Having children before marriage has some very obvious and long lasting consequences. I’m living proof of that. A lot of things are much harder than they need to be, simply because I did the whole kiddo thing out of order. But, you know, that’s life and sometimes shit happens. You roll with it and do the best you can and sometimes you find some really great positives that even make life easier for you down the road.
Little man and I have a daily routine when I take a shower. First, I move all the stuff he’s not allowed to have into the shower with me. Yes, I regularly shower with a can of Febreeze, all the razors in the bathroom (as in like 20 since my brothers have all their stuff in that bathroom too), my expensive perfumes, a can of hairspray and all my makeup secured in a waterproof bag. I learned pretty quick that little man will immediately go for everything he’s not allowed to have and the shower is the only place I know he can’t get to it while I’m in there. After everything is secure, I hop in and little man entertains himself, quietly and contently playing with his toys. That lasts about sixty seconds. Games of peek-a-boo with the shower curtain follow. Then little man pushes all the bottles of shampoo and body wash from the edge of the tub into the bath and looks up at me, beaming with excitement over the loud booms. Adorable, especially when I’m rinsing out my hair with my eyes shut and all of a sudden I have a jumbo size bottle of Garnier slamming onto my foot. But, you know, I let it go ‘cause it makes him happy and keeps him somewhat entertained. That is, until he decides to share all of his toys with me. One by one: cars, boats, plastic fish, little people, trucks and anything else he can manage to find in the bathroom cabinet, join me in my shower. He is always so proud of himself for dropping literally everything he gets his hands on, into the bathtub. Today as I was soaping up, with about fifteen infant’s toys and a bottle of shampoo at my feet, I was wondering if there was ever going to be a day when I got any privacy at all. Ever. I can forget about using the bathroom alone or showering alone or eating alone or sleeping alone or doing anything alone, ever again. Then I jokingly thought, well at least when I get married, sharing everything won’t be an issue. That’s really what got me thinking about how having a kid before marriage helps prepare you for those married days to come.
One of the reoccurring first years of marriage issues I’ve heard is that the transition of sharing everything with someone else is really tough, especially during those private and personal moments when you don’t want your significant other to see you. Like going #2 or shaving your armpits or other very personal topics that I don’t really want to mention, but you get where I’m going with this. When the days of I do’s come for me, I don’t really think this will be an issue. Especially considering I share my showers with cleaning products, my trips to the bathroom with little man slamming the toilet seat up and down on my back, my bed with a sweaty, slobbery little boy and my bedroom with a crib and circus tent. Indeed, there is a very large circus tent in my bedroom that literally matches nothing, which drives me completely insane. Nonetheless, it remains. Anything for little man. But my point is, while sharing everything and living with someone else will still be an adjustment, I don’t think it’ll be that much of a shock for me. Sleeping with someone that steals the covers won’t be a problem when I currently can’t move a muscle when little man is sleeping in fear of waking him. Sharing awkward bathroom moments really won’t be that bad considering I haven’t gone alone in over a year. What I’m getting at is that I already share everything, so sharing a little more or in a different way won’t be as bad as never previously sharing and being thrown into constant sharing territory. Should I add in one more sharing in there just for the heck of it?
Along with the sharing (that word again) advantage, there also is the benefit of knowing exactly what you want and who you are. Now that I’m a mom, I know my role. I’m not gonna lie, after the shock of the pregnancy settled in and I realized that I was going to become a mother, I felt like I was handed a death sentence. I know that sounds terrible. It had nothing to do with how I felt about the child in my womb. I just had a lot of hopes and dreams. I was really ambitious and I had a lot of plans that involved travel, international work, big cities and no babies anytime soon. I thought my life was over: don’t mind the drama. However, I have learned how to embrace this amazing gift and responsibility I’ve been given as I’ve become more confident in my role as a mother. I now know who I am and who I am supposed to become. I’m not searching anymore or trying to “find” myself. With that, comes knowing exactly what I want and exactly what I never want. This is really important when it comes to relationships and life in general. I think most women have made the mistake at least once of staying in a relationship with someone because they believed that one day that person would change. I know that my girlfriends and I have had so many conversations that have started with something like, “Well, when we have kids, he will be different”. Or when he gets that next job, or grows up, or has gotten it out of his system, or whatever milestone or small miracle we believe is going to happen to change the men we are with. I was the worst offender of being incredibly too idealistic about people and situations in general. I always believed people could and would change. Worst of all, I believed I could change them. If I just put enough effort or time or energy or love into something, things would change into how they were supposed to be. This obviously turned out to completely backfire on me when I simultaneously found my eggo prego and my ass dumped. Having Christian in my life has made my priorities straighten up real quick. I know the type of people I want in my life. I know the kind of qualities I want little man to emulate. I know what is truly important to me. I know what I need from people, and I know what I will never put up with again. I also know that people can change, but they probably won’t. Most importantly, now I am 110% sure that I cannot change anyone. So instead of viewing people as what or who they could or should be, I view them for exactly who they are in that moment. My question to myself is, “Can I live with this for the rest of my life”? If the answer is ever no, then I know that it’s something that I don’t want to be a part of. I don’t have time to play games or wait to see if things will change one day. That one day in the future when kids are involved is now my today, yesterday and tomorrow. That one day, far away in the future when I have a family is my reality right now.