1. Spend Saturday morning in bed.
Remember the good old days when you could sleep till noon, go out to breakfast in your jammies, and then come home and nap some more? I didn’t spend enough Saturdays that way when I had the chance. Now I have a small person who wakes up no later than 7:30am, no matter the day of the week. And he has basic needs that he expects me to attend to.He wants breakfast! A cup of milk! Some basic level of human interaction! What lunacy is this?!?
2. Sleep through the night.
On the subject of sleep, I haven’t slept straight through the night since before my pregnancy became uncomfortable. That’s over six years of getting up in the night. My son Gabriel doesn’t wake up much these days, but my body has trained itself to jolt awake at odd hours, pitted for the sounds of fussing from the other room. Even when my son is at his dad’s for the weekend, I’m guaranteed to wake up at least once, and probably more. I miss falling asleep at night and not waking up again till morning.
3. Walk around the house naked.
While we’re hardly prudes over here (hello, we only have one bathroom), I don’t want to have a weird naked relationship with my child, so I don’t. But I also like walking around naked sometimes, and I can’t.
4. Have sex whenever I want.
I still like sex, a lot! What the hell, man? It seems wildly unfair that becoming a parent has made it so hard to do the very thing that got me here in the first place.I can’t just Do It because I want to. I have to make sure the lovely child is in bed and asleep, and that has to happen early enough that I’m not completely dead tired, and then I have to worry about locking doors and not making noise, and it’s so unfair.
5. Walk barefoot through my house without impaling my foot on a stray Lego.
Seriously, what is with those things? When they invented Lego, did they have to invent them so painfully stabby? And, did they have to make them so small, carpet colored and difficult to see?
6. Be spontaneous.
Once upon a time, I could decide at 10:00pm on a Friday night that I wanted to go out. I could plan in the morning to leave town that same afternoon. I could change my mind then change it back, then change it again. Now I have to plan things for weekends when Gabriel is at his dad’s, or I have to arrange for a sitter. If it’s something I want to do with Gabriel, I have to make sure that we’re all appropriately dressed and fed and have a bag packed with snacks? Is there going to be an accessible toilet? What time is it? Is it too close to the Afternoon Meltdown?
7. Skip taking care of myself and my house.
I remember a time when I could skip doing laundry for a month, buying new undies as necessary and rewearing my jeans. I remember when I could live in filth if I so desired, when I could declare a sick day for the sake of reading romance novels on the couch, when I could go drink at the beach in the middle of the afternoon. I remember spending endless hours watching ridiculously crappy, brain-melting television. Hey, I led a fulfilling life. It turns out that this whole thing where I’m responsible for feeding and dressing and bathing and raising another human being without killing or ruining him, has seriously impacted my ability to kill and/or ruin myself.
8. Eat ice cream for dinner.
Or a jar of peanut butter and a bag of marshmallows, in bed. Now I’m trying to “set an example” or whatever.
9. Wear a bikini.
Never. Again. I’m more or less comfortable with myself and I think I more or less look okay, but my belly looks like it got shredded by Freddy Krueger and that whole post-partum flappy skin thing? I look like a partially-melted candle.
10. Imagine a life without my son.
There is seriously nothing in the world that is greater than the love I feel for this kid, even if I have to actually cook dinner now as a result. What? Did you expect this to end on anything less than a sappy note about how much I love my child? I’m nothing if not a giant sap. And I love my child, even if parenting stole my carefree youth.
What do you miss most about your life before children? If you could have a kid free day to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend it?
Personally, I would spend it at home, enjoying the peace and quiet. I’d walk around naked and eat ice cream straight from the carton and maybe watch a 12-hour Jersey Shore Marathon.
Jenny Grace has been back in school for a year, raising her son for five, and growing up for twenty nine. She’s not quite done yet. Raised amongst goats and chickens on a ranch in the California countryside, she was sent off to high school at a Hindu yoga center, and spent her youth working at her family’s nightclub and bar. No really, Jenny grew up completely normal. Well, normal for a kid raised by hippies that is. Shrugging off her patchouli steeped roots, Jenny went on to get a Bachelor’s of Arts in Linguistics and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Now she’s working on her Master’s in Accountancy. Don’t let degrees fool you though; she wastes most of her time with wine and crosswords. Jenny is a cunning linguist, honest beyond reason, and incapable of keeping her mouth shut. You can read more from Jenny Grace on her blog, Miss Disgrace.