You’ve no doubt read these posts before. Most people are well versed in the sacrifices that will often be necessary when making the transition from adult to parent. Things like travelling the globe. Or just travelling to the shops without ‘helpers’. Crazy late nights out. Or just any nights out. Sleeping in. Or just sleeping at all. Even for an hour.
These are the sacrifices that every parent talks about and complains about. The sacrifices that your friends who have already crossed the divide into parenthood love to warn you about. Although it doesn’t seem to matter how often you hear about them, how often you’re warned, they still come as a terrible shock when they happen to you.
I’m no different. Motherhood was such a rude awakening for me that I held a grudge for most of the first year. But as the time ticks on I’ve realised that, more than those expected losses, there are some other subtleties that I miss even more from my life pre-children.
Perhaps you’ll also recognise some of these… 8 unexpected things I miss from my life before children.
1. Sole singing rights to my music in the car. Because there are times, be it a short drive to school or a longer weekend trip, when I just want to lose myself in a blast of ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica without three toneless back-up singers in the back seat fighting for the air-drumming rights. Yes, they know all the words. Even my 2 year old.
2. A basic level of privacy in my own home. I’m not fussy, just an occasional trip to the toilet on my own or an opportunity to shower without a live panel of body critics would be bliss.
3. Licking the cake mix bowl. As a mother, I know I’m supposed to willingly and graciously let my adorable children take over that privilege. But one day, when my children eventually read this, they’ll learn the terrible truth – that I would be sure to do most of the baking while they were at school just so I didn’t have to share.
4. A ready supply of Band-Aids. And tissues. And toilet paper. They all go missing at an alarming rate in our house. I realise I have three children, but given our excessive consumption, there must be a few extra kids loitering around the place that I haven’t met yet.
5. Cute handbags. And by cute, I mean any bag of a size and weight that won’t leave an angry red mark on my shoulder after a trip out. Handbags that don’t require master level skills in Tetris to be packed with a ridiculous amount of child-related paraphernalia. And handbags that are strictly off-limits to grubby fingers fishing inside for their drink bottle or lost toy car or a Band-Aid.
6. A clean tube of toothpaste. No matter how often and no matter how closely I supervise my children during their teeth-brushing, I’ve admittedly never actually witnessed them squeeze out the toothpaste and smear it all over the lid and the outside of the tube. But there really seems to be no other possible explanation as to how insanely revolting our tube of toothpaste always is.
7. Reckless driving. Thanks in part to my father, and in part to my husband, I shamelessly developed a taste for speed. Though my children will never know this. Before children, speed limits were a pesky hinderance. Now, as I drive my young children around, they have become a sensible and reasonable suggestion. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the speed limits will all at once seem dizzyingly excessive when the day comes that my first child gets behind the wheel.
8. Celebrating my birthday. Possibly bad planning on my part, to have two of my three children born within a week of my own birthday. Each year I’m so consumed by organising their celebrations and creating specially requested birthday cakes that there’s often no time, and no enthusiasm left for a third party. And, though I hate to say it, not one of us has the stomach for a third cake.