Way before the Little Monkey, when I was young and single, I lived with my friend in Boston. Destiny’s Child was HUGE then and would be playing every time we went out to bars and on the radio every time we were in the car.
And then, it happened. Summer 2003. Beyoncé released her first solo album and recorded “Crazy in Love” with Jay-Z. They found true love with one another, and we found true love with that song. We could not get enough of it for whatever reason and would drive around with it on repeat.
Since then, it’s been a reminder, every time I hear it, of my twenties and that special time in my life when I was a newly-minted adult.
Fast forward to the Superbowl. I was 40 weeks pregnant, and the Little Monkey showed no signs of an imminent arrival. For reasons I’ll go into another time (broken septic system), we were staying in a hotel, and I was terrified I’d have my baby in the lobby of the Marriott. We watched the game with our little four-star manager. When Beyoncé sang “Crazy in Love” during the halftime show, I rubbed my very pregnant belly and thought about how much had changed since the song first came out and how that girl – the one who would blast that song ten times in a row and dance in the passenger seat while we drove – seemed very far away.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve thought about this a lot. Between getting married and having the Little Monkey, I feel that so much about me has changed. For the better – I am more grounded, less selfish, and I have increased patience. A while back, Danielle wrote about Mom Superpowers, and I know just what she meant. I’m different than I used to be in so many ways. But what happens to those pre-Mommy girls? The girls who danced with their girlfriends and spent money on cocktails and clothes instead of diapers? I feel like that girl is still in me somewhere. And sometimes, just sometimes, I miss her. She was a lot of fun.
So I make it a point to let that girl out now and then. Finding time for yourself when you’re a mom is difficult. We all know that. I could go on and on about how important it is to schedule mom’s nights out, treat yourself to a solo manicure, and take time for yourself. But the truth is, I’m not good at making and taking that time. I admire those who are and wish they’d tell me how they manage it. With the exception of an occasional dinner out with friends, I’m still struggling to figure out scheduling “me time.”
For now, I try and find little ways to remind myself that somewhere – beneath the eyes with dark circles underneath them and nursing bras and shirts smeared with baby oatmeal – that young, energetic girl is there. She’s there when I exchange sarcastic text messages with the friends who make me laugh the most (sometimes while hooked up to a breast pump), she’s there when I go to the library to find the new Bridget Jones book (even if I’m juggling the baby in one arm while I check it out), and she’s there when I splurge on the pricey under-eye concealer (something’s got to hide those circles, right?). And she’s there when sometimes, in the car with the Little Monkey, I turn off the baby-friendly music and blast “Crazy in Love,” serenading him with lyrics that make sense in a whole new way:
‘Cuz your love got the best of me
And baby you’re making a fool of me
You got me sprung and I don’t care who sees
‘Cuz baby you got me so crazy
Great post! I feel the same way. I hear certain songs that remind me of pre-baby days and I wonder how I ever had the energy to stay up all night dancing and drinking. Now I wonder how I have the energy to work full time and have two kids and a husband. (Do I really have that energy?!)
I also blast the songs in the car with the kids. And when I am working out, my music is all ME. No judgement on the treadmill!
Keep up the great work with the little monkey. Those nights out with the girls will slowly return. : )
I love this post so much! It just made me smile the whole time I read it. I haven’t figured it out yet either, but thank you for the reminder to not forget myself in the middle of the wonderful craziness that is life right now!
I can totally relate to this! Thanks for the reminder to not forget about my pre-mommy/wife self.
Great Post! I find catching up with friends about old times to be so much fun..whether its over drinks or over email. We had a great time and I cherish every memory. Someday I hope we can all take a trip to New Orleans together again.