I miss life before kids.
I miss not being exhausted and sleeping all night.
I miss relaxing weekends and owning my time.
I miss making plans without having to think of babysitting.
I miss date nights and nothing being more important than my marriage.
I miss my husband and the time and energy we had for each other.
I miss intimacy without sleeping kids in the bedroom.
I miss leaving the house clean in the morning and finding it clean when I get home from work at night.
I miss the gym and healthy eating and having the time to invest in these things.
I miss study and learning and being able to invest in me.
I miss work and productivity and performance reviews that told me I was doing well.
I miss new projects and morning coffees and colleagues to call on on tough days.
I miss days off and sick leave and annual leave and work-from-home-with-no-distraction days.
|Getting stuff done with some of my former work colleagues.|
I miss weekend plans without having to be home for nap time.
I miss wearing any clothes I want without worrying whether I can breastfeed in them.
I miss leaving the house with just myself and a small handbag.
I miss travel and adventures and holidays without needing to pack two cots, a double pram, a highchair and bags of toys.
I miss freedom and my life being all about me.
I miss having capacity, making progress, achieving and getting things done.
I miss going to the hairdresser without needing help and having to justify why I am leaving the house alone.
I miss dinner without food on the floor.
I miss home being a quiet place, an easy place, an escape where nothing is expected of me.
|The lounge room in the first house we lived in after we got married.|
There, I’ve said it, I miss life before kids.
And it’s important to say this because so often we focus only on what is gained when we start a family and not what is lost.
But life is full and when something is added, especially something as wonderful as children, other things have to move to make space.
I shared this with my husband and he said, ‘no, I love that we have kids, we’ve always wanted kids, life is way better with them, they give us and our marriage direction, we are so blessed’. And life IS better with them, that I know, and they DO give us direction and make our lives full. But I’m also allowed to miss sleeping all night and having a tidy house. It’s important we talk about this because postnatal depression rates are high, the mental health of parents matters, and only sharing the rosy moments doesn’t create space for parents to admit it can be hard too. Becoming a mum made me a new person and a better person. But it’s ok to miss the old me sometimes too.
And just as I’m missing the old me, my daughter does something hilarious, and I remember that never before has my life been filled with so much laughter…