You often hear how life drastically changes once you have children. I am here to say Damn Skippy it Does!
I have never been the type of person who dwells in the past. Often times the past is best forgotten. Other times I will look through old photos and be reminded of how slim I was, or how much energy I appeared to have.
Recently I was reminded of how carefree and crazy I used to be in my 20's. While speaking to an old friend (who is unmarried and has no kids) she mentioned how much I seemed to have changed. She reminded me how much fun I used to be back in the day of too much booze and not a care in the world.
I have to admit, speaking to this old friend made me feel a bit envious of her. She enjoys the ability to come and go as she pleases. She does not have to worry about scheduling her day around children. Hearing her tales of adventure as a single woman made me long for my youth. And as most mothers do, I compiled a list. Of course this list was not for chores to be done or for the groceries, it was a list of the things I miss about being a single woman with no kids.
1. Late Nights. I would come home from work or my college classes, take a nap, eat greasy pizza and head out again around 11pm only to come home around 4am. These days if I want to stay up past 10pm I need to consume 10 shots of espresso.
2. Freedom. Before I had children I was able to do what ever I wanted when I wanted. I did not have to answer to anybody. If I wanted to take a spur of the moment trip to New York I could. If I wanted to go out with the girls for drinks after work I could. If I wanted to walk around the house butt naked I could. Now I always have to answer to somebody. I always have to think about the needs of my kids and husband before my own selfish fanciful dreams. Freakin' family stole my freedom!
3. Shopping. I remember when shopping used to be fun. Those days of leisurely strolling through the mall trying on endless outfits are long gone. Now I move with military precision through the mall only heading to the shops I know have what I want. I don't try clothes on anymore. I buy them and pray they fit!
4. Illness. As a mother you can't afford to be sick, at least I can't. My household grinds to a halt if I do not function at 100%. If God forbid, I get sick, I need to suck it up and continue about my day as though I am not bleeding from my eyeballs. I miss being able to just lie in bed bitching and moaning and not being bothered by a soul.
5. Bathroom visits. Before kids I would go to the bathroom freely to answer natures call. Now all of the bodily functions seem to shut down the minute I hear the door knob jiggle or the inevitable Mommy being whined on the other side of the door. The bathroom has also become a place to hide from my family. If I need a moment to calm down or rest I head for the loo and lock the door. Of course the solitude only lasts for a few moments before they come calling!
6. Sex. I miss it. I miss being spontaneous with my husband. Nothing worse than planning your sex life around bedtime and wake up time. No more quickies in the morning unless we get up at 4am, which quite frankly is not going to happen!
7. Dancing. Oh how I loved to dance. I used to spend 3 nights a week in the clubs just dancing, drinking and flirting with men. Now the only dancing I do is with the vacum cleaner.
8. T.V. Before the kids came along I used to watch whatever fancied me in the boob tube. Not that I ever bothered much with television before I was married, but with time I became a tube junkie just like Hubby. When the t.v. is on during the day it is usually tuned into some horrible childrens channel like Tree House, Disney or YTV. There are only so many episodes of Dora the Explorer any sane person can handle. How I long for the evenings when the kids are sound asleep so that I can get just one measly hour of vile useless television viewing in!
9. Housekeeping. How I long for the days when I would just leave a trail of clothes through my apartment, let the cat hair on the sofa pile up or leave dishes in the sink overnight. Since becoming a wife and mother I have been forced into cooking, cleaning, doing laundry. It all sucks. Really sucks. Some days I would just love to take a match to the house and make all of it just disappear.
10. Sleep. The best for last. I recall a time when I would go to be when I really wanted and would wake when I really wanted (except for those shitty weekdays when I had to work because some old fart told me I needed to be responsible). I have not slept past 6am in over 6 years. I want to cry for all of those lost hours of sweet sweet slumber.
I am sure that I could go on for pages with this post, but in the interest of keeping my readers interest I will end my sorry dwelling on what was and focus on the ray of light that has become my life. While I may miss those small freedoms, dancing and sleep, I would not trade it for anything in the world. There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding at the end of the day then when you are told "I love you Mommy" just because. Nothing better than seeing their bright eyed anticipation when I enter a room. I'd give up a lifetime of sleep just to see my children smile.....maybe.