I have been thinking about my former life a bit lately. Not in sad, miserable, missing my past life kind of way but there are a few things that I have been reminiscing about from my non-mom life. Maybe these things were on my mind because I was doing a quick trip to California by myself which has become much more of a rarity since becoming a mom. This got me thinking about a few things that I have been missing lately BUT also got me thinking about experiences I have had in the past 4 years that I would not trade for the world.
What I Miss:
1. Travel-Right now, this is my number one. Adam and I used to travel quite a bit. We would do quick weekends to go see a college football game or go see friends, I would travel for fitness conferences or girls weekends. Now, I am very fortunate that I am still able to travel once in a while but obviously financially and logistically it has become a lot harder. Planning a trip now, either with the kids or without seems to be an extreme undertaking. So much has to go into consideration of the flight time, the days traveling, the accommodations etc. Not nearly as simple as it used to be.
2. Being on my own schedule-When you do not have kids, you basically get to do whatever you want when you want, part of the awesomeness of being an adult, right? Though, I do not believe in our schedules being 100% revolved around the children’s schedules, kids, especially young kids thrive and like schedules and routines. Yes, I will not be crazy strict with a bedtime if we are attending a special family event and when traveling everything seems to get off but most of the time, our schedule does revolve around theirs. I know that M needs a nap in the afternoon and C needs some quiet time. If they are not eating by 6 pm, they get hangry. So though I am not super rigid, I do try to keep a regular schedule. I miss doing whatever I want when I want. I guess I can do this again in retirement, right? 🙂
3. Non-scheduled down time-I am all about self-care and really do not feel that I have a problem making myself a priority in this area. I get massages, I go to yoga classes, I am in a book club etc. I make these things happen because they are important to me and make me a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and employee. However, they now have to be scheduled. I have to coordinate with my husband for any type of ‘relaxing’ activity, which by nature does make it a little less relaxing as then I am usually hurrying home. And there is never a time anymore that I just plop down on the couch and hang out. There is always something to be done if there is a spare moment. Though I am not good at it, sometimes I want nothing to do.
4. Spontaneity- Now if you ask any of my friends, they are probably all laughing at this one as ‘spontaneous’ is probably the last word anyone would ever use to describe me (maybe after graceful :). I am very regulated and scheduled and like plans and calendars and organization. However, I do miss being spontaneous and literally making plans at the last minute to do something fun. With kids…frick, even the grocery store trip requires planning (do you have snacks, water bottles, a diaper?). I miss being able to just make last minute plans with my husband on a whim.
5. My Husband-This one is a challenge in so many ways. I do not miss him in a physical sense as he is home for dinner almost every night despite working long hours. He is around almost every weekend. And though I would of course never trade what we have built for anything, our life currently revolves around the kids. They are young, they need us. Yes, I know our marriage should come first but some times honestly it doesn’t, our kids do. We are just trying to keep our heads above water with working full time and trying to be good parents. I know it will not always feel like we never have a spare moment together that does not involve the kids somehow and yes, we do try to make time for date nights but sometimes, I just miss us.
Now though there are a few things I miss, there are experiences that I would never, ever give up and have only been able to experience since becoming a mom.
1. Feeling a baby move inside your belly- I was in California for a baby shower and my mama-to-be friend was always touching her belly as her baby was constantly kicking away. This is honestly one of the coolest parts of pregnancy (in my opinion). I just loved feeling that baby move inside of you. Such a cool feeling.
2. Meeting your baby for the first time-This is hands down one of the best moments of my life and I was fortunate to experience it twice. Those first few minutes after birth are truly one of the best things I have and will ever experience. It was surreal, magical, emotional and beautiful. I know all you mamas know what I am talking about. I can get teary eyed just thinking about it. I sometimes get really sad thinking about never having this again but I cherish those moments like nothing else.
3. Watching them grow and learn-This never ceases to amaze me almost every single day. Though everything we experience with Caleb is our first as parents, watching Madelynn learn some of the same things Caleb did is like a whole new experience that we have not had before. Caleb is constantly surprising us with his questions or general knowledge. Though I credit his knowledge of what certain animals eat and where they live to his schooling, it is so awesome to watch his curiosity, figure out new things and his general observation of the world. Madelynn is in a crazy learning and exploring age from trying to put on her shoes, to helping me in the kitchen to learning new words and more. I just love observing my kids and watching their minds expand and grow.
4. Picking them up from daycare EVERYDAY- My favorite time of the day (second often being my bedtime) is 4:30 PM. This is the time I head to my kids’ school to pick them up. Honestly, it is like being greeted by a puppy. Every day they both run into my arms and yell ‘mommy.’ My heart melts every.single.time. I just love picking them up squeezing them knowing the are mine.
5. Watching my husband be a father-Having kids changes a marriage. Marriage is hard but raising kids with someone is even harder. However, watching the person you love and decided to have kids with become a father is nothing short of amazing. I have been very blessed with a very involved and devoted husband. I love watching
my husband play with our son. I love watching him teach C how to figure out different problems. I love watching him care for our daughter. I love watching him making M giggle. I love watching him be a father.
Though I had a great time in California and think it is SO important for every mama to try to get away in some way or another, I also felt extreme gratitude for the life I have and couldn’t wait to get back to it. I loved drinking mimosas at 11 AM on a Saturday with no worries about driving or taking care of my kids, I loved staying out late with friends and then staying up even later watching TV and surfing the internet. I loved sleeping in with no kid alarm but mostly I loved the fact that I get to go home to my kiddos and husband and back to the world of schedules and no spontaneity and less travel and scheduling my down-time. I would not trade it for the world.