Life before kids as we knew it… Now it’s a blur!
Once upon a time there were a guy and a girl – their life as a couple was so… what’s the word… so DIFFERENT.
I always knew I wanted to be a mother and I was blessed to be able to give birth to three lovable human beings. You just look back and remember or try to remember what your life was like before they joined the party.
Life before children is a blur for me… one day I was telling my husband that I would be bored if I didn’t have children! Imagine…
We were trying to remember the stuff we were doing or enjoying before we became parents… Going down memory lane was a nostalgic (and harder than I thought) exercise.
This post could serve as a survival / I hear you guide for parents or as a heads-up for upcoming adventurers in parenthood.
Here is a list of things I miss in our couple… Things we still can do… it just takes additional logistic, energy or calls for creativity.
1. Silence in the morning (specially on the weekends)
Yeees, waking up on your own… when you decide. All you would hear are the birds chirping at your window, specially if you live in the country. Knowing that you can let your body gently wake up on its own.
NO, instead we often get stomping in the bedroom shouting “I am hungry… When are you getting up… Can we play this game?… Can you read me this?… What are we doing today?… Can I watch TV?… Do you want to hear about my dream?… or shouting from the washrooms – I NEED HELP!”
You’re bombarded with questions and requests before you could even gather your thoughts and remember that you are still in bed and that yes… you were sleeping. Not to mention that most of the times it’s still dark out, so priority is to figure out what time it is to justify sending them back to bed.
My kids don’t know too early. They get their sleep, they are ready to go and so should everyone in the house. Let’s GO! Parents Get Operational!
2. Spontaneous outings or getaways
Wow, getting out of the house just on the spur of the moment… Less than 5 min you are out the door ready to go see that movie, eat at that restaurant, go visit that friend, go for a walk, go pick up that book, etc. GET OUT!
One of the things I really enjoy doing with my husband is going on a motorcycle ride… talking about a feeling of freedom – that’s what I get from this type of outing.
We lost a bit of that spontaneity because there are often arrangements to be made before we actually pass the door, like finding a babysitter and working out everyone’s schedule.
And with that kind of logictic, it is so easy to just say… Let’s just stay HOME!
3. Uninterrupted grown-up conversations
It’s like they have sensors… wherever they are in the house it’s like they can feel when you get into grown-up talk and that’s exactly when they need something from you or absolutely have to tell you a story. Really??? Really!
Plus, you have to watch what you say in front of them. They may not look at you when you talk amongst adults, however their antennas are on. They are listening!
So having a private conversation, just got harder. So when we have the opportunity we either talk faster or make it count or cut to the chase or wait till they go to bed.
4. Alone time before sunrise
It’s like going to a restaurant and you are seating comfortably in a booth. All of a sudden, you get people showing up and cozying up to you. Uninvited guests.
How would you like that? By the time you realize what’s going on, the pirates already took over the ship.
For some reason I don’t find them that cute in those moments… go figure.
They know… so they pull out their lips in the shape of a heart and land a huge kiss and a hug and a loud “I love you!” or “Je t’aime!”… Cute pirates.
5. Light packing when going somewhere
‘Just in case’ packing is a killer! The younger they are, the heavier they weigh (I mean their stuff). Plus, I am the worst in that category because “you never know what you could need on the road”. When I travel back to Canada from France, well it’s like I am bringing the whole country with me. Travelling with kids just gave me an excuse to load her up some more…
I have significantly improved when travelling on my own, interestingly enough I don’t like the extra any more…
Thinking more about it, light packing could be considered an oxymoron…
6. Finances – lighter budgets
What can I say here? Pretty obvious… diapers, clothing, equipment, day care… I am just getting started. Setting money aside for rainy days is a challenge when you have children. It is just the reality and you do with it.
You brace yourself until they are school aged to save on day care cost and yet you realize you still have to pay for after-school fees and extra-curricular activities they may be registered for.
So what you tend to be on the look for are activities or outings FREE for children. You save where you can save to be able to still have a life.
7. Cook together with a limited mess
Just the two of us… we can make it we try… just the two of us… you and I…
Hmmm. Then you hear a little voice saying “I want to help”. First thought is Oh Oh! How long will it take to clean up afterwards?
The little chefs are keen! Particularly for baking. So forget about the little mess and don’t worry about the dishes… they will lick the bowls and spoons for you!
8. Calm and quiet meal… breakfast specially
They can talk. They can talk. They can talk.
9. Going out dancing past midnight
Did I write midnight? Quite ambitious when you have a newborn eh? How about past 9pm…
Those nights when we had enough energy to hit the dance floor at local bars and bust the move at dance parties… Good times!
Now it seems like it is mostly at wedding parties. Any dancing opportunity is a good one. Depending on the babysitting fund and the energy tank, we are usually home before Cinderella.
10. Quiet reading time
Ideally by the fireplace and if you have ever experienced relaxing time by the fireplace, you know it is really cozy and easy to fall asleep.
Now by the time you put the kids to bed you find yourself too tired to finish a chapter (or a page). Tough life!
11. Access to TV
Even the news are difficult to watch when they’re around… no matter how many TV sets you have. They take over the big screen whether you like it or not.
I’m talking physical space yes. Toys everywhere. Need a bigger vehicle to load all the bambinos.
Also talking about brain space. As parents, we always have something about the children to think of. Just can’t help it.
Plus they have no issue reminding you to not forget the things they need you to remember…
There is hope though. Like I said at the beginning, we still can do these things if we use the BEEP solution… Say what?
B. E. E. P.!!!
Boundaries (got to let them know who da boss!)
Energy (lots of it – keep your tank filled up)
Entertainment (better make them laugh than cry)
Planning (get it together AND keep it together…)
Try to add that to your parenting tool kit.
If like me you have more than one little treasure… double up… BEEP BEEP!
Triple? BEEP BEEP BEEP
Need more???… Best of luck!
What about you… Want to add to the list? Please share things you miss that you were doing before a major change in your life.
Au revoir for now.