Before becoming a mommy, I definitely liked to indulge in some beautification. I got regular hair cuts, enjoyed the occasional blowout, always had my nails and toes well manicured. Heck, I even lasered the hair off of my face (which turned out to be a waste of money when pregnancy helped me revert back to the little chinchilla that I am. THANK YOU SO MUCH pregnancy hormones). It was, and is, so crazy to me how quickly my priorities changed when Charlotte was born.
Here is the thing, when it comes to my husband and I- I am definitely the better saver. I am really lucky that he is the way he is because he constantly tells me to go treat myself to a massage or a blow out. But these conversations usually end in me reminding him that I have forgone Starbucks and made nice with the coffee cart man so that I can often indulge in a large coffee while only paying the price of a small (hello $1 coffee). When I have my eye on the prize, AIN’T NOBODY STOPPING ME.
Now, all this chatter probably makes me sound like a cheap A$$, but the reality is that while we save for a house, I also want Charlotte to be able to enjoy a lot that New York City has to offer. There is an ENTIRE world of activities and classes for babies and toddlers in New York. I mean, there are websites, and mom groups, and apps for this shit. And the truth is, it can be easy to get sucked into all of it.
Why would I take my kid to the free concert on the other side of the city, when in my very own neighborhood, she could attend a class with a 5 piece band and get a chance to play some instruments all for the cost of 1 kidney.
After a few music classes, it was clear that Charlotte LOVES music. She’s like my little Lady Gaga, or as my husband would probably prefer, a mini Mozart. The minute these classes start, she army crawls her way forward to get a front row seat (I see a future of orchestra only seats), gets in her little beach pose (see collage), and intently watches the teacher(s) sing and play their instruments with a focus that I myself have never had for literally ANYTHING in my life.
I knew that I had to look into a regular music class for this child. So I started digging only to learn that most classes require you to sign up for an entire semester (um…I am sorry…is this college?). Not to mention that the price for the semester is the equivalent of about 17 blowouts or 40 pedicures. Not only is the price a bit outrageous, but I’m kind of a commitment phobe when it comes to these things. I don’t want to have to guarantee that I will be in the same place once a week on the same day and say time. Nap schedules change, opportunities come up, and hell, life happens, so semester commitments just aren’t my thing (with the exception of swim because a girl needs to learn how to swim)
ENTER…KidPass. I was resistant to signing up for a KidPass membership because I was not sure if I would use it and could not decide whether it was worth it. Mentally i justified it by telling myself that because I cancelled my Equinox membership when I was 8 months pregnant (a true tragedy), and Kidpass was cheaper than that, then it was totally fine for my 9 month old to have an iPhone app and membership to allow her to fill her days. Well, I have to say, I love having it. On the very hot days when we just cannot muster the energy to spend the day in the sprinklers or Central Park, we can attend a class or play space in the wonderful air conditioning. And with winter around the corner and less outdoor activities, we can use KidPass to supplement her other activities.
At the end of the day, the true reality is that once you have kids, your priorities change. And while a year ago I couldn’t imagine my life without fitness classes, after work out saunas, and regular blow outs, now, I couldn’t imagine my life without baby filled swim classes, music classes and gym classes. These things get us out the door, allow us to meet local families and teaches Charlie bird to socialize with other kids.
So if you see me on the street, with my little musical genius, baby Phelps, Simon Biles, bouncing off to our next activity...excuse me if perhaps my body looks a tad softer, or my hair looks less voluminous. I won’t be offended that the only compliments I’m receiving are about my daughter’s outfit, accessories, or the smell of Cuban perfume on her hair. The truth is, I spent more time on her than I did on myself. And while some people feel like they lose themselves while on this new journey, choosing to spend time on her and with her does not feel like a sacrifice to me but rather a blessing and something I had dreamed of for as long as I can remember.
So excuse me while i go “get ready” by which I mean allowing my hair to air dry while lathering on some tinted moisturizer, but I gotta go, because “Charlie Baby...it’s time for class!”