Have you ever had an experience where its felt like a turning point for growing up, feeling more like an adult than you have before?
I think there are a few pinnacle moments in life that have that effect; leaving school, getting your first job, moving out of home (there’s nothing like paying your own bills to make you feel like an adult), buying your first home (I’m seeing the stress this is creating for those around me and have learnt that a mortgage broker is your friend) and finding out you’re progressing from a couple to a small family.
The last moment on the list above is something that we’ve experienced recently and it’s changed our lives quite a bit. I imagine more for me than Chris as I’m incubating the little life but I’m sure there are a number of changes he’s experienced too. Here are a few things I’ve learnt over the past few months:
The importance of relationships change.
After our relationship with our child, the only other relationship of theirs that matters to me is the one with my parents.
I have never had grandparents and it’s been pretty rubbish at times, plus my parents have always been there for us; they know how warm or cold or house is, they ensure we never run out of ketchup, they understood what to do and say when Chris’s work dropped through the floor when we first moved in together (which prevented countless arguments and anxiety attacks), and on top of all that they’ve already outlived their parents by a decade so it can feel a bit like we’re on borrowed time.
I want them to be able to create memories together because clothes, toys and everything else you have as a child generally isn’t there when you’re an adult and following my mum’s dementia diagnosis, it’s important that they can create their own memories together.
I’ve never been so concerned about protecting my internet bubble from others before.
I’ve removed countless people from social channels because I don’t engage with them/they don’t engage with me, they’re not part of my life anymore or I just don’t want to give them the opportunity to see and share images of our family. Numbers on Facebook and other social channels are trivial, it’s about who is behind those numbers that matter now.
It’s really easy to think you need stuff you probably don’t.
I’m constantly adding things to our Amazon Baby List to remove it later because we don’t really need it and sometimes it isn’t until someone else picks you something up that you realise you don’t need the all singing, all dancing version. Case in point: my parents picked up a car seat in the sale for £25 because they couldn’t walk away from a price like that. We were going to pay £165 for one that can be attached onto the pushchair we’ve bought. We don’t even have a car. The seat in all likelihood will be used a handful of times. Do we really need the one over 7 times the price? No.
Sales really are your friend.
Baby stuff is expensive and it can really add up if you’re paying full price. We’ve managed to save approximately £600 by buying our pushchair, play gym, play mat, bouncer and a large number of clothes in the sale. That’s nearly as much as the pushchair full price!
Don’t choose style over substance.
It can be really easy to get obsessed with the aesthetic of items but they might not be practical for your lifestyle. There are a lot of pushchairs that are just too big for city living and the make or break point for us with pushchairs was the weight. We have a series of steps up to our front door and if I couldn’t carry a folded pram more than a couple of steps on a shop floor there’s no chance I’d be able to get it in and out of the house with a little one. It’s worth choosing your battles ahead of uncoordinated days caused by tiredness and thinking what will help in those situations.
Your changing situation doesn’t define you.
People will still want to talk about other things (thankfully), you can still enjoy nice things (even if you can’t seem to find yourself justifying the price tags as much anymore) and you’ll figure out what is right for you as you go along.
Plus, if you look above, a lot of those points in italics could apply to a lot of other things, it’s the subtleties of the immediate situation that makes a difference not the points themselves.