The Best Parts of Being a Mom (Financially and Otherwise)
Prioritization has become a key part of my vocabulary these days
As usual, the wonderful people that I follow on Twitter brought up some very insightful conversation last week. Motherhood was the choice topic, and the discussion was regarding how dramatically having a child can affect a woman's career. It all started with this tweet:
I tweeted myself, stating that I’m still on maternity leave but that being a mom has already dramatically affected my career. I’ve had to turn down multiple opportunities and offers because I simply don’t have the time I used to have without a child. I used to be able to say yes to everything. Now I have to consider if it’s worthwhile — am I being paid enough and is it going to benefit my resume — among the feeling that if I decide to put that necessary time towards my career I’ll have to take that time away from my daughter.
After opening up a discussion with many other women who felt the same, we also got to hear from many other women who did not have children, and who brought up a good point.
Most mothers only share the bad parts of their experience
And honestly, it's hard not to. Because it isn't all easy. It isn't all fun. It's hands down the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, becoming a mom. But that doesn't mean it's not wonderful, too.
Being a mom is awesome — but if it's not for you, that's cool too. However, I am going to try to share some of the best parts of being a mom, because I'd hate for someone to be terrified of an experience they were once looking forward to.
What are the best parts of being a mom?
1. You'll find you spend less money on things that you thought mattered — that really don't.
Financially, I'm actually doing pretty good. These days, I only buy things for myself that I genuinely need. Why did it take having a child for me to realize that buying a new outfit every month isn't exactly necessary? I'm not sure — but it did. Now, I know what you're all thinking. Aren't kids expensive? Well, yes. Duh. But so was I. I was too expensive for my own good. For the most part, I spend a lot less money because I have a lot less time to do so. But on the flip side of things, I've become much more responsible with my spending now that I have a child. There is much less money spent on frivolous outings and last minute decisions because my life takes a ton more planning and organization. Will this change? Probably. But for now I'm going to embrace how much more mature I am when it comes to managing my money.
2. You'll never procrastinate again.
I'm sure you hear every mom talking about time like it doesn't exist. "Time? What's time? All I have time for is changing diapers and driving Lily to soccer practice." Well, here is the good part about the minimal time, people: you'll never procrastinate again. You'll also become very good at accomplishing a ton of tasks as quickly as possible. One hour? I've found out that I can write six press releases, edit a video and make lunch in just 60 minutes. Last year that would be a full day of tasks. So, yeah. You could say I'm pretty amazing. *pats self on back and doesn't care about the judgmental eyes glaring over the computer screen rn*
3. You find out what things are most important to you in life.
Prioritization has become a key part of my vocabulary these days. I am much better at prioritizing what parts of my life are most important to me — including what relationships, what hobbies, and what passions I keep. Turns out, I really do love working. I never knew how much I did until I had to take maternity leave and desperately missed grinding out an article or graphic on short notice. Becoming a parent might mean that you have less time to do things, but that means that when you do find the time to do those "things," they mean so much more. Although I was running on zero-to-no-sleep in the first three months of parenthood, I swore to my husband that I suddenly started to see things I had never seen before because I was always taking everything for granted.
4. Buying for someone else is always better than buying for yourself.
Every day is Christmas when you become a mom. Mostly because you'll always want to buy your child the hottest toy, cutest outfit or craziest holiday. Most of the time you'll resist, because like I said, you're really responsible with your money now. But there will be that one time you couldn't leave Carter's without the summer romper that will look totally cute when you take your child to the park next Saturday. Oh yeah, because you know what you're doing next Saturday now, and probably every Saturday until the end of the year. I don't know about you, but buying gifts for someone else is always a much more satisfying feeling than buying something for yourself. Plus, the added bonus of seeing your child smile or hug you when they receive said gift is totally amazing.
5. You get to relive the best parts of your childhood.
Love Disney music and movies? Miss reading The Paperbag Princess every night before bed? Wish you could have a bubble bath every single night? Want to go down the slides at the park without being judged? Guess what? You will never have to miss out on those days again. Becoming a parent means getting to play with your old toys, read your favorite books, and reignite your imagination all over again. Sure, sometimes listening to Hakuna Matata gets annoying, but oh wait NO IT DOESN'T BECAUSE THAT SONG TOTALLY ROCKS.
6. You'll laugh and love like never before.
As we kind of touched on when we gabbed with the gals on Twitter, mom's always say that they can't describe how much they love their children or how you'll feel if you one day become a mom yourself. Which — is kind of true. However, if I could describe the feeling, it would be like the first time you experienced riding a rollercoaster — having butterflies in your stomach, feeling the rush as you go head first down a crazy windy track, not knowing what will happen next, but also knowing that you're having so much fun. Sure, it's scary. But it's also a thrill that you never knew you needed. Am I saying that if you decide not to have a child these things won't happen for you or that you'll never have as great of a life as I have? Absolutely not.
In fact, having a kid was never in my plans — it just happened. I have no problem with any lifestyle that any person chooses to live. However, I don't want people thinking that motherhood is a terrible life choice because they only hear of the hard parts. After all, it's important to discuss the good and the bad of every life we choose to lead. Nothing is easy these days except for swiping your credit card and finding an Uber.
Trust me when I say that I used to be a childless woman who assumed everyone was being dramatic when they described how amazing parenthood was — and on the flip side, I also assumed they were being dramatic about how hard it was, too. Guess we never really know how someone else's life is. But we can definitely try to share our experiences to help others understand.
What is the best part about your life right now? Let me know in the comments!