A spa that chafes your nipples and leaves your abs worse off than when you arrived, but I'm still standing firm that having a baby can relax something inside of you that is much bigger than a tweaked neck muscle.
When I read Elton John's recent quote that his new baby, Zachary, chilled him out, I knew exactly what he meant. John is most likely referring to the feeling of satisfaction one has when you realize there is something bigger than yourself -- and you created that something. (Or adopted, and will create the person post-birth.)
Of course I didn't realize that when I decided to have a baby, but it wasn't long after my first child was born that I let myself expand in such a way that allowed me to discover what it was I had been looking for in life. And then I relaxed.
Before I had kids, I had a great life. An amazing partner and an incredible group of friends that we wined and dined with on a regular basis. Rock shows, art exhibits, weekend trips -- all of these things were part of our daily existence and it was so amazing I sometimes said my life was better than a movie. But something was missing, and that something was a larger purpose.
Instead of always wondering, "Is that all there is?" I suddenly got it. And while I miss those leisurely Sunday mornings in bed with my husband -- or with the newspaper and a cup of coffee -- I wouldn't trade that life for what I have now for anything. Of course my love for my children is the reason for this, but selfishly, I also don't want to lose this sense of satisfaction and completeness that put a halt to the existential concerns of my pre-baby youth.
It's possible Elton John meant something else. And certainly having a staff and a whole other residence for the baby would help with the physical tensions of a newborn. But I like to think he just "got it" as well.
Are you more relaxed now that you have children?
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