There are no words in the history of language that can convey how much I love my children. Like most parents, my kids are my life. They fill me up with more love than I ever thought possible and it’s their love that will overwhelm my heart until the end of my days. HOWEVER, no matter how much I adore them, there are things I miss about my life prior to having them.
Yes, there are the things that everyone talks about – the loss of sleep-ins (or just sleep in general), the ability to read a book or the paper, or even the Big W catalogue, uninterrupted or leaving the house with just one small handbag. I was prepared for these things. I knew they would change. For me, it’s the simple things I miss. The really simple things.
Things like having a shit in peace. I miss sitting back and taking my time. ON MY OWN. The words, “I’m just quickly going to the toilet” are child-speak for “C’mon everyone, grab your toys and come and watch Mummy do a poo. Can you climb all over me while I’m doing it too? I’d love that.” They are curious little creatures and by curious, I mean they like to ask questions – and make statements – that in the presence of others would be deemed highly inappropriate. Which leads me to –
Public humiliation. Once upon a time, the only uncomfortable bodily function I had to worry about in public places was a loud tummy rumble. The more quiet and crowded the environment is, like, say, a full doctor’s waiting room, the more my three year old strikes with embarrassing precision. He has taken to loud declarations of every bodily function to whoever will listen. His favourites are – “Oooh, did you hear that? I dus did a FART!” or “Mamaaa, I dus did sumfing in my nappppyyyy. It’s poooo.” Like a song.
There are always kind people (read: sympathetic parents) that look over and smile at me in unspoken understanding. I try to plead with my eyes for them not to look at my son. Not to smile at him. That smile is like mailing him an invitation for further disclosure. “yucuse me, my Mummy has BIIIIIGGG boobies.” Jesus.
I miss uninterrupted phone conversations. The kind where you can talk without cutting your friend off mid-sentence and saying, “sorry, hang on a sec…. Luca! Stop sniffing Dominique’s bottom, that’s rude.”
I miss eating and drinking what I want without feeling guilty. Even through the closed pantry door, they can sniff me out. “Mum, what are you eating in there? Show me, show me – open your mouth”, to which I do, they smell the chocolate on my breath like a bad drunk and scream – “But you said chocolate was a ‘sometimes’ food! Can we have some? Can we? Pleeaaaaase.”
There is one thing I miss more than all of those things though. I miss being less worried. Less…..anxious. I’m not suggesting that childless people have no worries, but it’s the constant worry that sits at the back of my mind at all times. What if they get sick? What if something happens at kinder? What if…….
Those ‘what if’s’ make me realise that the humiliating disclosures and bum-sniffing moments that have entered my life since having kids are the ones that I’ll look back on endearingly and smile about. They’ll be the things that, dare I say, I will probably crave when they are grown and independent and don’t need me in the same way anymore.
So for now, I’m learning to embrace all the moments that come with parenthood – the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing. I’m keeping them tucked away in my back pocket for safe keeping……..and material for their 18th birthday speeches. Payback is a bitch.
Mum’s What is the one thing you miss about your pre kid life?