Guest Writer: Blair Sharp "My Son Started Kindergarten. And I Feel Like We’ve Both Grown Up"
He threw on his empty, oversized backpack, and we stepped outside to take the obligatory “first day of school” photo. It was finally our turn to show off our new-to-school kiddo on social media, and I was excited.
My husband and I walked him to school, and we stood outside with the other kindergarten parents. As his teacher came through the door, his eyes lit up. She waved at him, and he got into her line.
We watched from the grass nearby as his classmates lined up alongside him. I took a second to look around and wondered if any of these kids would become his close friends. This was the graduating class of 2035.
It seems so long from now, yet I know that when I blink, I’ll be going on college visits and planning his graduation party.
My husband and I walked back from school drop-off discussing possible scenarios he’d have on his very first day.
I took the entire day off from work to do drop-off and pick-up. And although I had several projects to complete, I kept getting distracted by thoughts about my boy. I wondered how his day was going. What was he doing at the exact moment I was thinking about him? Had he made new friends? Did he get overwhelmed at lunchtime?
I couldn’t help but think about how much I’ve changed as his mom over the last six years. He’s a big kid that’s embarking on a new journey at school. And I’m a completely different person than who I was when he was born.
I always say that my son is the reason I quit drinking and that I remain alcohol-free for myself. It’s true. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for him. He was 18 months old when I decided to remove alcohol from my life. The role change to motherhood wasn’t an easy one.
In the beginning, I struggled to maintain the “old me.” The one who liked to have drinks on the weekends and live carefree (read: carelessly).
See, I’ve always been a selfish person. Growing up, I never lived with any siblings. There was no one to share with, no one to argue with, and no one to divide my parent’s attention.
That selfishness was present throughout my early adult life too. I did what I wanted when I wanted to. I didn’t care about anything but having a good time.
After I quit drinking, I realized that being selfish is OK. I still put myself first. My priorities have changed in big ways. I do things that will benefit me and say no to things if I really don’t want to do them.
They don’t tell you how much you’ll change when you become a mother. Our brains are flooded with tips and tricks for raising a human. But little is said about how much we evolve as people.
It only took me 18 months to realize that I needed to change a lot more about myself if I wanted to be successful at this momming thing. And I’m so glad I did.
Blair Sharp lives in Minnesota with her husband and son. Her words are published in various publications, including Parents, SheKnows, and Insider.
She’s a tall introverted homebody who loves a good charcuterie board and canceled plans. She writes an alcohol-free newsletter called Relatable AF and you can find her creating on Instagram @sobrietyactivist. Find more from Blair on her website: www.blairsharp.com.
Thank you, Blair, for being a guest writer on my blog today! It's great to learn from you and to get a glimpse into the mind of another sober mama.
Let me know if you are interested in sharing a piece of yourself or being a guest writer on my blog.