Saturday morning I saw my neighbours – a younger couple with no children – loading up their vehicle to go hiking in the mountains. I felt odd, like I was viewing some strange yet familiar ritual from another country that I used to inhabit. My husband and I used to head out nearly every weekend to the mountains, with our hiking boots and backpacks filled with extra clothes, water, and a lunch. We would choose a hike from a guidebook, and it would usually be around 10 km in length, and after that we would stop in a pub on the way home for a beer and dinner. It was a part of our lives, the lives we had before children.

We took the kids and the dog to the mountains for a “hike” this summer. I wore sandals, and we walked a total of less than one kilometer.

I knew a number of people who, while pregnant, were firm in the belief that the impending baby was not going to change their lives. Not at all. They would still travel to exotic destinations, work slave-like hours at their jobs, maintain rigorous levels of athleticism, and do all the same things on weekends that they did before. Their lives would be exactly the same, but there would be a baby with them to live those lives.

To me, this way of thinking indicates either extreme fear of the unknown or extreme stupidity. Things change. To imply that a person, a baby no less, will not have any impact on your life is disrespectful. I read a beautiful piece by the lovely Beck, who said, “…we change and our hearts change right along with us”. That resonated with me as I do feel like my heart has changed, it has opened in a way that it couldn’t before. I won’t be that girl with the hiking boots and guidebook again, and although sometimes I think her with longing, I wouldn’t change places with her for anything.


  1. I felt odd, like I was viewing some strange yet familiar ritual from another country that I used to inhabit.
    Yes, EXACTLY. It’s exactly like that. I know a lot of people who even years INTO parenthood are set on remaining “themselves”, on some core part of them remaining unchanged by parenthood. And me? I find that disturbing.

    Beautiful post. (and thank you for quoting me!)

  2. I have an acquaintance who still won’t let her child change her life. I feel so incredibly sad for a little girl who is shuttled off to grandparent’s and taken on many adult outings where she is expected to behave exactly like an adult. She’s four. It’s a sad existence.
    They are proud of the fact that they are still able to live “normal” lives.
    It just makes me sad for her.

  3. Me, I am constantly walking a tight rope trying to equally balance my old life with my new mommy life. I am probably not doing it all that successfully, but I am having a hard time letting the old me “die” entirely. There are a *few* shreds left.

  4. Beautifully, beautifully written.

  5. I’m pretty sure, that with two sons, some day you will be once again hiking 10 km or more, probably trying to keep up with the long strides your young men will be making. They will carry the lunch, and make sure that mom is able to keep up. ;o)

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