When you have child it changes your life. Just how much it changes is up to you. Every decision you make is made with your child in mind(well it is in our case) Where you choose to live, work and go on holiday all have an impact on your family.
Now anyone who knows me well knows I used to like a good drink or ten. Paul and went out a lot drinking or would stay in drinking a lot! That obviously all stopped when I fell pregnant with Isabella and I haven’t really returned to that since she was born. For two reasons a) I can’t hack that pace anymore and b) my priorities have changed. Now don’t get me wrong I still like to drink and have a good time, just not as often and not to the extent that I used to.
Having a child means you have someone else to care for and look after. You are no longer number one – they are. Isabella and her needs means she needs more looking after and caring for than most. Her needs are much greater and she has and will always come first. As Isabella cannot do anything for herself she is fully dependant on me and Paul. So we cannot afford to be anything less than 100% on the ball. This means on occasions we have to forgoe somethings. That is something we have accepted and I for one don’t resent that fact.
We don’t have family living close by, so we cannot do things last minute or spur of the moment like we used to. Isabella is very weary of strangers, so I wouldn’t leave her with just anyone. One of my best friends lives about 50 minutes away and is wonderful with Isabella. She has been there from the beginning and she knows Isabella very well and Isabella feels very safe and comfortable with her. This in turn makes me feel confident and comfortable in leaving Isabella with her.
Having someone like this in our lives, gives Paul and I the outlet we need. The chance to go out together and spend some quality time together. Don’t get me wrong other people have offered but without seeing Isabella regularly, she doesn’t know these people as well and similarly they don’t know her. So leaving her in the day or night with someone she didn’t know would make me feel anxious and I wouldn’t be able to relax.
Some people understand the situation others find it difficult to get their head around. Friends have said can you not just a get a baby sitter, if I have had to cancel on a night out. Simple answer, No. If Isabella woke in the night screaming (which she has been known to do ,we think they are night terrors) and a stranger went into see her it would freak her out and she would be uncontrollable. Isabella is heavy and when upset she writhes around in your arms and arches her back. I know how to hold her and calm her down, often it isn’t what I do, it is just because it is me – Mummy. A stranger would panic and Isabella would sense this and it would make her worse. On occasion even Daddy is not good enough and the screaming reaches volumes I am sure villages miles away can hear.
The fact that we don’t get to go out together as often as we used to means that we really appreciate the times when we do. I usually go all out and buy a new outfit, slap on some war paint and wear heels! The heel wearing is because I wear flats all day everyday and having heels on makes me feel feminine and sexy. Sadly I don’t look either sexy or feminine as I have lost the ability to walk in heels. I now look like a drag queen and more often than not, they spend more time off my feet than on them!
With my drinking habits having totally changed, I am a complete light weight. Friends that know me would argue I was a light weight anyway. In fact before Isabella I had the nickname ‘Tracey Two Sips’, meaning two sips and I was drunk!! Now that isn’t very far from the truth at all. I am an extremely cheap date. Now that I am all grown up and mature (supposedly) and a Mummy I often move onto water, as the thought of dealing with hangover and a hangover with Isabella is not at all appealing for either of us.
Now don’t get me wrong I still let my hair down and there have been nights where it has got a bit messy and the night’s events somewhat hazy, but they are far, far less frequent. They have to be, it now takes me about a week to recover from a heavy night out!
So I may be living life in a slightly slower lane than my friends, but I really don’t mind. I do enjoy the simpler things in life. In fact there have been nights where it has taken so long to get served at the bar, my feet were aching from my heels, that I actually wanted to be at home with a pizza, a movie and in my Pj’s!