I read an article about 50 things moms miss about pre-kid life and while I understand it, I didn’t get it. I laughed a few times- how fun the old days were, with friends I thought I’d know forever. We shared so many secrets about life and lovers we totally thought would last forever- and they were there to buy me shots when it didn’t. I bummed cigs, stayed up late, didn’t worry about not having enough food to eat because I could just skim the samples at Whole Foods for a night. I worked a lot of jobs, and remember how fun it was to take off for the beach at 3am to see the sunrise at the Jersey Shore when I arrived. That was fun for me, then. At 22. We were friends then, bonded by whatever was going on in our lives then… maybe they’d still be here if someone had called more, or if I had the desire to drink whiskey at 11pm, or whatever the case may be. Here, at (almost) 30, I have no desire to live how I did before (remember the time I lived in an illegal warehouse space that had electric heat, so we didn’t use any in the dead of winter?)… I had a lot of fun when I was young and I have a lot of fun now. So, while I feel blessed to share wine with the women who have become family, I certainly don’t want to overindulge and sleep in, because hangovers have just never been fun. Friends who aren’t really there for all the ups and downs of life aren’t that fun. Coming home to an empty house isn’t that fun. But that’s just me. JUST ME!
I think these lists are fun, and I wanted to make my own. Please know: I never really slept much anyway (I used to run at 4am), and I still walk around my house pretty much naked, sex is spontaneous at 2am, I still have hobbies, I grew up in a Catholic and Jewish household so guilt is just something I deal with, and we only have one bathroom- this means I was never alone in it anyway- there was always a dog or cat or dude in there with me, talking to me through the door, or pawing (knocking) to get in.
So, here are 50 things I would miss about life if I didn’t have kids.**
1. Reading all those great books I forgot about.
2. Baby snuggles… especially on sick days.
3. The smell of milky breath.
4. Baby curls.
5. Tiny hands, and holding them as we walk (even if forcefully!).
6. Late night laughter from being beyond tired.
7. … Looking at the monitor and remembering it’s all worth it.
8. Appreciating the time I sleep in.
9. Finally using the microwave! (Hello, reheated coffee!)
10. Learning to experiment with new foods.
11. Drinking in moderation (finally).
13. Creating life.
14. Playing dress up (and wearing fancy clothes to the store because your toddler really wants you to wear those heels with that dress at Target).
16. The chance to sing aloud without fear.
17. Dancing like a fool without judgement (hey, it’s for the kids!).
18. Knowing glances with the mom of the other screaming toddler at the grocery store- being in the club!
19. Watching a mind work.
20. Vacation photos in the same places I took them 30 years ago!
21. Having a good (and cute) excuse for a messy house.
22. A friend for the dog that doesn’t need to go on a walk in the heat, snow, or rain.
23. A running buddy.
24. A constant backseat driver.
25. The reminder that no gift is as cool as Christmas lights and a few empty boxes.
26. Having someone with my same attitude to keep me in check.
27. A chance to figure it all out… again
28. …and to be reminded that I really know nothing.
29. Appreciating good conversation.
30. Being able to adapt.
31. Finally knowing who I can rely on at 3am for help.
32. Relating to my mother in new ways.
33. Having a sleeping child on my shoulder.
34. The money saving perks of fewer and shorter showers.
35. The drive to eat organic and keep only healthy foods in the house.
36. Days where there’s someone else who just wants to stay in bed and watch Disney movies all day.
37. Making up words to a song and no one correcting me.
38. Knowing I have super powers to keep another being alive!
39. Watching my partner grow into a new person.
40. Friends who become aunties and uncles.
41. Seeing my flaws as “bootiful, mama”.
42. Tickle fights.
43. Built in diet of never being able to eat my own food.
44. Learning to be resourceful.
46. Showing off awesome boobs during pregnancy and nursing.
47. …and justifying the expensive bra after it all.
48. Kid selfies.
49. Having someone genuinely believe I’m beautiful.
50. Being a mom.
**At the time of writing this, I am incredibly emotional about being a parent. This piece is not meant to upset people who, of course, love being a parent but sometimes need a break. I think I’m almost jealous of that, honestly. Sometimes I am so immersed in all the medical stuff that surrounds our lives that I don’t want to get away from parenting- I’d take it all- but I want out of the medical things that come up so intensely fast. Some months have been so easy and some of these things she will age out of, but right now, I miss nothing of my old life… I just miss my child being healthy.