Sarah suggested that for our first blogs, we should each write about what it was like before we both had our children and how our lives have changed. I’m not sure if sleep deprivation or baby brain are to blame but in all honesty, I’m struggling to remember much before the moment these words were scrawled in my medical notes:
“5.54am: Knife to skin”
It’s only been 6 years since my first born made a dramatic appearance out of my lower abdomen through a 6 inch incision in a flurry of terrifying emergency surgery. 6 years, that is all. But when I think back to those pre-baby days it generates more questions than answers.
What the hell did we (my now husband and I) used to do with all that time on our hands?
What on earth did we used to talk about?
What the flip did we do at the weekends?
I wondered for a while if this onset of pre-baby amnesia is not mother nature’s kindly way of helping us cope with the realisation that we are now responsible parents and that we have well and truly kissed goodbye to the life we once had as young and carefree lovers.
There was a definite point at about 6 – 8 weeks in to our adventures in to parenthood, when the penny finally dropped, like a full and filthy nappy from a toddlers waist. This is it. There is no going back. We are responsible for keeping this tiny human alive 24/7. This was followed by a short spell of grief for the lives we just left behind, then we got a grip and I think that’s when the amnesia set in – for self preservation purposes.
But now, if I put myself under hypnosis I can vaguely remember…
Long Saturday afternoons stretched out on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, reading the Guardian supplements and listening to music. Nice music.
Trips to the pub for Sunday lunch and three pints of Guiness to cure a hangover.
Nights out that began around bedtime and finished around sunrise.
Guilt free evening exercise classes when I could leave the house without anybody crying and begging me not to abandon them.
Long, meaningful conversations over dinner with husband that involved eye contact and each others full attention. Ketchup did not feature and drinks were rarely knocked over.
Hours spent wondering around Habitat fondling tea towels before coming home with a new jazzy mug with which to make a hot cup of tea in.
Spending the whole weekend indoors and not fretting about whether anyone has had enough fresh air.
Never reaching for the remote control during the day and certainly not first thing in the morning!
Sleeping whenever the hell I wanted, for as long as I wanted.
Using a hair dryer.
Going to the toilet without a child sitting on my lap.
Just ‘popping out’
Listening to radio programs as a nice thing to do, not just because its on in the background whilst I’m trying to wash – up, cook dinner, make a packed lunch, answer questions, fetch drinks, or pay attention to a child who is prodding me with their finger and repeating the word “Mummy” over and over again even after I’ve said “Yes?” twenty times.
Having two incomes… oooohhhhh!
I could go on but I don’t think it’s wise.
Quick! Lets look at the positives:
Life is NEVER dull.
Kids are bloody hilarious.
Sniffing your own child’s head is the antidote to any kind of sorrow.
A bit like having a dog, having kids forces you to get fresh air and exercise, so they are actually quite a healthy lifestyle choice… like getting a juicer.
Feelings of pride and love are on tap.
Getting to sleep in until 7.30am feels like a lottery win.
Wine at the end of the day is justified. Always.
Time is so precious that any non-child related tasks get done promptly and efficiently, procrastination is no longer an option!
Cold tea is actually not that bad.
Christmas gets really good again.
Playing lego in your pyjamas all day is totally acceptable.
So yes, my life has changed, of course it has. But it’s not hard to see which is the more rewarding, satisfying, interesting and fun..
Now if you don’t mind I’m just ‘popping out’ to get the Guardian.