So Saturday night I was supposed to have a “girls night out,” but I was too exhausted from being up all Friday night with my daughter who was itchy and miserable from a reaction to the chicken pox vaccine. I felt bad because she is typically a very happy-go-lucky kid, and never has been a fussy baby. As I tried to calm her down, soothe her itching and get her back to sleep, I did thank God my kids were never colicky. As much as I love being a mother, and I’d never trade a moment of it for anything in the world, I do still miss a few things about my previous life. As I struggled to stay awake Friday at 4am, and gave my daughter an oatmeal bath, I remembered some of the things I used to take for granted:
- Sleeping. This one is obvious, but I remembered the days when I could stay up as late as I wanted, and if it was a weekend, sleep in until I woke up all by myself. My body would say to “okay, enough rest, time to get up.” Now it could be anything from crying to chatter over a baby monitor to breakfast requests being yelled down the hallway that wake me from my nightly slumber.
- Going to the bathroom with the door closed. Yes, there was a time in my life where I could close the door while using the bathroom without a) worrying what was happening on the other side of the door now that I left the room and b) no one would be banging on the door wanting to come in and ask for random requests like “more juice.”
- Leaving the house at a moment’s notice. There actually was a time where if I needed some more groceries, or wanted to buy a new book, or just felt like getting out, that I could grab my purse and my keys and go at a moment’s notice. Now it takes an act of God to get me out of the house in less than two hours.
- Traveling for one. I remember when a purse with my keys, wallet, phone, some lip gloss and a mirror were all I needed to leave the house. It seems now I need at least one change of clothing per person, diapers (at least one for every hour I expect to be gone), wipes, juice, milk, snack, baby food, favorite/travel toys, Purell, first aide kit, cell phone, wallet, double stroller and more). Plus, I used to stay out as long as I needed to without having to consider “little” stuff like feedings and nap time.
- Me, me, me. What that? A sale on Lucky jeans? A new sweater at the Gap? A fabulous new pair of black boots? Oh, I’ve gotta have it and I’m gonna buy it. Chances are now, if it’s for me, it’s gonna have to wait. Now there are five people to clothe, three of which grow out of things within months…not to mention food and tuition to consider as well. So now Mama’s lucky to buy new socks let alone a new pair of jeans.
- Reading a book. I used to read all the time. When I was finished one novel, I’d move onto the next. Now, generally speaking, the only books I read are to my kids. If I’m lucky I squeeze in some Cnn.com, other blog’s posting , or an article or two from a magazine. If it isn’t a book authored by someone like Eric Carle, David Shannon or the like, chances are I’m not reading it. For example, I was a few years late on the whole Twilight Saga. I saw the first movie and then read all the books. (l-o-s-e-r)
- Watching TV. Watching TV used to be a different experience. In fact, because of the type of television I am now forced to watch on a ongoing basis, I feel like am actually losing brain cells. One of the reasons I decided to start blogging in the first place was for something to do during inside TV time that didn’t involve me wondering if Mr. Noodle was ever going to get it together on Elmo’s World.
- Having an Adult Conversation. There was actually a point in my life where I could talk about anything that came to my mind. I could talk about politics, war, sex, love, or whatever I wanted without having to worry if the kids could hear me. I never have been able to give up cursing, and you all have seen where that has gotten me. I’m also truly afraid that one more day of Nick Jr., and I’ll completely lose the capacity to have an adult conversation all together.
- Having an adult beverage (or two). Another obvious one. Can’t get tipsy when you have to take care of kids. For my husband and I that usually means only one of us will drink at parties, because someone has to drive and we can’t just stay over where ever we’re hanging out. Even at home when we host a party, someone still has to be able to take care of the kids which, like Friday, often means being up in the middle of the night.
- Sleeping. Did I mention that already? It’s worth mentioning again. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since April 2005.
- Being alone. There was a time in my life where I didn’t appreciate my own company. Now the only time I’m by myself is the five minutes a day when I shower. Even then there is still a strong possibility someone will be coming in with a list of demands or just because…
I love my children more than anything on Earth, but I think it’s okay to admit out loud that maybe just one day I’d like to leave the house on a moment’s notice with nothing but my purse to go buy a new pair of shoes. When I bring the new shoes home I can have a friend over to talk about girl stuff and drink wine and cuss loudly if I wanted to…after a few glasses of wine, I’ll go to the bathroom with the door closed and read a chapter of a new book. Then, not wanting to neglect my guest, I’ll continue talking about whatever comes up and we’ll end up drinking wine until well after midnight. The next day, I’ll probably be tired so I’ll sleep in as late as I want, and spend the next day watching “Friends” and “Sex and the City” re-runs while laying on the couch.
Hey, a girl can dream, right?