Let’s be honest – as much as I adore having Jackson and wouldn’t change a single thing about my life as a mom, there are certain things that you just can’t do as a parent (at least, as a parent of a toddler!).
I am obsessed with my little family, but things sure are different now!
Here are a few things that I miss from my life before Jackson:
1. Reading. I used to be a voracious reader. The year before I had Jackson, I averaged reading more than a book a week – well over 50 books in the course of a year. But now? I don’t think I’ve actually finished a book longer than The Pout Pout Fish in months. Some of it is just shifting priorities – I’d rather spend my (very little) down time hanging with Mr. Garland or blogging than reading, but I sincerely miss my books! I have started to read a bit in the evenings again, but it’s still almost impossible to finish a book – I think as Jackson gets older I’ll probably find time to do this again, but for now I miss my quality time with my Kindle!
2. Sleeping in. I know, obviously. Sleep is a huge sacrifice when you have kids. Jackson has always been a fantastic sleeper, but he still wakes up early! I miss the ability to sleep in (which for me, really means 8:30 or so – I’m not asking for much!) and then lay around in bed for a while before getting up. Now as soon as I hear his little voice over the monitor it’s time to go! go! go!
3. Lazy dinner nights. We both work full time and sometimes there are just nights where we are exhausted and don’t want to cook or put together a healthy meal. That used to be no big deal before Jack – we’d grab food on the way home from work or eat something ridiculous and unhealthy that we already had at the house. But now? We have another mouth to feed and we want to set a good example! Mr. Garland and I still are able to have nights where we pick up food or do something lazy for dinner, but when we do we have to figure out what we’re going to feed Jackson too, so it’s not nearly as simple!
4. House projects. Mr. Garland and I used to do a ton of home improvement projects. Almost all of our free time was filled with one project or another for the house and we loved it. But then we had Jackson and our priorities shifted – not just for how we spent our time but also for how we spent our money! We have done very little to the house since having Jackson, and I have to admit I am itching for a new project around the house! I’ve recently started to do a bit more here and there, but I miss when almost every weekend was filled with one project or another.
5. Spontaneity. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but it’s hard to just pick up and leave the house with a toddler in tow. We used to decide on a whim to go out with friends or go on a random date night, but all of these things require much more planning now. Sometimes it feels like too much work to even run to the grocery store because of all of the prep work it requires to just walk out the door!
6. Being out all day. As much as I love nap time, it’s not easy to work around it. We’ve got to work everything we do around nap time, which means that we’re very rarely out of the house for more than two or three hours at a time to avoid the dreaded car nap. We used to just pick up and go on short day drips to towns a few hours away, or decide at the last minute to go spend all day at an attraction downtown…now we are slaves to Jackson’s schedule. We don’t mind too much because the schedule works for us and his sleep is fantastic because of it, but I miss the ability to just run off and waste a day doing anything I want!
7. “Me” Time. I still manage to get a bit of quiet time to myself, but I do miss the days where I could take it anytime I wanted! Now it’s a carefully coordinated amount of time that has to be scheduled around Jackson, and often if I’m trying to catch some alone time at the house while he’s awake, I have to hear him downstairs whining for me because he wants to know what I’m up to! I miss the days where I could just disappear to my bedroom for a while to paint my nails, play on my phone, or just lay in bed and be lazy.
8. A clean house. I have no idea how such a tiny person can create such a huge mess. That’s really all there is to say about that one.
9. Staying up late. I’ve never been one to stay up terribly late on the regular, but before Jackson I definitely enjoyed the occasional late night. Now? Once the clock hits eleven I start to worry about how tired I’ll be in the morning, and anything past midnight is just begging for misery. Sadly, no matter how late I stay up, Jack will still be awake bright and early!
10. Being selfish. Isn’t that what this whole list really boils down to? I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days where I could do whatever I want, whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted to. Now I have a little piece of my heart and soul running around and getting into all sorts of mischief, and I feel like I am constantly worrying about him in one way or another. It’s a wonderful thing to feel this much love, but my goodness sometimes the magnitude of it is overwhelming!
. . . . .
Despite how much I miss some of the freedoms of being kid-free, I’ve gotta say I would take parenthood over all of these things every single time. And, of course, the wonderful thing about this list is that almost all of the things that I truly miss about my pre-mom life are things that I will be able to have back within the next several years. As kids get older they become more adaptable and more able to participate in all of these things, so it’s encouraging to know that it’s just a temporary phase to give these things up!
What do you miss the most about your pre-parenting life?