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Dear Kez Before Kids,
Future Kez here – Kez with Kid. Reporting from 2014 as a mother of a very gorgeous, active and bright 2 old. See, even as you’re reading this letter, you’re thinking, “How do you know your kid is gorgeous and bright? That’s a little bit up yourself. When I have kids, I’m not going to describe my kid like that. It’s probably just a normal sh*tty kid. You’re just one of those mothers who’s gotten sucked into thinking that your child is the best ever. Yuck.”
Well, I’ve got news for you. You will be biased as f*ck once you have your own child. I’m not kidding. You’ll know your toddler is not perfect and you’ll endeavour to keep him grounded and disciplined, but seriously? You’re going to think that your child is sooooo cute and sooooo smart – even when their answer to everything is currently “no” and spilling snacks on the floor is their favourite hobby. Just maybe keep it to yourself around certain people 😉
Here is my advice to you – stuff you don’t know right now, that you will need to learn very fast when you become me (Kez with Kid)!
You’re skinnier than you think you are
Seriously. You don’t believe me? While you’re moaning and whining and wearing clothing that covers you up, you’re missing out on the best you’ll look in a while. I know you’ll get back to something really fit looking one day with a bit of hard work (we’re still not there yet), but trust me on this one. You CAN wear a bikini. You do look cute in that outfit. You just don’t know it yet and if you don’t read this letter, you won’t realise until it’s a bit too late and you’ve got these weird love handles, faded stretch marks and a C-section scar that is not as subtle as you might expect.
Live life to the fullest and stop worrying about your looks. Your vanity will fly out the window (of the maternity ward at the hospital) quicker than you can imagine. You’ll be tired. You’ll have less time to get ready each day. It will be harder to buy clothes (trying them on is near on impossible with a toddler in tow and did you know kids cost a lot?). You’ll learn to love yourself with all the extra scars, lumps and bumps, but you’ll also realise you wished you loved yourself before those scars, lumps and bumps came into your life.
Right now you have (easier) access to any groceries you want, any time (and all the time in the world to plan great meals). You have no excuse for not eating healthier or exercising. Trust me, it will get harder. You’ll be time poor and at times you’ll be so exhausted your motivation to exercise will be much lower. The full on, heart pumping exercise you enjoy right now (Zumba at the gym and your exercise bike) will only be possible if you can have time without your little one, which is another challenge. Don’t worry, you’ll find a way around it – even if it seems sporadic and harder to plan for. Wii games and exercise DVDs (you will find a couple that aren’t completely obnoxious) will be your best friend when you can’t get out and about! x
Don’t take simple things for granted
See what you’re doing there? You’re wandering about the house alone in a t-shirt and undies (without a small child loudly asking where your pants are). On your lazy day off, you’re home alone just wandering from the TV to the computer to the fridge. You’re getting some yummy food, preparing it (taking as long as you like – you’re in no rush), you’re eating it in peace. You’re going to the toilet when you need to (ALONE). You’re watching movies/TV shows that feature sexiness or violence or swear words – in the open area of the house. You’re napping occasionally when you need it. Later you’re going to get ready for a night out on the town. Just you, your cute little purse clutch – containing your lip gloss, phone and keys. Off you go in a big rush at the last minute! Climb in the driver’s seat of your car and zoom you’re out of there! Tomorrow, you’ll sleep in. As long as your body needs.
Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t turn into that cow who loves to tell people without kids that their lives are sooooo easy and they have no right to whinge. You do have that right. I am not judging. You are studying hard a lot at uni and throwing your whole self into it. In between that you are working. You and Mr Unprepared go through some hardships and life throws some challenges at you that you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Life is challenging either way (kids or no kids). You’ll lose sleep over university assignments and you’ll fret over relationship/family stuff. You’re tired now and I validate that. Just so you know. I hope you’re relieved about that. I mean, we all hope we won’t be THAT person. Take comfort in knowing we are not one of them. At least I don’t think we are and we try our very best not to be.
Housework? Oh, I hear you thinking that can wait. God, you hate housework. So boring. Put it off all the time. Yuck. Well, one day, going to the supermarket alone and having time to do housework without a little person hanging off you and whining will feel about as exhilarating as a tropical holiday. No joke. So will driving in the car alone. AMAZEBALLS.
Sounds boring to you, right now, but one day you’ll look back on these weekend days off and think – WOW. I HAD IT AWESOME! None of the activities I’ve described above will be the same again for a VERY long time.
Enjoy your pre-parenting life to the fullest. Find joy in everything. Get rid of the things that make you unhealthy or unhappy. Those things won’t matter to you when you become me (Kez with Kid). You will enjoy your new life with a child enormously but it will be a different enjoyment.
You will do almost all the things you swear you won’t do as a parent
Right now you’re so optimistic. So full of great ideas and ideals. I think that’s awesome that you dream of being a wonderful parent, that you’re already thinking of things you can do to be the best parent you can be when the day comes. You’ve been watching other parents you know and weighing up the different things they do and even though you’re not prone to being an overly judgemental person, it has helped you form your own ideas of what you’d like to do and what you don’t want to do when raising your future child.
I know you want to be one of those ‘cool’ parents who doesn’t skip a beat in their social life, but did you know that your child’s nap time will quickly become the most important part of your day and come hell or high water you will not want to skip that? Which makes it difficult – especially when your future boy (yes – it’s a boy!) naps right over lunch time (from about the age of 1 onwards). Those SAHM (Stay at Home Mum) lunch dates you’re dreaming of will become almost impossible – except for those days you just don’t care anymore or the universe seems to give its blessing for (which won’t happen often)! Sometimes you’ll be just too damn tired to have a big girls’ night out. Other times you will find that plans aren’t always so child friendly and babysitting is not as ‘on tap’ as you might have once imagined (although all the grandparents are so helpful whenever they can be).
You’ll occasionally be so exhausted that TV is a tempting babysitter. You will give in. Your child will eat cake, ice cream and other ‘bad’ stuff (especially around the grandparents haha) – although, you’ll be pleased to know you will not completely abandon your will to keep him healthy. You will realise these things won’t kill him, but that moderation is important too. You’re doing an OK job!
You’ll start a blog and somehow it will become mostly about the fact that you’re a parent. Just accept it. In fact, you’ll meet a lot of other bloggers and parents through it and they will make your journey so much more enjoyable/enriched as you learn about each others’ lives and parenting stories/advice.
You’ll struggle to be on time. Yes you. Punctuality queen. You’ll find there are only two options with you. Too early or late. There is no in between. Just keep doing your best. I’m sure one day you’ll figure it out.
You’ll surpass your own expectations
Don’t worry. It’s not ALL worse than you were imagining before you got this letter from me (Kez with Kid). Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve as a parent (or woman who just happens to be a parent).
After we cancelled the Contiki tour on discovery of our pregnancy (yeah – sorry – bad news I’m afraid – Europe is off – don’t cry), I thought that I would not travel on a plane until my children were like 10 years old. As someone who sadly missed the young adults’ rite of passage with drunken overseas travel tours (but luckily at least you’ll fit in a couple of trips to Thailand), I thought we were doomed, Kez Before Kids. Not so. Circumstances sent us to Tasmania twice with the Little Mister (do you like his cute blog moniker?), you make it over there once without him (and you are sorely disappointed with how sad and tired you are instead of revelling in your freedom) and right now I have a trip planned with the family to Japan and Korea! Yep! With a 2 year old! Who would have thought you would get so brave? Awesome, right?
You’ll grow some muscles. Yes. In your arms. You will be carrying a 16kg toddler in no time. Without even really thinking about it! Who would have ever thought the girl who couldn’t even do one chin up can do such a thing?! You’ll find it hard with a chubby newborn, but you won’t believe how fast your strength will grow with him. This will do great things for your confidence and you will dare to try more things because of this newfound strength. Also? You’ll be able to carry like 15 bags of groceries into the house in one go. Like a boss.
Sure, your life will never be the same and certain freedoms you took for granted will be limited, but the really cool thing? You won’t grieve for those things for very long or very often. You’ll laugh about them more than anything. You will learn to say no to things that aren’t best for you or your family and you will go through a lot that will teach you to love yourself and to be more assertive – something I know you struggle with right now. Also, you’ll be surrounded by supportive people – several of who will be in the same life stages as you – so you won’t feel like you’ve given up too much. You’ll just adapt to a new lifestyle – it’s healthier (apart from the sleep deprivation and occasional comfort food).You’ll be ready to be a mum when you start trying for a baby. It’s OK. You’ll be satisfied that you’re ready to give some things up in order to gain something really new and special.
Also? Your kid will sleep well (for a baby that is)! He’ll have a ridiculous sense of humour from the get go (so you’ll know for sure he’s yours). He’ll be caring and very sociable. He will have a smile that will melt you. He will be very healthy (just disregard the first couple of days of his life – he’ll bounce back better than you). WOOHOO! Now that’s something to look forward to!
Now go and enjoy your skinniness and your ability to use both hands at once! I urge you! 🙂
Love from Kez with Kid.