Motherhood, as a whole, is a soul-filling, heart-wrenchingly wonderful gift. The good moments are far too many to recount. There is a joy that is unspeakable, like having a hole in your heart you never knew was there become completely filled, and overflow. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It has changed me, matured me, rounded me out and made me stronger. Do not mistake this post for anything other than a very real and honest take on the moments that aren’t Hallmark-worthy and there are many of them!
So, before you draft up a hateful comment or even thoughts about me and what a terrible person I am for not singing anything but the praises of perfect motherhood, stop and take a breath. I am not a perfect mom. I am anything but. What I am and what I strive to be every day is an honest, authentic and vulnerable mom. If you are too, you can surely relate to just a few of these… and if you can’t, you are either rocking motherhood, or doing it completely wrong. ;)
15 Things I Miss Since Becoming A Mom
I miss sleep. Specifically, sleeping when I want, how long I want and where I want. Since day one Baby Deux let it be clear that he was not a “sleeper” and now, nearly 9 months later, he has set that decision in stone. I’m up 3 to 4 times a night still, often waking for the day at 5 am. I am a complete and total mombie most of the time. I gave up caffeine during pregnancy and quickly gave up on giving up caffeine after this one was born. I fantasize about my bed. I also fantasize about checking into a hotel, for the sole purpose of uninterrupted sleep. Sleeping in? HA! Unless you count 7 am sleeping in. Oh, how I miss sleep!
I miss eating what I want, and when I want. It’s really a wonder that I’m not skinny, because when I’m alone with the kids, I never really eat. What I do eat are things that can be hastily prepared and more hastily eaten. They typically have little nutritional value and serve no real satisfaction. When I do make something worthwhile during the rare times that he baby is not screaming and the toddler isn’t demanding something, the toddler then demands that which I am eating… And then drops it on the floor or spits it out after tasting it and declaring it “yuck”. I’m so hungry.
I miss not being covered in spit, poop, formula, and God knows what else. Hollywood A-listers think it’s fashionable to change outfits multiple times a day. For me, it’s a must. Unless I want to walk around smelling like miscellaneous bodily fluids. Sometimes I do grin and bear it, because you know, there’s always those piles of laundry and the very real possibility of nothing clean to wear. Will I ever have stain-free clothing again? Will I ever bother getting “dressed” on a regular basis again? I don’t know. Because getting a little poop on my yoga pants seems less daunting than on a silk top.
I miss showering on a regular basis. Before you cringe your nose up and think, “Eww gross. She doesn’t shower.” I mean, a regular, daily, hot shower with a complete regimen of cleaning and conditioning my hair, shaving my legs, exfoliating with some lovely smelling shower gel, and various other treats of grooming. Showers have become hasty, incomplete and often accompanied by the screaming of a baby and the incessant door-knocking of a toddler asking what I’m doing even though it’s pretty obvious as my shower door is clear. I have become an absolute pro with dry shampoo and super on-trend “messy hairstyles”. It is kind of
embarrassing inspiring how little I wash my hair.
I miss accomplishing minor tasks. These days it feels like everything is a marathon of effort while juggling kids. Load the dishwasher? What used to take 10 minutes, now takes well over an hour and happens in several increments. Run to the grocery store? With children. Um, no. It feels like nothing is simple anymore. Nothing is quick. And, nothing is accomplished without the “help” of my toddler. BTW, how UN-helpful are toddlers?!
I miss the entire world not seeing me naked. Since a few weeks into pregnancy, I felt my privacy bolt for the door. Between exams, childbirth and postpartum, way too many people have seen me naked. I used to be pretty modest. Okay, REALLY modest. But now that my body has been an incubator, my breasts have been a cafeteria and I’m NEVER alone, I just never get to be naked, alone. The minute I’m trying to get in a shower, use the restroom, change my spit up covered top or slip into my PJs, there is always SOMEONE standing there biding for my time and attention.
I miss getting in the car in like, 2.5 seconds. I hate being trapped in the house all day, but most days, the very thought of coralling my children together, packing a sufficient diaper bag, clicking everyone in and out of car seats and just driving with two little monkeys in the car is enough to send me to the couch, never having seen the sunlight. Getting in the car takes FOREVER and usually ends in me cursing under my breath, sweating profusely and usually forgetting why I dared to even leave the house in the first place. Again, this is why I’m pretty much an exclusive online shopper. Being outside in the world is exhausting!
I miss dating and romance. I know that my husband feels the same. The business of raising children can suck a lot out of you. When you add the business of work in there (husband’s work), we have no energy and time left for each other. It’s not often the daily conversation veers from how much the baby pooped or what crazy disrespectful thing the toddler said or did. We’re trying… but parenthood tends to consume romance like the cookie monster consumes cookies. And I’m saddened that’s the only analogy I could come up with because my days are filled with Sesame Street instead of reading novels.
Watching my TV shows. I’m actually not much of a television watcher but I do have a few shows and sitcoms that I enjoy and feel like they offer a bit of a mental break from parenting. However, I do not often get to watch these shows as there is house-filling screaming often covering any attempts to listen to a television, or when the television is on, the toddler demands such gems as Caillou (who is the worst little human being on the planet), Yo Gabba Gabba, Paw Patrol or some other monstrosity of children’s programming. I am convinced that the people who write these shows are plotting my demise.
I miss my body… or the body that was. I’ve never been a super model, but there was a time when I was in decent shape and actually enjoyed the way I looked. Pregnancy and motherhood has stripped a lot of that from me. I’m always working on my weight. I am marred by pregnancy stretch marks. I am unshowered (as I have previously spoken about). I’m super out of shape. And it just plain sucks. I know there’s a lot of sentiments out there about embracing your super powerful and amazing mom body and all it’s capable of and seeing your stretch marks as “tiger stripes” and all that. Honestly, I’m just not there yet.
I miss peace and quiet. Is there ever going to be a day where my house is not filled with screaming, crying, “NO!”, “MINE” and all that other ruckus? Though I love the sounds of my children’s laughter and cooing filling the house and it was a sound I dreamed of when I was thinking about having children… well, I guess I didn’t take into account the screeching and tantruming that would come with it. There are days where I feel like I would drag my out of shape body up the side of a mountain just to experience some peace and quiet. Somehow, earplugs just don’t do the job.
I miss having a
clean tidy house. I guess I gave up on having a clean house long ago. Though having that would fulfill my ultimate fantasies, most days I just want a house that is somewhat tidy. Having boys has taught me that we have going to have to live in filth and chaos for a couple of years. I’m not yet at peace with that fact. I’m trying to convince myself that the desire for minimalism that I am currently going through is more of a psychological maturing instead of me just wanting to get rid of everything in sight so it’s physically impossible to make a mess.
I miss having an semblance of free time. Though I would not take my single days back for anything, I do so miss the concept of free time. I was drowning in free time as a single. I could do what I want, when I wanted, for as long as I wanted and for pretty much any cost. I took lessons. I took trips. I had hobbies. I had stories to tell about things I did. Some days I just want 5 minutes to read a chapter of a book so I have something to talk about besides diaper changes, what that jerk Caillou is up to or the latest color of my son’s runny boogers.
I miss having actual adult conversations. Spinning off the last point, because I have no free time, I really have no life outside of motherhood, and in turn, I have nothing interesting to talk about. My husband and I get caught in this unending rut of talking about his work or something to do with our children. We have become the most boring people on the planet. I so wish I could have just one smidgen of “the most interesting man on the planet’s” life just so I could have something to talk about.
I miss being able to be spontaneous. It’s not that I was ever a spontaneous person before having children. In fact, I used to get regularly ridiculed for being such a planner and so very type A. At least there was the possibility, every once in a while, for the hubby and I to decide to pack a bag and head for the coast at the last minute. Or, see that one of the bands we like was playing even a few hours away and decide to jump in the car. With children, we have to plan with such precision and thought that it’s plain exhausting. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of things we need to make sure are with us. Even packing the diaper bag gets overwhelming at this point. It would be so nice to decide to do something… and then just do it. And simultaneously have the funds to actually do it. Life used to be so easy!
So, there you have it. Please, tell me I’m not alone.
What do you miss since becoming a mom (or dad)?