In those first months of your newborn entering this world your old life quickly becomes something of a distant memory. Gone are the impromptu drinks after work, the weekend sessions with the boys (if that’s your thing), and those late night gaming sessions are well out the window.
When you find yourself scratching your head wondering what happened, it’s key to remember that it’s only temporary. As you become more adept at the parenting thing, get your routine sorted, and start to get your rhythm back, you’ll be able to gradually introduce those little things back into your life that made you, you.
This is really important, being a great parent isn’t all about sacrifice, we all need a little time to pursue other things, as the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It’s also a fast track to getting stressed out, irritated and putting pressure on your relationships.
Naturally some things will fall by the wayside, and those activities that you once partook, as well as newer interests, will come to the fore. It can be a great time to try something new and expand your horizons. An example of that for me was writing for this very website.
Personally I was able to let go of the guilt and loyalty I had to pursuing my clearly failing music making attempts, something that I had fallen out of love with a long time ago but never admitted to myself. Now my time and headspace were severely limited it made it easy to let it go, the decision was made for me, no more feeling guilty, no more frustration, I was free.
I still had things I enjoyed though, things that made me who I was and I wanted to make sure I didn’t let go of those.
I like to keep active by kickboxing, it’s a great stress reliever after work, not to mention being a good laugh with some great people. I was still able to make this work around my new life responsibilities and I’m grateful to my wife for being so flexible in allowing me to still pursue it. The upside for her is that she gets the house to herself two evenings a week, something she’ll readily admit to looking forward to, maybe a bit too much.
What I’m saying is, for a brief time you will have to make sacrifices for the greater good, although if you look at what you’re actually getting in return, (valuable bonding time with your newborn), they really aren’t sacrifices at all. And once you are able to adapt to the new life you’ve signed up for, a mixture of old and new exciting experiences can await. It may just take a little extra planning.
Written by James Roach