Lately, I am living a little bit of a double life. Before you get all judgy on me, listen for a second. My son has been my entire world for the past 3+ years (more if you’re counting the time in the womb) and every single decision has been a calculated risk of what works best for him.
Gone are the days of running a million errands after work to leave the weekends open for fun. For that matter, gone are the weekends of cramming in a ton of activities without a care in the world. We’re lucky if we can squeeze in a morning trip to the library and the park before jetting home for lunch and nap.
Sometimes I daydream about champagne and oysters; other times, I feel perfectly content staying home on a Saturday evening. When I started in my career, long lunches were the norm and evenings were spent at happy hour and having dance parties in the city. I don’t remember sleeping much, and my bank account was often empty, but I formed some of my best friendships during those days.
Recently, I have found myself living vicariously through my much younger co-workers, who boast about their evening escapades and immediate lack of responsibility. Our group chats consist of the latest lingo on the dating apps, phrases like “I’m shook” and “triggered”, and scenarios that sometimes don’t even seem real. While I certainly don’t envy the complexities of dating in a social media world, I’m very aware of their ability to come and go as they please and sleep till whenever on the weekends. Just once, I want to sleep past six on the weekend and have one too many Bloody Mary’s at brunch. It’s not that I can’t do that- I have a great support system that allows for the occasional break. It’s the guilt I feel for wanting to be in both places at once – drinking at brunch with my girls and playing Wiffle ball with my son in the backyard. Most of the time, I laugh at the absurdity of their comments. Other times, I see myself in the old days. The days weren’t so long ago, but they also feel like a lifetime away from where I am now. I do feel guilty about joking and laughing with them when I have so many responsibilities looming in front of me, but I also know that it’s the refreshing break I need from the daily grind of diapers, packing lunches and the 5 am wake-up call.
Now that I’ve entered the third year of motherhood, the balance is starting to come back. Dinner with the girls are slowly being reintroduced, date nights in the summer are casual and impromptu, and going on vacation (because everyone knows it’s just a trip if the kids come!) has even happened a couple of times. It’s a little bit of a double life, but I’m learning to live my very best life.