27.8.10

What Were You Like Before You Were A Parent?

One of my all-time favourite bloggers, Naomi, has one of my all-time favourite "About Me" posts. In it she recalls asking her mother, as a child, what she was like before having children. Her mother responded that she didn't remember.

Was she lying? Sparing her young daughter's feelings? I have to wonder  . . . Naomi remembers quite a bit about life before children. She says
I don't think I feel the same way, because truthfully, I remember a lot about what my life was like before my children. Mostly, it was relaxing. And filled with quite a bit of adult conversation. And I don't think I remember ever having to clean smeared banana off my furniture.
What I remember (and miss) most about life before children:
  1. Coffee and the Saturday paper in bed on a Sunday morning.
  2. Listening to interviews on the radio and being able, firstly, to hear them and, secondly, to remember what was said and found out more if I was interested.
  3. Talking to my husband. Sitting down and talking. Discussing things like politics and social justice and what colour the living room walls should be.
  4. Staying up late and knowing I can sleep in the next morning.
  5. Going on spontaneous hikes without having to worry about juiceboxes and snacks and ten changes of clothing and footwear.
  6. Walking quickly. I really miss walking quickly.
  7. Meeting new people and actually being able to pay attention to them and ask them questions instead of yelling "get back here! A parking lot is just like a road! There are cars!"
  8. Sleeping in a bed with just my husband. All night long. Just the two of us.
  9. Being able to clean the house in 30 minutes or less.
  10. Space. Time. Quiet.
Naomi goes on to say:
But I do understand what she meant. Becoming a mother changes you so completely that certain things that once seemed so important become completely irrelevant.
So, in honour of those sentiments, the things I occasionally may complain about or fondly remember but don't really care about are:
  1. Partying, drinking, and the wild life. Maybe it's because I'm a parent; maybe it's because I'm older. It just doesn't interest me anymore.
  2. Sleeping in. Okay, I know I listed it above, but it's not really the sleeping in I miss; it's more the knowledge that I can sleep in.
  3. Having my breasts (and the rest of my body) to myself. So what if I've been nursing and/or pregnant for almost seven years. Soon I'll be neither and I'll miss it.
  4. Eating a bowl of ice-cream, chocolate bar, and/or cookie without having to share. Truth is I've always liked sharing. And it's so cute when they beg.
  5. Watching TV. I'm so glad I had children and discovered I didn't have time for TV. Don't miss it a bit. It's out of my life for good.
  6. Long, uninterrupted phone conversations. Yes it would be lovely to talk for ten minutes without being interrupted, but I don't miss the leg cramps and burning ear from those hour-long phonecalls.
  7. Eating out. Okay, it's fun once in a while, but I don't miss it. It's so much more fun preparing new foods at home and convincing the children to eat them than it used to be discovering new restaurants.The Chinese waiters get offended when you ask for a bowl of monkey brain soup. The kids think it's hilarious!
  8. Drugs. Being pregnant and breastfeeding makes you think twice about any medication you take. Is this necessary? Are the risks worth it? I love that being a parent has made me more mindful of what I put in my body.
  9. Style and Fashion. The truth is I never was very good at looking good. At least now that I have kids I have an excuse. Mismatched clothing, stains, wrinkles - they're all excused by parenthood
  10. Going out to movies. I prefer to cuddle with my honey on the couch, with a bowl of ice-cream and the ability to pause for crying children, bathroom breaks, snack and drink refills and the occasional make-out session. I remember one date where I felt cheated as I had paid $8 to see a movie and ended up seeing my date's neck most of the night instead.
Check out Naomi's blog. She's much more thoughtful and funny then I am. Come on, even her title is both thoughtful and funny: Organic Motherhood with Coolwhip. That's just awesome.

But before you go, what do you miss and what's irrelevant from your pre-parent days?

6 comments:

  1. I miss looking out of windows that don't have little hand prints on them.

    Being able to go to the toilet alone.

    Going out without having an emergency bathroom visit.

    Being able to eat a meal in peace.

    Having money.

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  2. Interesting...after 17 years as a parent I'm still trying to do most of the above. The main thing I miss is the confidence and the energy to get up and go out : to work and to play. BTW this would make a great meme :)

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  3. Dara, I am floored. You are the sweetest bestie out there. Ever. Thank you so much. But PS I'm no where near as funny as thoughtful as you. But I'll take the compliment and run. Just because you said it. And it gave me butterflies in my stomach. And because it makes me feel better about my mismatched outfits, stains, piles of random crap everywhere I look in my house, inability to finish a coherent thought, etc. and other post-parenthood qualities that I can't or no longer care to control. I love you Dara. Thank you for this. You totally made my week. xoxoxox

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  4. I have to wonder if there might be another reason why Naomi's mother doesn't remember much about life about children. How old was she when she had her first? Sitting here, I tried to put together a similar list, but had a difficult time because my son was born when I was barely 18. So, life before children consisted of being a child.

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  5. I miss eating something that I alone am eating. I'm surprised I'm not 6stone. I can't eat anything without someone also eating it from the other side.

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  6. I miss being able to just get up and go somewhere - anywhere - without having to deal with car seats, diaper bags, diaper changes, snacks, changes of clothing (for them and, depending on the destination, for me!). Remember when you could leave the house with just your bank card and keys? Sweet times, those were! Sweet, sweet times.

    Oh, I also miss really long baths. Or any baths.

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