Amber Copeland never suspected she would like to have a family until she found herself right in the middle of things. Her first marriage had plenty of parties but no kids in the mix, so she assumed that being a parent was not something she wanted.
However, as soon as she became a stepmom when she got married for the second time, she realized that looking after a child and making memories with him is far more fulfilling than having a carefree life with a short to-do list and no challenges on your schedule.
Loud noises, sports, and team activities helped her get organized, and she wouldn't want to miss a moment of her kid's daily activities.
What are the details?
"Life changes when you get to add kids to the mix. I know it sounds obvious, but you never appreciate how true it is until you have one around. Since becoming a stepmom, I have discovered a million little ways that my life is different, as well as a few big ways," Amber, who lives in San Francisco, California, shared with Your Tango about the way her life was reshaped once a child was part of her daily schedule.
Amber was married two times. The first time she tied the knot, it was all about parties and having a good time. She didn't have anything to guide her priorities, so she just acted based on impulse and sometimes just let time slip away.
"My first marriage was generally spent partying. We both had jobs that started in the afternoon and nothing else to schedule our time around. We were selfish, and, now that I look back with hindsight, we were unhappy. Leisure was our goal, and we achieved too much of it, and it wasn't healthy," the woman said.
Her second marriage was very different; she feels her husband is the right partner for the person she wants to become.
"We have jobs that start early in the morning, a child who requires a schedule and attention, and a fairly consistent bedtime. I am more focused, and I have more direction. I've learned to be less selfish, and I thank my stepson as much as my husband for that," Amber shared.
Sharing the responsibility of raising a child and becoming a mom made Amber more grounded, and she feels it's the kind of life she wants to have, even if she didn't realize it before.
"I know my life has been improved by adding a son whose care is entrusted to me. Being responsible for him has made me, well, responsible. That's something I never was before."
She does admit that her life is different now, and she can't do all those things she enjoyed while being child-free, but her family adds meaning to each day, and she's happy to create wonderful memories with plenty of hugs and fun times.
"So yes, life does change when you have a kid. It changes in ways you don't even notice. Do I get to be as self-centered, wild, and carefree as I was before? No. But I would take a bowling party over a night at the bar any day. "
Amber also knows that this choice might not work for everyone. Changing when becoming a mom is different for each person.
"I am not saying you're a total idler until you have kids and that things immediately fall into place once you've got them. The most disciplined people I know have no kids and don't plan on it anytime soon, and I also know parents that I wouldn't let cat-sit for me."
The rhythm of each day is transformed, and somehow she finds no time to miss the parties she used to go to or even the headaches after a night of partying.
"Child-free me would have spent the weekends drinking and being apathetic. As a stepmom, I'll attend the bowling alley party, not drink at all, and get stuff done. There will be loud kids but no hangover. This seems like a pretty good trade, and I prefer life with kids and no hangovers. I would never have believed I'd go for the life I have now, but this is where I belong," Amber concluded about the way love made her change and bond with her son while constantly supporting him in everything he wanted to do.