Lately, I've been pondering the costs of motherhood. No not the costs of diapers, formula and Baby Einstein DVDs, but rather, the opportunity costs. The time costs. As in "What Have I Given Up for This Motherhood Gig?" No, I'm not regretting motherhood, just thinking back to that time before Goofy Junior came along and comparing how my time was spent then versus now.
And I've come up with a few things. Things that I either knowingly or unknowingly gave up. These fall into two categories: Things I Don't Miss and Things I Miss
Here they are, in no particular order...
Things I Don't Miss:
1) Watching TV
This is the biggie. I remember nights when I would come home, park myself in front of the TV with dinner and hubbie and stay there until bedtime. Upon reflection on this...JEEZ, what a huge waste of time! If I put my Mommy Time Management Hat (MTMH) on, I think of all the things I could have done with that time...walk the dogs, pay bills, do a load of laundry, read a book, listen to an audiotape, go to the gym, shop for shoes, play a computer game, blog...
2) Staying at Work Late
I can remember looking at my watch and thinking, "Hmmm...it's 5:45pm. Guess I better think about heading home". Holy Moley! I currently have to leave my desk no later than 5:00pm if I am to get on the road, miss the majority of traffic and get to daycare for pickup by 5:45pm or so. I don't do this to miss the late penalty (which is not until 6:30pm anyway), but rather because I miss the little cur. I am rushing to pick him up because I want to see him, not because I'm afraid to incur some additional cost. It sure gets my butt going though...
3) Sweet Snacks
I have a large sweet tooth. Okay, it's gigantic. But now, I have to be a Good Role Model and not eat brownies before dinner. And not carry Twix bars in my car. Toddler Eagle Eyes see everything with a shiny wrapper. I do still eat sweets, but I have to pick my moments and I don't do as much as I used to. This is not a bad thing.
Things I Miss:
1) Walks with Mr. Goofy
This sounds mundane, but we used to have wonderful talks while we walked around our neighborhood block with two dogs in tow. We would talk about work, vacations, dreams, pet peeves, etc. Often we would argue, but in retrospect, we were communicating, and that's always good, even if tempers get heated.
Now we have to either take Goofy Junior with us, which slows the walk down to a toddle and prohibits any meaningful conversation; or one of us has to go alone. Definitely not the same.
2) Eating Later than 7:00PM
Pre-Goofy Junior, I used to roll home about 6:45PM, feed the dogs, remove my work costume and put on comfortable clothes, check the mail, then discuss with Mr. Goofy what we would make for dinner (or where we would run to for takeout).
Now we have to plan for dinner to be eaten no later than 7:30PM, or Goofy Junior's stomach causes him to become this mad lunatic. And bedtime is at 8:00pm, so we want to give him time to digest. As a compromise, we occasionally make Junior dinner at 6:30 or so, then wait until after he goes to bed to grill steaks, bust out a bottle of wine and have a normal adult dinner. The downside of this is you are literally in the kitchen all night. Sometimes it's worth it though...
3) Large Blocks of Time for Reading
I remember once sitting down on a Sunday after lunch and reading an entire Harry Potter book. In one sitting. Ah!
Now I have to find smaller blocks of time to read. A half-hour before bed. In the car while Mr. Goofy is driving. During dinner (yes, it's not the best role modeling. oh well). A big savior has been audiobooks. It's a wonderful multi-tasking situation listen to a book while driving. And I have about an hour each day to do it. I love it!
So there are costs, and there are rewards too. As with most large life changes...