More babies, more cleaning - Andrzej's blogThursday, August 15th, 2013
I recently noticed that more and more of my friends and my clients are becoming parents. I guess it’s the age that I grew into, because statistics don’t announce a baby boom this year. It seems to me that everyone who is in their late twenties and early thirties is already having at least one child. I am really happy for anyone who becomes a parent, but what I hear from some of my friends that it is sometimes difficult to get used to because you need to change your lifestyle completely. The careless student years, when the only thing we were responsible for was getting our degree, are gone. Now we finally became the adults we were once dreaming of being. The very active, very disciplined, very responsible people who are becoming experienced professionals, managers, decision makers and owners of their own businesses. Our lives became what we always aimed for, our dreams came true, but instead of having the sweet feeling that we had years ago when we imagined how things should be, we have that bitter taste in our hearts. The path that led to all we have now was not easy. It was full of hard work, difficult decisions, even wrong decisions sometimes… full of obstacles and hurdles we had to overcome. What we have now is really what we dreamed of, but instead of being joyful and excited we tend to be stressed out and tired.
Most of my friends who are having their second child complain that life got too serious. Unlike the first child, which makes you feel happy and everything seems to be new, the second child is becoming much harder work. Everything starts revolving around kids. All the money you used to spend on yourself and things you liked you now spend on diapers, toys and baby clothes. The house is a mess, you never fully clean it, and you can’t find time to relax or go out for a nice dinner- not to mention a party!
Being a mother or father of an infant is a full time job, especially when one of you decides to break your career and go on maternity leave. Being a parent of two, is even tougher. You can never finish what you started: by the time you finish one thing, another little disaster comes up. If you ever were a master of planning things ahead, you will now need to become a master of improvisation. If you can’t afford a nanny and a housekeeper, you will need to change your priorities. And I know cleaning will not be the one you keep as the most important one.
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you sometimes stop and see yourself as the stressed out parent too? Do you suffer from sleep debt? Do you sometimes realize that your house is no longer the impeccably clean place you used to invite friends to with pride? Do you find yourself thinking too much over buying a new piece of furniture because you know your kids would (or rather will) destroy it? Do you stop seeing the mess because there are so many other things to focus on? I’m not going to tell you a magic formula that will change your life, but maybe I can help you see things differently.
Stop for a while, when your baby falls asleep, and go back in time. Your parents were born probably in the 60’s or 70’s. When they had you, they might have had the same machines that you’re using now to save your time around your baby. They had automated washing machines, electric irons, and vacuum cleaners. Still, their situation was a lot worse when it came to things that made their life easier. Cars, phones, and even medications were not then what they are now. You are the lucky one to live in a better-connected city, to have a fast car, mobile phone, internet, and medical treatment that can save many more lives then 30-40 years ago. Now imagine your grand parents or your great-grand parents. Disposable diapers, baby formula, baby bottle warmers, ready-to-eat veggie mashes, electronic nannies, toys that play lullabies, internet baby blogs, DVDs with animated fairy tales that you play on huge flat screens – all that was a sci-fi for them. Now you have it all.
Parenting is never easy. It is time consuming, it brings great responsibility, and it always changes your life. What it brings, and what can never bought, is the feeling of happiness and knowing that you have a special meaning in this world – to give life to a new human being. You may have had different dreams and higher goals in life, but now it does not matter. You’re what you are, and most of all, you are the parent of a child that loves you like nothing else in the world.
In August articles, we will focus on parenting and everything involved in baby life. Whether it’s more efficient to use cotton or disposable diapers, what fabrics and chemicals can cause allergies, what food is good for your child’s health, whether it’s smart to use disinfectants and so on…
If you are a mother or a father of a child, let me express a great admiration. If not, please take our articles as a guideline for your future parenthood, or just as abundant information that you might use when talking to your friends.