I was 33 years old when I had my first child and my husband was 37. It was maybe not a conscious decision to wait to my 30’s to have kids but, looking back, I certainly wouldn’t have done it any differently. I had over a decade to really focus on my career and I certainly put in a lot of hours, holidays, weekends and overnights that wouldn’t have been as easy to do with kids. I also had over a decade to have a whole lot of fun. Like a lot.
Before kids, I had plans every weekend and often weeknights or mornings or whenever I wasn’t working. My husband is super social, too, so when we started dating and after we first got married, it wasn’t uncommon for us to randomly pick up and drive to Memphis for the weekend with a group of friends, to hit back to back football games or to sit at a bar for basically an entire day and then some. We were easily the fun couple. We were always down to plan a Vegas trip, to go sing karaoke or to dance to a band for hours on end. Whatever anyone wanted to do, we were in.
And then I got pregnant, and we quickly went from being “the fun couple” to the “not so fun couple.” While we both had friends we grew up with who had kids at a younger age, we were the first of our close knit group who we ran around with all the time to have children. And wow was that a change.
As every mom knows, things change immediately when you get pregnant. It can be a slower process for the dads because they can still have beers and go about their normal lives for the most part. For moms, all of a sudden your body is going through major changes, you can no longer unwind with a glass of wine or a couple beers and, oh yeah, you feel like crap a lot of the time and you can’t sleep. Yes, it’s miracle and all that jazz, but it’s also a lot of stressing about how much paid time you can get for maternity leave, trying to figure out how you’ll afford this new little person in your lives and why you now cry at every Hallmark commercial ever in the history of ever.
At first, I was stupidly determined to be “the cool pregnant wife” who offered to be the designated driver, the “sure, I’ll totally still hang at a tailgate for eight hours even though all I can do is eat. That maybe lasted two months before I stopped being an idiot. While I slowly started to enjoy my sometimes solo nights with a bowl (or vat) of ice cream while everyone else went out, I also became pretty lonely. My life had changed completely in the blink of an eye and no one else’s had. It was an adjustment, I’m not going to lie.
And then came baby Mia. And then my husband’s world got rocked just like mine had months before. It was slightly entertaining to see the sudden realization that things would never be the same. That impromptu trips to Vegas weren’t happening, that meals out needed to be scheduled around my pumping and that he was going to change as many diapers as beers he’d normally chug on a Saturday night.
Before we sound too selfish, let me tell you what else happened. That little girl became our entire world. Our text messages were suddenly strictly about whether she had or had not gone #2, if she was being a sleep monster or not and how she must be the smartest and cutest child on the planet. Our “fun couple” nights became “family fun” nights.
Now to keep it real, we struggled and still struggle with balance. I imagine every family does. Sometimes it is difficult to take such a hard right from your life before kids and you want to revert. But that first Sunday hangover when you have kids who couldn’t give a crap what you did the night before? That will certainly make being the “fun couple” completely not worth it.
We are now two kids in and if anyone still thinks we are the “fun couple,” it’s because they think we are a blast in our driveway. Because that is where we spend the majority of our nights and weekends with our daughters running wild. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I now consider being the “not so fun couple” a total compliment.