Before Ben (Drinking 40's at Norms - staying out until the bars closed)
After Ben (Family fun day in Seattle - and home by 4pm)
Don't get me wrong, being a parent continues to be the most amazing experience in the world, but it is absolutely true how much life changes when a baby enters the picture, (at least for us)!. Greg and I are finding that the way we spend our days is drastically different than how it used to be. The things we do in our (very limited) spare time have changed so much. We even have checked some "responsible adult" things off our list lately, which were totally motivated by Ben. Here are some examples:
- Bedtime = 9pm (at the latest). No, not for Ben, for US! Ben goes down around 8 pm and we are usually so exhausted from our days that we climb into bed soon after he does. (For the record, I feel like this could also be attributed to Greg getting up at 3:30 am for work these days, and to my breastfeeding - I swear, it feels like my body is requiring the same amount of sleep as it did when I was pregnant).
- We met with a financial planner to actually figure out what we should do with our extra money each month, and have started saving for Ben's college fund. (Side note - if you want a referral, let me know - their services are free and we learned a lot)!
- Lunchtime for me (the days I am at the office) is now spent driving home, feeding Ben, playing with him for a few minutes and then driving back to work. Gone are the days when I could plan a coffee or lunch date during my hour break, or run the numerous errands I used to accomplish during that day.
- Nap time for Ben is spent cleaning, doing laundry, or doing work. I would feel guilty if I spent that time sitting down and flipping through the latest issue of InStyle (that has sat, untouched, on my dining room table for days...:/ )
- Greg and I have gone out to dinner alone exactly 2 times since Ben was born, and both times we essentially rushed through our meal to get back home. Dinner out was something that we used to linger over with a few drinks and lots of conversation. (I'm mostly to blame for this one....because it is me that wants to rush back to Ben)!
- Our evening routine has become very strategic, constantly thinking about the logistics of getting things done: Greg will cook while I feed and change Ben, we eat dinner, I will hop in the bath and Greg will bring Ben up to join me, Greg gets Ben in jams while I get the coffee prepared for the next morning and shut off the lights downstairs, I will put lotion on Ben while Greg showers, we kiss and snuggle Ben, and put him to bed.
- We now eat dinner together at the dining room table with Ben in his Bumbo chair! This is such a fun new thing for us, as we rarely sat down together at home before Ben was here. It's nice to catch up on our days and Ben seems to LOVE watching us talk back and forth :)
- I would be lying if I said that I didn't still spend time online at Urban Outfitters or Nordstroms.com, BUT - I spend MORE time reading on Baby Center, researching cute kid ideas on Pinterest, and reading mommy blogs. I also (shamefully) have become "that" person that overloads their Facebook with baby photos. But WHATEVER - it is what it is. I'm clearly proud of this kiddo and eager to share his little face :)
So yes, lots of changes, and most of them are good - but with that said, I am the first to admit that I'm struggling a bit with just how busy we are now. I have made a list of things I am going to TRY to pay some attention to or make time for when we can -- it's all about finding that balance, right?
- I have a goal of attending at least 1 yoga class a week. My "I'm too busy" excuse is unacceptable. If I can keep up with the Real Housewives of ________ on a regular basis, I can get to the studio for a weekly sweat session.
- Teach more yoga! I'm happy to say I am teaching a class this weekend and have 2 classes on the schedule to teach in March. Teaching = happiness, and I HAVE to make room for a couple a month.
- More quality Greg and Jessica time. It may be hard to fit in, but it is obviously so important to get away and focus on one another. And lucky for me, I have a lot of willing Ben-sitters on-hand just waiting for me to ask!
- Plan meals and grocery shopping more effectively - This will occur anyway out of necessity as I am only able to get to the grocery store on the weekends these days!
- READ. Jessica - STOP WATCHING BRAVO.
- While my friends are supportive and understanding, I miss them! I'm so grateful that I have been able to squeeze some time in for them here and there, but I would like to see them more regularly! I don't have this one figured out yet, but I'm sure as Ben gets older (and less dependent on me for meals), it will get easier.
- Go visit my dad! My mom gets her weekly days with Ben, but I want to be sure to bring Benny over to see my dad more regularly! He LOVES his grandson.
- Start shopping online when possible! If I can save myself the time and trip to the store to buy some of the things we need around here, then I need to start making that effort.