I had not realized how much my life has changed post-baby until recently.
My daughter Amaani is about to turn 1-year old. It was only after doing 14 flights with Amaani and then flying once by myself that it hit me.
I took a day trip for work. I anticipated it being exhausting because I knew I would have to wake up super early in the morning and that I would be coming home late. But it was cake, given what my normal days are like.
The first thing that amazed me was how fast I could get through the airport. I had already checked in online and had a mobile boarding pass. I cruised through security and made it to my gate within 5 minutes.
I had totally forgotten what it’s like to travel without carrying diaper bags and suitcases that had mostly baby stuff and maybe a little bit of my own. I had forgotten what it’s like not to have to dismantle Amaani’s carseat and stroller while carrying her through security. I had forgotten what it’s like not having to worry about changing diapers and feeding baby before and after takeoff. I had forgotten what it’s like not to spend the entire plane ride trying to keep my active daughter in my lap and hopefully not kissing the passenger seats and windows or grabbing people’s food off the tray tables (or in one case, a man’s headphones)
To be completely honest – I felt like I was playing hooky on this day. Hooky from being a mom. I knew my daughter was in great hands so I was carefree, in that sense, about going away for the day.
When I reached my destination, again, I was surprised. I actually had time to do my hair and makeup and I could take my time choosing which dress to put on. Usually, everything I do is interrupted. I tend to getting Amaani ready first and then rush getting ready myself. On this day, I got to take my time. And I did. I even spent time matching my jewelry.
I didn’t have any spit up on me. I didn’t have to clean up any food spills. I didn’t have to worry about my daughter. All of this felt really strange.
It begged the question – did I love my present life or did I miss my old life?
It was a very interesting question. Getting around is definitely faster and easier without a baby. You don’t have to worry about putting her in a carseat or carrying toys that will entertain her.
But when I was on the plane, do you know what I was doing? I was looking at my daughter’s pictures and videos, hearing the sound of her laughter and recordings of her saying “mama.” I was missing my travel buddy who may be a handful but she makes the plane rides go by fast. And she helps me forget about turbulence.
I realized there used to be days when she was a newborn that I would miss my former care-free life where I could do things I wanted, whenever I wanted. But now, a year later, I am so entrenched in my journey as a mom that I have not only forgotten how different life was before (for the most part) but I am also in love with my life now.
I may not get around or travel as fast as I once could… but I am no longer traveling alone. I carry a beautiful part of me and my husband’s love everywhere I go (and I wouldn’t want it any other way!)