Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From Clubbing to Parenthood in a Year

One year, we’re daring each other to down double shots, refusing to leave the club after closing because we want to dance some more ……. Or we’re dancing and drinking and have not realized that the club was closed an hour ago….. And the next year, we’re meeting up in the afternoon drinking chrysanthemum and soya bean, cooing and carrying our friends’ babies at other friends’ baby full moon parties.

I know I have, most of my friends have, retired from clubbing but this was almost a shock to the system to realized that in such a short time, the clubbing lifestyle which we have known and lived for so many years is so long behind us that if I turn around to look, I can hardly even get a whiff of stale alcohol and cigarettes nor hear clinking glasses and incessant laughter induced by one too many shots.

We club, we meet people, we hook up, and suddenly people are getting married and having kids. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea, the concept, the new lifestyle which I need to come to terms with.

It’s not that I miss clubbing. Far from it. These days, I almost dread it when I go into a club and have to accept being jostled around, bad service and drunken people around me either puking or starting a fight. Like Marsupial asked one day above the music so loud you have to yell at each other, “Why did we ever enjoy this?!!!”

I still relish the idea of clubbing, of how good it used to be. Of how I used to loved it. Of how my entire week never goes smoothly if I didn’t club on at least on day of the weekend.

Now all I want to do is stay home, read a book, watch DVDs and just hang out with Paul. Beside the age and finding a good partner, the domesticated lifestyle is also brought about by over clubbing. Clubbing for 15 years, 10 of it which were hard core over several times a week, can do that to you.

My friends who have retired from clubbing are off having babies. Chris A, the ex DJ in Viva, the club which was THE club of our clubbing era, has a baby boy who’s going to turn a year old in a few days. My best friend, Fruitcake has Isabelle who’s also my god daughter. Wendy does not have kids yet but is recently married and has been ready for babies for a long time now. We all just attended Sue Ann’s baby Kay Lee’s full moon party on Saturday. While being around my friends and their babies does not make my maternal instincts kick in (I suspect I do not have maternal instincts anyway), I know that things will never be remotely the same again.

Even Fruitcake talks to me differently now. She says that I’ll understand better after I have had by own kids. Isn’t that obvious? Having a baby is such a life changing, monumental event in a person’s life. And people who are non parents would never be able to experience the same emotions a parent is put through.

I guess what I’m saying is that I need to accept that there is a pattern in life. We grow up, go to school, make friends and promise we’ll be friends forever, leave them behind to go to college and university where we’ll make more friends, drink and club like these is no tomorrow, do a few stupid things and blame it on youth and the alcohol, graduate, go out to work, buy a car, and a house, make more friends, continue clubbing but in more sophisticated clubs drinking more sophisticated drinks, meet more people, asses them for life partnership, get married, have kids, bring them up, work hard to pay of the housing loan and the car loan and plan to save up half a million for the kid’s future.

Our kids will then repeat the cycle in similar fashion.

When I was 21, I opposed the idea of marriage. Now I’m buying bridal magazines and talking to people about their weddings, and planning to plan for one (note that I’m not planning for a wedding).

When I was 28, I still could not fathom having kids. Now I’m warming to the idea though I’ve not totally accepted it. People do it all the time so I ask myself, why would I want to have a child? And no matter that I come up with and who I ask, all the reasons seems really selfish to me.

“I like babies”? - Well they do grow up to be fully grown adults and we know from experience that not all of them are going to be cute or remain cute. There’s a lot to be said about cuteness.

“It’s the thing to do” – Say’s who? Society? Is society going to take care of you when you’re feeling deranged and about to break down at 3 in the morning because the baby has been crying all night and you don’t know what’s wrong? Or when you want to send your kid to the best university but can’t afford it?

“So that they can take care of me when I’m older” – Now, this I find is the most selfish reason of all. Besides, I real doubt the family unit, even in Asia, is going to retain such high filial piety. You’re gonna need to work hard to pay off those loans, bring the kid up, put the kid though university and then start saving up for your own retirement. And that is if you only have one kid.

Okay this is me, pre-motherhood talking. I’m sure my views will change in a few years.

Just like how I could not get though a weekend of not clubbing and now I dread it, perhaps in the next few years, I’ll also find my own answer to the creation of life during the journey of parenthood, in the next few stages in the pattern of life.


aruri said...

The right time will come dear. And it'll feel right. I didn't plan mine, in fact we weren't planning to marry until another year. Now, I think it's the biggest blessing I've ever received. Motherhood instincts will just come naturally. And I think you'll do a fantastic job as any loving mother would! In the meantime, enjoy your freedom and two-people-world.

Bubbles said...

Actually, I don't think motherhood is a natural instinct for some women. I've seen so many women who don't take to their babies. While they don't necessarily not care for the baby, they do it out of obligation or because it's the right thing to do. But they may end up feeling frustrated with themselves or at the baby. But then again there are women who were not prepared for a baby but when it happened, they embraced the nurturing mother role. If n when it's my turn (not growing any younger and not at all mentally or emotionally prepared), it will be interesting to see. Friends tell me I'll be a good mum but i don't see how they see it. Oh well, I have about 5 more years to ponder and execute. Hehe!

The Mama said...

i totally agree with you, Bubbles.

Being a mother is super hard especially when one is in a foreign country with no friends or relatives. The first few years are the hardest. Now that Lana is turning 3 in February, I can finally say that it's really getting better and I'm enjoying her more than I've ever had. ALthough, humans are such two-faced creatures--I used to complain a bout how hard it is when she was a baby and I was breastfeeding 24/7, sometimes I look back and really miss holding and cuddling with that little sweetheart of a baby she used to be. Now, I get rejection when I try to cuddle and hold the little miss independent.

I also totally FEEL your words about clubbing long gosh...we are 30-somethings already---bloody sian to be "old".

aruri said...

If you love dogs, talk to dogs and able to look after one, I'd say you'll be a natural in motherhood!

Bubbles said...

I love dogs. I talk to them. And I even talk to rabbits, hamsters, turtles, koalas, kangaroos and other animals but I find that it doesn't come naturally to me to do the baby talk thing to babies. I actually feel a little silly. But I have no issues getting down on all fours to bark at another dog. How strange.

Bubbles said...

Well, when u were breastfeeding, you were probably deprived of sleep so any body would feel the way you did. And now that your baby is more independent, you look back and only remember the good memories of the experience.

It does feel strange being 'old'. Takes a little bit of getting used to.

The Mama said...

totally true bubbles.

and don't listen to aruri....i had a dog before i had a baby and believe you me...having to care for a baby is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING like having to care for a dog. trust me on this one.

don't go there if you love your independence and sleep.