Joon and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day as parents. It ultimately was an awesome day, but only after breaking down and accepting the reality of being a parent.
Every year, Joon has planned a romantic evening for us which always involved fine dining and a show or something new. I know how some people don't particularly enjoy Valentine's Day, but I love it! This year was very different though. I had been dreading it in a way because accepting it would mean that I needed to deal with the fact that it's no longer just the two of us. It's the three of us. We no longer can go out for a nice dinner without having to worry about another human being-- Ben. Forget about spontaneous dates. Forget about going out to eat. Forget about random trips. To add to this, forget about anything you used to do when you were childless.
I know what you're thinking. Shouldn't you have thought about this before deciding to have a child? Yes, of course, we thought about how our lives would be different after having a baby and we knew the choice we were making. And, don't get me wrong. We never regret the choice we made to have our little man either. But the thing is... when you are finally in a situation, like say Valentine's day, where you've been doing it a certain way for the past 9 years, but now can't, it's kind of like a smack in the face. It's hard when something that has become almost ritualized changes.
Joon really knows me well. Even though I didn't say anything, he already knew that I would be completely bummed out about V-day and had anticipated another meltdown from me. All week long, he kept on telling me that he was planning a surprise. Little did he know that saying this made me feel worse at the time!
Earlier Sunday morning, we went on our first trip to my parents' house, but Joon insisted that we get back home early because he had to prepare for the evening. While I tended to Ben, Joon banned me from the kitchen and was in there for about 4 hours! Yes, 4 hours! When he finally came out, he placed a piece of paper on the coffee table in front of me and there it was... a printed menu of what to expect at "Cafe Joon". (No, he didn't name it that. I did!)
He topped it all off with macaroons from Sucre, my favorite. This was extra special because it reminded me of our last trip before having Ben to New Orleans.
Joon really out-did himself. Not only was the dinner a huge success, but he showed me how much he actually understood what I've been going through and how well he knows me.
Our lives will never be the same as it was in the pre-baby days. I still miss those days terribly, but I'm loving my time as a mommy also. I know that it'll just take some time for us to adjust to this new life.
Advice to First-Time Mommies from a First-Time Mommy:
You may or may not miss your old life. If you do, just remember that you now have a "slightly-altered" life and that with time, you'll get used to it and learn to love it.
What helps me deal with this is by looking at Ben and thinking to myself, "What would my life be without him?" I can't imagine it. Look at him... my little man.