Before I had kids, I talked to friends who insisted that I needed to find a way to fit kids into my life rather than working my life around them. Over a year in to this parenting journey, and I still have no idea what they were talking about.
Having tiny humans running around has dramatically changed just about every fiber of my being, every penny I spend, and even how I choose to relax and splurge.
Yesterday, hubs had a really, really hard day at work. He is currently on a trauma surgery rotation and so unfortunately he has seen a lot of sad things over the last few days. I, on the other hand, simply had a very loud day with the kiddos.
For once, I decided his day was probably harder 😉 so I offered to let him nap when he got home. Instead, he said I should take a nap, and as any smart mom knows, this is an offer that should not be refused, not even politely once for fear it could be taken back.
So, I got in my bed, turned all the lights off, and closed my eyes while he dealt with the messy, spaghetti eating one year olds in the next room. For an hour I napped until it was time to bathe them. What a relaxing treat. What a luxury. Before kids, I would have splurged on a massage or a facial or a manicure. Now I would take a nap over an expensive diamond necklace, a night out on the town in the city or a whole new wardrobe.
Sometimes, by the end of the day, as an HSP (highly sensitive person) my nerves are really shot from all the crying and babies who both need their mom often at the same time. Sometimes, when I get the opportunity, I have to turn off all the sensory overload and just sit in darkness. It’s always soothing to me as strange as it sounds.
Yoga has also become a bit of a splurge for me, taking the time to stretch and do poses, allowing my brain to shut down for just a minute. Sometimes I find my mind is so, so active I can’t even turn it off in my sleep. I am working really hard right now on turning my freelance writing coaching into a very detailed video course. The other night, I woke up 5 times, each with an idea for the video course. I was dreaming about it! I wish I could say this is a new issue. When I was a park ranger, I used to give all my battlefield tours in my dreams. I have a mind that doesn’t stop, and I’ve tried numerous things to tone it all down. The only thing that works is yoga. So, I pay for the kids to be in daycare at the gym, and I go.
Before kids, I would have splurged on shoes (sooo many shoes), purses, and cute decor for my home. I used to love reading home decor blogs, Homeclick tweets, and doing DIY projects. Now, because my kids have puked all over my sofa and rug with no end in sight, I get giddy over designing digital products and logos instead. As my friend Gretchen says, it’s cheaper to redesign a blog than a house, so it’s a fun way to channel creativity. I’d rather splurge on buying a new website than a new couch these days. (At least web properties can bring in income.)
So, hey, maybe my life seems boring these days. It used to be filled with cute clothes, dates, and seriously adorable shoes when it came to treating myself and splurging. Now it’s more like no makeup, yoga pants, and feeling absolutely thrilled to get a moment to myself. These kids have changed my life in a lot of ways but I am actually really enjoying this direction of minimalism, seeking out the quiet in my loud days, and channeling my extra income towards business pursuits instead of material ones.
How do you like to splurge, and if you are a parent, has it changed since having kids?