I’ve started to realize something about myself. Before getting pregnant I was all about going out and socializing and doing things. I wasn’t a partyer. I haven’t been since my early 20s. But I did like going out for dinners with friends, going to movies, going to concerts and not thinking at all about it being a late night. I was still a bit of an old lady who wasn’t the biggest fan of doing things on work nights, but I would still often go to the concert even though I knew I would be tired the next day.
Fast forward to now. 34 years old. Mom of a 2 year old. Working full time. This person does not want to socialize at all. EVER! If it wasn’t for my husband’s encouragement and organizing, I would likely happily be a hermit at home and not even know my neighbours. Which is funny considering I always used to say that I wish I lived in a neighbourhood where everyone is connected and knows one another. Don’t get me wrong. I love most of our neighbours and a few of them have really stepped up and helped us out during some more difficult moments. One of them dropped everything when Eddie’s dad was rushed to the hospital and they took our crazy dog for us for a few days. No hesitation at all on their part. How amazing is that?! But, for me, I’m not the stand on the sidewalk and chat with everyone type of person. When I’m outside with Hunter I’m ok with not running into anyone and ending up in forced conversation. I’m definitely an introvert in that way. When friends message and try to make arrangements to do lunch or dinner on the weekend….I’m never heartbroken when it falls through or nothing really comes into fruition. Occasionally if something falls through when I desperately need a mom-break, I will end up upset. But it isn’t so much about the socializing…it’s about not getting a chance to not to be a mom for a bit.
If someone mentions going to a concert, the first thing I will do is check the date on the calendar. If it’s between Monday and Thursday, it’s almost a guaranteed “no” from me. Especially if it’s at one venue in the city here that is notorious for super late starting concerts, but it’s also one of the best concert venues around. Friday or Saturday night? No problem. It’s easier to be tired over the weekend when I know that I can rely on the third parent…aka TV…for my child while I sit for a while. But even then, I still am hesitant to commit to anything that makes any night a later night. I know there is the old saying “you can sleep when you’re dead”…but whoever wrote that saying clearly didn’t have young kids. Sleep becomes this holy grail. This thing that you value more than anything in life. Sure, my kid sleeps through the night, and has for a long time, but he wakes up early….so sleeping in to 10:00 after being at a concert the night before is something that won’t happen for a long time. Or at least until I can teach him to turn the tv on himself and get his own breakfast. Still…a long time away. So when it comes time to be invited to something that could be a later evening, my mind goes through the mental battle of which I would prefer….the couch, a blanket and Netflix….finally getting some time to myself OR dressing up, loud restaurant/bar and trying to socialize through the exhaustion. 9 times out of 10….the couch wins out. Thankfully, as long as I make sure I go to things here and there, Eddie doesn’t mind so much when I pull the “stay home” card. Because usually when I pull that card, he’s secretly hoping I will because he’s tired too. The difference between the two of us is that he’s someone who will go to almost everything he’s invited to, even if he’s tired and doesn’t truly want to go. So it’s my responsibility to make the stay home decision for both of us and he happily obliges.
When it comes to drinking, I can say that I haven’t been to the point of drunk in over 2 years. When Hunter was 3 months old we went to a concert with new parent friends of ours and we had a fair amount of wine before the concert and then, because we were in box seats at the stadium, we shared some wine there too. It was after this that I learned that mom-ing + hangover do not go hand in hand. Especially when I’ve never handled hangovers very well in my pre-kid days. There is no luxury of staying in bed and sleeping it off, or lying on the couch feeling miserable. That kid needs my attention and help and I would somehow have to push through it, despite feeling like total and utter shit. Since that day at the end of November 2015, I have kept my consumption levels low. Two glasses of wine max at most things. I’ve gotten tipsy, but I’ve never let myself get out of control to the point where it will be hangover time the next day. Eddie pokes fun at me when I say I’m not drinking so I can drive. He goes “that means no fun andrea is coming”. Which isn’t entirely true. But sober Andrea likes to come home earlier than drinking Andrea…so maybe there is some truth to it. I don’t really care. It just isn’t worth it to me anymore because for as much fun as I could have enjoying a night out of heavier alcohol consumption….the feeling for the entire next day just takes it all away. The fun night is forgotten in a haze of dehydration, nausea and even more tiredness.
Now that I’ve made myself sound like a 100% total downer that nobody wants to hang out with. Rest assure that I DO actually socialize. I DO actually go to things when invited. And I DO actually, occasionally, message people I haven’t seen in a while to meet up. And when I’m doing these things, I push the exhaustion and dreams of my couch aside and I make sure that I have a good time. Just because I’m a little old tired lady on the inside, it doesn’t mean that everyone needs to know that I would rather be in my PJs, watching tv!!