I lazily open my eyes to the half-light of early morning. A gentle smile relaxes my face as I recall that it’s a Sunday, and there’s nothing on my to-do list that absolutely requires me to first shower and fix my hair. Double win.
I’m not sure what woke me. Apparently not my husband, still softly snoring beside me. I begin to ponder what my Sunday morning should look like; a hot cup of tea – no, make that two – and an undisturbed hour with my library book that’s due back next week. But certainly not before another couple of blissful hours of sleep first.
A tremendous shriek from somewhere in the house abruptly cuts short my thoughts. “MUUUMMMMM! I need to do a poo, RIGHT NOW, but there’s pee all over the bathroom floor. MUUMMM! And I let the cat in. He’s in the kitchen with a half-eaten bird. The feathers are EVERYWHERE!!”
Three young kids – guaranteed to snap any weary mother immediately back to reality. I peek at the clock, and cringe. 06:27am. I not-so-gently nudge my husband awake, “Honey, the kids need you.” Without opening his eyes, he mumbles something about it not being his turn. “It’s still your turn,” I brazenly remind him, “I already had my turn. Childbirth.”
Even after years of motherhood, it still comes as a terrible shock some days. During my first pregnancy, many well-wishers warned me about the sacrifices of becoming a mother. Of course, as I smiled politely at their stories, I never actually believed they would become my own reality. I was sure I’d manage things better, and never look back.
Though, apparently not.
7 unexpected things I miss about life before kids…
1. Sole singing rights to my music in the car
Because there are times, be it a short drive to school or a longer weekend trip, when I just want to lose myself in a blast of ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica without three toneless back-up singers in the back seat fighting for the air-drumming rights. Yes, they know all the words. Even my 3 year old..
2. Licking the cake mix bowl
As a mother, I know I’m supposed to willingly and graciously let my adorable children take over that privilege. But one day, when my children eventually read this, they’ll learn the terrible truth – that I would be sure to do most of the baking while they were at school just so I didn’t have to share.
3. A ready supply of Band-Aids
And tissues. And toilet paper. They all go missing at an alarming rate in our house. I realise I have three children, but given our excessive consumption, there must be a few extra kids loitering around the place that I haven’t met yet.
4. Cute handbags
And by cute, I mean any bag of a size and weight that won’t leave an angry red mark on my shoulder after a trip out. Handbags that don’t require master level skills in Tetris to be packed with a ridiculous amount of child-related paraphernalia. And handbags that are strictly off-limits to grubby fingers fishing inside for their drink bottle or lost toy car or a Band-Aid.
5. A clean tube of toothpaste
No matter how often and no matter how closely I supervise my children during their teeth-brushing, I’ve admittedly never actually witnessed them squeeze out the toothpaste and smear it all over the lid and the outside of the tube. But there really seems to be no other possible explanation as to how insanely revolting our tube of toothpaste always is.
6. Reckless driving
Thanks in part to my father, and in part to my husband, I shamelessly developed a taste for speed. Though my children will never know this. Before children, speed limits were a pesky hinderance. Now, as I drive my young children around, they have become a sensible and reasonable suggestion. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the speed limits will all at once seem dizzyingly excessive when the day comes that my first child gets behind the wheel.
7. Celebrating my birthday
Possibly bad planning on my part, to have two of my three children born within a week of my own birthday. Each year I’m so consumed by organising their celebrations and creating specially requested birthday cakes that there’s often no time, and no enthusiasm left for a third party. And, though I hate to say it, not one of us has the stomach for a third cake.
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