If I could go back in time and talk smack to only one person, it would probably be me – before kids. I’d march right up to a table at a restaurant that I haven’t seen the inside of for six years, wave to the friends I haven’t seen in six years, and then point my finger at my ignorant (but well-rested) self. And I’d set her straight on all of her lofty ideas on parenting while she casually sips a glass of wine (without having to keep it out of arm’s reach from a grabby toddler).
One of the things I swore I’d never do was bedshare. At the time I made this declaration, rumors were swirling around that a few friends were bed-sharing, and we were aghast. “It’s not healthy!” we said. “What would that do to your marriage?!” we asked.
And oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Even as I type this post, I’m not two feet away from a softly snoring child. And I’ll kiss her goodnight in a few minutes and gently sneak out. And I’ll feel good that we can both get the sleep that neither of us got trying to do it “the right” way.
If I was super opinionated about bed-sharing, you can bet that I was even more impassioned about not gender stereotyping my daughter with clothes. Every onesie and outfit I chose pre-birth was not even gender-neutral, so much as clearly a boy outfit. I wanted her to be her own woman and not a slave to fashion or preconceived roles of females. Thankfully, she is her own woman. She does have a strong voice, and by her own design, she is now the sparkliest girl on the block. With all the pink.
And while she’s planning her next outfit, I’m sipping coffee while wearing holey pajamas that should have been retired two years ago and wondering how I managed to break my promise to never “let myself go.” I said I’d never be so neglectful that I didn’t buy a proper eye cream. Yet here I am, rooting through the pantry because I read that olive oil with a drop of lavender oil is actually a great moisturizer.
I’m a tired, crepey-eyed shell of the woman I was before, but the one thing we both can agree on is that love really does cover all wounds. I’ve made parenting mistakes, lost my temper, and used screen time as a babysitter. Even so, at the end of the day, the love shines through; I know my child is safe and thriving and very loved. Priorities may have changed and I’ve done things I said I’d never do, but both versions of me would still be proud of the beautiful girl blossoming before my eyes – no matter how it happened.