Every now and then, if I reflect on everything that has happened since buying these babies from the Baby Shop, I think:
- I must write about stuff I would recommend for new mums/dads (I always meant to write a “Babby Stuff 3” post after Babby Stuff 1 and Babby Stuff 2, but then couldn’t make the brain-space for it)
- I must write about apps that are cool for little kids
- I must write about music that’s cool for little kids
- when you are a stay at home mum/dad, by gosh it is isolating
- a million other thoughts
- this whole experience has been a lesson in how, when something in your life changes, fundamental beliefs can change too.
Of course, we have periods in our lives where we gradually, at a snail’s pace, evolve, and we emerge through the other side with some core tenets of our personality changed.
I remember being about 17 and watching OLD PEOPLE go into a “over 30s” night club on a Friday night in Hawthorn, and thinking:
- I will never grow that old! That is so old!
- Ewwwww! Old people dancing! That is so gross!!!!!!!!!
- I will never, ever, ever, stop dancing. But I will also never grow old.
Then, one day I’m in my thirties and I remember that little passionate moment. And I remember how strong my beliefs were – I was unequivocally certain that I would never feel any differently.
I also remember, in my twenties, thinking that I would never be a boring person at work. There were some boring people in one of my first jobs – they came in on time, left on time, didn’t socialise, did the bare minimum of work, and were really jaded. I would never ever be like that!
Then, one day I’m in my thirties and I find myself hating one of my jobs – going into the workplace and knowing that even though I had spoken to my manager about my work dissatisfaction, nothing would change; even though I was currently job-hunting for something better, I didn’t have hope that something better was out there. I was going into the workplace on time, leaving on time, not socialising, feeling (and looking) utterly jaded.
But there was a long gap, a long evolution between those kinds of transformations. At least a decade each time. And they’re the sorts of changes we have where we can be a bit dismissive of our previous selves – because of youth, or naivety, or ignorance, etc.
The transformations after having a baby are much more immediate, and so you don’t dismiss your past self so easily. You realise how much your past self – a fully grown adult, hopefully not too ignorant – was a complete DUFUS. A close-minded dufus.
A few times, in my past, I’ve come across advertisements where people were seeking to re-house their pet, because they now had a human baby. Each time I saw such an advertisement, I thought: “How can they! What cruel people! That poor dog/cat has known them all their life, how can they discard them like that! Even if they are super tired or whatever, surely it will be better for the dog/cat to get a few months of being ignored and then they will be able to resume their love & attention for their old friend!” – and I also thought – “I would never do that!”
Well. Overnight, my beliefs changed. After my first baby was born, we asked my parents to look after our dog for a couple of weeks, because we knew we’d be very sleep-deprived. But as time went on, I was dreading getting the dog back. It wasn’t just that I was sleep-deprived. I also had a huge amount of stress and emotion, and I couldn’t take on one more responsibility. When we did get the dog back, I didn’t handle it very well. I found it really hard to even feed him dinner. He was one more layer of stress. There were times when I was super tired, and I had just lulled the baby to sleep, and even though I was so deeply tired, I was desperate to have a bit of alone time – to just sit on the couch and gather my thoughts – and then the dog barked. I cussed. I shouted. I was so cold to the dog. I wished, very much, that he was around people who could look after him and give him some TLC.
It’s confronting when a belief changes that quickly. And it makes me think about all the other beliefs that I hold, or beliefs that other people hold, and how, with a couple of little tweaks in our lives here and there, I could probably see their viewpoint, or they could see mine.
That’s one of the reasons I get bummed when people disparage Trump supporters, or anti-refugee protestors, or One Nation supporters, or the people who voted for Brexit, or men’s rights activists. We don’t get anywhere good by being mean. I feel like Obama gets this.
(OK OK OK OK OK OK. There are many other examples of ways my beliefs have changed since having kids, but I seriously need to get on with some other tasks now, and I need to stop writing here!)