People say a lot of things about parenting. All those cliches – They grow up so fast, one day you won’t believe she was so small, you think you’re tired now, just wait! etc.
Prior to having Munchkin, I pretty much believed that all of those things, but I had no concept of how true they were. It’s kind of a “you had to be there” joke, but the only reason you’re laughing is because you’re so sleep deprived that it’s either that or weeping.
One of those things that I believed but didn’t really understand was “everything changes when you become a parent, especially you”. I mean, I figured my priorities would change, but I’d been a pretty major homebody for a few years anyway, very family-focused and not really into partying it up on a regular basis. So I kind of believed, but also didn’t believe, that I would change.
But then this amazing little creature arrived and everything changed. I changed.
Prior to having Munchkin, I could be described as driven. At 16 I decided that I wanted to buy a house when I was 21, and I did (with my boyfriend of six months, who is now my husband. Nothing like diving in head first to test out a new relationship!). I went to uni, studied a profession that I wasn’t particularly passionate about, but knew that I could be relatively successful in. I got my first job in the industry before graduating, and worked ridiculous hours to fit in full time work, uni and a production (thankfully a small one, and honestly rehearsals for that were the bright spot of my very long days) for a few months.
For several years I worked my way up slowly, working, networking, doing all the things that were expected of me. I was proud of where I was, because by most accounts I could be considered A Success, and that was what I had been driven to achieve all this time.
But I really wasn’t happy. I figured that the reason for that could only be because I wasn’t doing well enough. I slogged away, convinced that if I could just work harder, longer hours, earn more, get a promotion, I would achieve that thing called Happiness.
Before Munchkin arrived, I was certain that I would start working from home after about 3 months, caring for her and meeting all her needs at the same time of course, because that is a completely realistic standard to hold myself to.
Instead, about a year after having her (in fact, the week of her first birthday), I started a new career – in retail. I call it a career instead of a job, because honestly, I love it so much that I’m happy to stay for a good long time. Hell, considering I stayed in a career I didn’t love for 6 years, they should be able to expect at least a decade out of me!
But retail isn’t what most people would see as a career, or at least not the kind that one would aspire to have. To be honest, I’ve struggled with the idea that I am no longer someone who would be viewed as A Success. It’s strange to realise how much I built my self worth around what I thought that others thought, and it’s something I’m struggling with.
It’s not like I was doing anything particularly important prior to this, I wasn’t changing the world, saving lives, righting injustices, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. I did wear tights sometimes, though…
I’m still not doing any of that stuff now, although I suppose I probably could wear tights. But I’m a lot happier while not doing anything of particular importance, and that’s got to be worth something, right?
Plus, I’m writing more now, even though I have less time. That is definitely a plus (for me, maybe not for you. Suckers.)
I have no real resolution to this post, it’s really just a mindless ramble. So to thank you for wasting your time with me, here’s a winking dog: