Ever since I became a mama, I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'm having more fun now as opposed to when I was free to do whatever I felt like doing, when I felt like doing it. Back in the day, I used to go dancing with friends whenever I needed some exercise, and I used to drink white wine every night while I binge-watched Friday Night Lights and How I Met Your Mother...by myself. I enjoyed learning and studying and writing, so I continued to do those things even after I graduated from college. I never cooked though. I totally hate cooking.
Then I had a VERY important realization. I still do that shit! When I need some exercise, I put on Lorelei and Isla's favorite songs (which are my favorites, because what else would I play for them?) and we dance like crazy people all around the living room until we're out of breath. Major benefit? No creepy dudes trying to touch my butt. And when I'm alone at night when Ryan works, I drink wine and binge-watch all kinds of shows and documentaries, just like before! Except now I drink red wine. That's the only difference there.
Regarding learning, studying and writing, I still do those too! I have spent the last three years writing blog posts and e-books and long-ass Instagram captions while also obsessively studying pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Lucky for me, these three life occurrences are something that will always be happening (during my lifetime at least), and they are all areas that we continue to learn new things about constantly so I won't ever be thirsting for knowledge - I'll probably end up being overwhelmed by it and end up thirsting for more red wine instead.
As far as cooking goes, I bet you're thinking I have to cook all the time now because I'm a mom. Wrong! I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor that likes cooking and invites us over for dinner once or twice a week, and a mom who also likes cooking and invites over for dinner two or three times a week. The other nights are the nights Ryan is home, and he doesn't mind cooking (that's why I married him). So how often do I cook dinner? Negligent amounts of nights. And breakfast and lunch are easily created with non-cook things like turkey and yogurt and cereal and Trader Joe's chicken noodle soup, which is the bomb.
What I've come to realize is that becoming a mom didn't turn me into someone without a life, and it definitely didn't take away the fun. Everything's just...better. It's better in so many ways. I enjoy dancing sober now and my drinking habits have clearly matured. I created life and I get to watch those lives grow and have fun being silly by my side. I have a family to care for and a small village forming around us. I also have found my life's calling, and I know it's my life's calling because I've spent years pursuing many goals that center on it.
That's why motherhood kicks ass. It's everything and more, and, in my case at least, I'm a much better person because of it. Because of motherhood, I crave life. I focus less on the things I hate about life and strive to create and do more things that I love about life.
So for those of you considering starting a family but worried you'll never have fun again, don't be. You'll have MEANINGFUL fun, the type of fun that shapes a small person's love for life - and you will never, ever truly regret becoming a mama. It's definitely not an easy role to have, and there are many times you'll cry and scream, "Why is this so fucking hard!?" But after that 30 seconds has passed you'll realize how strong you are, the goodness you are capable of, and your baby will be looking at you weirdly and then flash a big gummy smile your way, and you'll melt a little and move on with your day. Believe me, mama, you can do everything that has been asked of you by the universe that blessed you with your child. Stay strong. You have the strength of every mother before you holding you up.