There was this shirt that I saw the other day while shopping that said, "It's all about me!" I wanted to buy it to please the sarcastic side of me.
You see, as a mom and wife, really, it is never ever about me. Ever. Let's go back and see what it was like when it was about me.
First, I purchased all my clothes from high end stores, Harolds, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market (this is high end to me anyway). One work ensemble would cost more than I spend in 2 months on groceries now! Crazy now that I think about it. I carried high end purses (Kate Spade was my favorite), wore MAC make up, wore high end sunglasses, bought whatever I wanted really, had my hair highlighted and cut at a high end salon, traveled to Jamaica, Hawaii, California, etc. I hired an interior designer to help me design our previous home (why not, I stunk at it!). We saved nearly half of our income before kids, too. Chris and I did whatever we wanted. We were alone, in love and happy. But, I worked hard making a 6 figure income and did not have kids. Chris did got whatever he wanted to (motorcycle that I bought him for his 30th birthday, Audi TT, got his pilot's license, etc). I mean really, we did not need half of the stuff we had. It was, back then, about us. That is what "It's all about me" looked like...and really, it was about Chris and I.
Then we had kids and I changed...HUGE! MAC make up was exchanged for whatever was on sale at Target, I started to cut and highlight my hair once a year, purses were purchased rarely and from Target, Sunglasses were $10, I clipped coupons and price matched, and I almost completely stopped buying clothes so I could save very penny I made that did not go to daycare so I could quit my job. Chris turned in his sweet ride for a family friendly Toyota Camry (which we bought new with cash!). It was no longer about ME or Chris and I together...it was about US, our family.
I quit my job. Me was then gone. It was now all about US. It has been about us every since. That is my job as a wife and mother, I believe.
Chris and I rarely buy each other anything. We bought each other iPads for Christmas last year which was the first big thing we had really gotten for ourselves in a long time. We have free cell phones that are not even close to being smart (they are the top rated phone for tweens, though), clothes are from Kohls, Old Navy or Gap (although I have been splurging on Athleta recently and have been known to get clothe at Von Maur on sale), and entertainment is a play date with someone I like, too. We do not find this to be a sacrifice as it is what is best for our kids. We will hopefully have many years together where we can do more things with just the 2 of us. The kids will only like hanging out with us a few more years. We have to appreciate the time we have with them while they are young, as it goes by SO STINKING FAST! For now, we are happy watching a movie at home with microwave popcorn after the kids go to bed for date nights. I actually LOVE doing this! See...I'm a changed woman.
Our decisions are always made in the best interest of the kids and our family. If someone or something (like many extra curricular events at night, too many play dates, etc) comes between our family with their unkind actions or words or time wasted, we avoid them. Period. The family unit and it staying intact is too important to me to jeopardize for things or to make other people happy. Again, it is about US, not about ME. But, if it were just about me, I'm thinking my decision would be similar. Before kids, I would not have cared as much about some things that I care about now, as my kids are effected by others' actions now, too, not just me. My kids do not have any cousins or at least any relationship with any cousins. Some would say that is my fault, but I, of course, disagree. But, I am okay with that. We have friends come to birthdays and to play with the kids instead to make up for the loss of extended family. We are surrounding ourselves with positive energy, people who want to be around us and vice versa. Life is too short and our time with our kids being young is too precious to waste.
Next year things will probably change some as I plan on returning to work on some level. With that said, we have learned a lot having me at home. Some things we will never go back to. When I return to work, the number one goal will be to pay off our home, save for college funds and retirement.
No matter where life takes us, however, it will always be about us.