As a parent, you soon discover that every single decision you make revolves around your children. Even decisions that have nothing to do with your children, boil down to how it will impact your children. Let me give you an example to illustrate my point. Changing jobs before you had children may have looked something like this: you’re passionate about it, the money is good, the growth potential is high, and you’re possibly bored with your current job. Great. But making changes to your career when you have children looks something like this: how far is the office from my kid’s school, are the hours flexible enough for me to attend school events and stay home if my kid gets sick, does the salary cover school fees and the million other costs related to having a kid, forget job satisfaction, is the medical aid scheme good for families?
You get where I’m going with this, right?
This same thought process is applied for any decision you make post-kids. Think about it for a minute… your job, the clothes you wear, the groceries in your cupboard, the car you drive, the people you hang out with – if you are really honest with yourself, you’d agree that the common denominator for all these factors is based on your children.
Still don’t believe me? Let me break it down.
As a woman, from the moment your little one is born, you start planning your wardrobe around breastfeeding, or what colour hides spit-up best. Mom Jeans is a thing, people. We need to be comfortable if we’re going to be climbing jungle gyms and cleaning Cheerios from behind the couch on our knees.
Cross out the shell fish and sirloin steaks on your grocery list. These items are replaced with two minute noodles and lots of cheese. Man alive, children eat a lot of cheese. And you may as well pack that Jamie Oliver cookbook away; the only meals you will be making will be those your children will actually ingest. Mainly spaghetti bolognaise, hot dogs and two minute noodles.
What about your automobile? Well shame, the sexy model you currently drive will need to be traded in for a mom-mobile, more suited to carting children and their many accessories around. You become more concerned with ABS brakes and airbags for transporting your precious cargo and whether your car has an ISOFIX fitting, rather than how cute you look behind the wheel.
And lastly, your friends… We can all attest to the fact that when you become a parent, you more often than not, lose touch with friends who have not procreated yet. And I get it. Quite frankly, I too would not want to hang out with people who discuss their baby’s poo at the dinner table. Your children start to dictate who you spend time with, or more specifically, who wants to spend time with YOU.
Say what you want, we are all slaves to the little dictators who run our lives. Their totalitarian rule means we can do nothing, go anywhere or say anything without their consent. And just you try to deviate, you will be punished in ways you can’t even imagine… like a sleepless night or a bowl of cereal flung across the kitchen floor.
What’s most peculiar about this whole predicament is that it’s a dictatorship that no parent would trade in for the world!