just being a new mommy, I am also working from home. This amazing opportunity allows me more time with her, but also blurs the lines between work time and social time. I spend so much time playing with my little girl throughout the day that the rest of my free time—by default—becomes overtaken by work. I am this hybrid of a working and stay-at-home mother, leading to confusion surrounding what my social availability actually should be.

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I have amazing friends, friends who have readily adjusted to this new version of the girl I have become, even while admitting they had grown used to the spontaneous one they could always call on before. What I am secretly afraid to admit out loud is that I miss that girl, too. I kind of liked her and the life she was able to lead.

I wouldn’t change where I am now for anything in the world. But, I wonder if I’ll always reminisce over that spontaneous girl I used to be, looking at the calendar as I respond to invites and thinking, “Sure I can do that ... just give me 15 years. “

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