The 'Kid' Life Crisis
I found myself sitting on the couch of a suburban shopping centre playground on a Wednesday and I thought to myself, “What the fuck I am doing? I bet Bec Judd doesn’t do this.”
Despite my whinging, Elfie is 100% the best. Image: Supplied.
Lately I’ve found myself torn between wanting to live my best life and wanting to give my crotch princess her best life. I want to live in the inner suburbs, near shops, bars and cafes and still go out on weekends (obviously being home by 10pm). But I also want to give her a toy room, a backyard, be near good schools and spend every spare minute with her. It seems that despite what my idols like ‘The Real Housewives’ and ‘Yummy Mummies’ would have me believe, I can’t actually have it all (on a regular muggle salary) and this realisation has put me right in the middle of a total kid-life crisis.
Since learning of the successful consummation that resulted in said crotch princess, I’ve been steadily on what my established mum friends call the ‘suburban decline.’ First, you buy the SUV. Then, you move ‘just a suburb or two’ out for some extra space and you’re brunching exclusively at cafes with playgrounds. Next thing you know, the word ‘fashion’ has been made redundant in your vocabulary, your once nice scandi furniture is covered in texta and weet-bix and you spend your weekends at play centres buying overpriced hot chips for your snotty mini, whom you swore would only ever eat organic, unprocessed food.
The pinnacle of my suburban decline became supremely evident when I found myself sitting on the couch of a suburban shopping centre playground on a Wednesday. I thought to myself, “What the fuck I am doing? I bet Bec Judd doesn’t do this.” As the little human trotted around in her no doubt stinky-as-shit nappy, I was stressed and started googling terms like #deniminspo #trends #autumnfashion etc. Then I realised: I was only emphasising the departure from my pre-baby self by doing this.
So, I grabbed the kid, took a quick pitstop in the ‘Parents room’, and rolled the pram into a ‘Cool kids shop’ with strict instructions I had just made to buy myself some baggy jeans. I was in ‘General Pants', literally a place that was peak on brand for me 18 months ago pre-child, but now I’ve become the person who calls it the ‘Cool kids shop‘ and takes fashion advice from Tik-Tok memes that banned tight jeans. What have I become? ‘Who is this girl I see staring straight back at me? Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?’ I’m inserting Disney song lyrics into the story. Cool, cool, cool. Can you tell I’m spiralling right now?!
Anyway, I tried on a bunch of baggy jeans, which on a 5’2 girl with a small apartment of a belly where the kid grew for nine months, I looked somewhat like Harold Bishop from Neighbours. But I was nothing if not determined, and hit the jackpot with some jeans that sucked in the gunt. It was like magic. They were also white. Yes, white, because that’s obviously the most practical choice with a toddler. I’m honestly not sure if I won that round or not...
Then I came home and sat on my grubby couch, day drinking and scrolling through realestate.com. Looking at a mixture of properties in suburbs I want to live in but will never afford, and properties I can afford in suburbs I don't want to live.
I don’t know why I’m so adverse to the suburban decline. It’s not a decline at all. The second part of the joke these established mums tell me is that you’re on the suburban decline to become a ‘higher being’, one who is responsible for growing and developing a human. But I just can’t accept it, I’m not ready to let go of my pre-baby self and I don’t know how to find the middle ground.