What have you lost, what are you grieving?
Grief, to me, implies a certain level of sadness. Because of that, this is a difficult question for me to answer — I’m not really grieving or mourning anything with sadness. I am acknowledging a shift, a change, and it does feel bittersweet, though not sad, so that’s all I have to offer in response.
Gone are the days of being carefree, of being debt-free, of being able to shirk some responsibilities in favour of playing hooky. It started with buying the house. All of a sudden we had a mortgage to carry and that meant our finances got a tiny bit tighter. And then we bought the car, which became another responsibility and another payment. Add in the baby, and taking time off work, and we’ve joined the ranks of every other person owing money, watching our bank accounts, and budgeting.
It’s not a bad thing. This is what adults do, I think. It doesn’t mean we don’t have joy or fun or spontaneity. But the difference between being a dual income no kids household and one that is currently made up of baby, stay-at-home-mom, and hardworking dad is obvious. We don’t pick up whatever we want at the grocery store anymore. Our household projects are on hold because diapers are more important than paint (and who has time to paint anyway?!).
But I’m not really mourning my days of fancy cheese, staying up ’till 2 a.m., sleeping in until 10 a.m. and being able to take off and do something whenever I wanted. I think at the end of my life I’ll look back on my time with family with gladness, rather than wishing I had been able to buy that Roomba.
And the budgets and jobs and money and all of that — it doesn’t matter. Yeah, life would probably be a bit easier if we could run through the aisles of stores and pick up whatever we wanted again. We’d have more conveniences. We could throw money at problems. But we have enough to cover what we need. We have food and shelter and lots of love.
So it’s not grieving, or mourning, but observing. I’m watching my life change, and it’s a bit scary, but I’m okay with that.