What I Miss about my (former) Kids-free life
If you ask any mother out there, the answer is always the same: having kids is tough, tiring, time-consuming and yet, it is the best thing ever.
And I agree, as my daughter taught me how to love in a way I didn’t even know that was possible; those moments where she smiles at me, hugs me, and looks at me with complicity are the moments where I recharge my batteries and feel alive again.
But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that motherhood comes at its own cost, and although I would do it all over again, there are a few things that make me nostalgic.
Haley Campbell says that “Motherhood forces you to grieve the person you used to be before you can love the person you have become.”
This beautiful sentence rings so right to me as motherhood has changed me to the core, and I sometimes miss that independent, floaty, ambitious woman I once was.
I had to break up with the old me, and I went through all the stages; denial, grief, anger, and acceptance.
Now I have fully embraced my new life, and I can see what a better (meaning more empathic, patience, positive) person my daughter has made me.
I miss travelling
Mind you; we also travel now. But I was following a young teenager on IG, and she was moving from Helsinki to Berlin and Mykonos in a matter of days. She was “living the life,” and getting to know people on the way. I miss that because I was that person, and I enjoyed exploring new cities, meeting strangers, talk and share dreams. I haven’t done it in a long while, and whenever travelling is on the agenda, we need to think about the travel cot, travel pram, napping time, the never-ending tears on the flight, and at the airport, the overwhelm of being in a foreign environment, etc.
Visiting new places is still on top of our list, but that freedom I once experienced is gone for good, and it won’t come back.
I miss sleeping
I used to love being tired when I knew I could be tucked in by 8 pm, with a nice cup of tea and an exciting book. Now it’s quite the opposite, and I dread being tired, as it means doing whatever I do every single day, but with an extra layer of difficulty. My daughter doesn’t cook for herself and doesn’t walk herself to the bedroom, as she is not even two years old. She kicks a fuss when it’s time to bathe her, and she wants to be picked up and entertained when she starts getting tired. On top of it, I don’t know if she’ll sleep at night; teething, anxiety, nightmares are all excellent reasons to scream for hours, which means I won’t be able to get a restful night, and she doesn’t care if I’m tired or not. And then it’s groundhog day all over again.
I miss being “properly” sick
The same goes for sickness. When I had a cold, and I was a little girl, my mum would keep me home from school, she would make fresh orange juice to drink throughout the day, and she would allow me to spend all day in bed or in front of the TV.
Fast forward to nowadays, whenever I’m sick, nothing changes. Unless I’m incapable of leaving the bedroom, in which case I have to ask my husband to step up, I have to push through the same routine — bathing, feeding, changing, consoling, hugging, playing.
It can be exhausting, and it makes me feel very melancholic towards that younger me that was allowed to rest, binge watch Netflix and feel miserable for a full week.
I miss going out for dinner with my husband
Sure, I still go out with my husband; differently from before, it needs to be pre-arranged, paid for (which also means we need to stick to a time window), and we need to start praying at least two weeks in advance, hoping that no one gets sick on the day. Then, when we finally go out, we still need to carry on the sleeping routine as per usual and leave the house after the baby is tucked in, which means that we will lose precious hours of sleep, and by the next day I will much regret that second glass of wine.
I’m obviously exaggerating the overall situation, but I do miss those moments where the fridge was empty, and we would say “Sushi?”, and we would leave the house in less than 5 minutes flat. This is a reality that will come back, but we will be much older than we now are, and our ability to digest tempura and karagee at night time will be limited.
But here is the truth:
When I’m sick, my daughter lays down with me and hugs me.
When I’m tired, her smile lights up the room and gives me shivers
When she sees a new place, she starts stomping her feet on the floor, and she screams in excitement, making me want to freeze the time.
When I miss my younger me, I also think that I really don’t miss the uncertainty and the feeling of not being good enough. I thrive on my daughter’s routine, as it makes me feel safe and loved.
When I’m tired, there is a warm and cozy home to go back to, filled with the love of my life.
When we go on a date, my husband and I reconnect and value the time spent together much more than we did before.
I can honestly admit I would never go back to my younger self, also if some Instagram post will forever trigger the nostalgia of having lost a reality, I will never live again.