The minute I become a mom, I immediately started losing things. My keys, phones, shoes, and my sanity were among the top things that went first. This was to be expected. I had been warned about this. I was prepared to become a little absentminded when Darla was born. I wasn't prepared for how drastic of a shift it was going to be. I have lost a lot over the years.
1. My ability to remember anything, specifically names: I've heard that Will Ferrell remembers the name of every person he meets. This makes him an absolute delight to be around. (Full disclosure, I just spent two minutes staring at this screen trying to remember his name). I'm not Will Ferrell. I've already forgotten your name before you've finished saying it. It's not because I wasn't paying attention. I just don't have that retention anymore. Believe me, it's frustrating, especially since I used to be able to recall EVERYTHING that happened to me. Want to know the date of that one time we drank 40s together in a tunnel and I fell off a six foot wall while singing "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)?" That was January 28, 1996. And I could tell you the name of the homeless man who bought us that beer that night. Now, I can't even remember the names of my brothers and sisters without having to think for a minute.
2. My sense of style: I've made many regrettable fashion choices in my day. The mom bob and matching cardigan sets my Senior of high school being one of them. Despite my many mistakes, I, at least, tried. Since I have to consider what my kids wear so much, I barely give my style 20% of the attention I used to. People may judge me if my kids are dressed like crap. If I look like crap, however, they chalk it up to exhaustion. So, instead, I use up the entire clothing budget for my kids. I buy them the cutest things (that I wish were made in my size). I fold them nicely in their drawers so they can wear them to school the next day. In the morning, a fight ensues and they decide the clothes they had begged for the day before are uncomfortable. I give up and they go to school wearing the basketball shorts covered in pizza grease and ripped dinosaur shirt with the chocolate ice cream stain that looks like poop. The clothes remain unworn until they are just small enough to look awful.
3. Your ability to form a coherent thought: Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation between parents while there kids are around? It's the worst, with so many false starts and stops. There's always the potential for a really great story to be told, but you will never find out how it pans out. Right after the parent gives the backstory about the one time their mom had a close encounter with Ted Bundy, they have to pause so they can stop their kid from biting a baby. When they come back, the Ted Bundy story is all but forgotten and the conversation has moved on. I have a lot of friends who are parents, but I know very little about them due to these constant interruptions
4. My personal bubble: When I was a little girl, I would sit at my moms feet and pull her stockings. I liked how the friction of the rough fabric felt between my index finger and thumb. She would swat me away, but I would come back immediately like a house fly to a dinner plate. I feel like I'm paying penance for this annoyingness. This all started with pregnancy, which was when I first realized my body wasn't my own. I had no control over the kicks and flips that occurred in my uterus, which would sometimes cause my to pee when they'd kick my bladder. Then there was breast feeing, which I didn't love. It felt awful to be an on-demand milk factory, which I felt a lot of shame around since a lot of women loved it. Now that my kids are years removed from weening, they still view my body as their personal jungle gym. I get kick in the head and boobs multiple times a day.
6. My listlessness and boredom: Boredom is a luxury. You have to have a lot of downtime in order to experience it. I was very bored before having kids. I was sick of all the TV shows, the books, the restaurants, and the bars. I would stay home every night and waste all the time. I could've written countless books with all the time I had. I could've gone to every museum in Los Angeles dozens of times a year. I could've seen every movie without having to break the bank on a sitter. I had the time and I did nothing with it. Oddly enough, I have no time, now, but I live with so much more purpose. My downtime is spent more productively. Nights out, even if they are just spent walking around aimlessly, are a lot more fun than they were before I had kids. Since every day is so wild and out of control, I also never know what hilarious things my kids are going to do. They may come out of of the bathroom covered in black eyeliner. They might even decide to sing a song from Hamilton AND include all the cuss words. There's no time for boredom here.
There has been a lot of things I've lost since becoming a parent. Some of it has been hard to weather and difficult to get used to Ultimately, it's all worth it because the one thing I didn't lose was joy. In fact, my joy has increased exponentially. Although I can't see this in those moments where I miss my memory or my shopping trips, at the end of the day I'm able to remember that whatever has been lost has been replaced with something even more meaningful.