Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What We Used to Do

Before you had kids, what did you do on a sunny, warm, Saturday?  Do you remember?  Because for the life of us, my husband and I cannot.

We were married right after law school, and enjoyed two years together as a married couple before kids.  In the grand scheme of things, that's not that long.  But still, it's two years.  Two years of "freedom" - and we have no idea what we did?  This is what our children have done to us!

I can tell you what we were not doing.  We weren't exercising.  For better or worse, that's just not our thing.  We weren't shopping - we hate malls and crowded stores and prefer to buy online.  We weren't seeing the sights of our two former hometowns, Manhattan or downtown DC.  (You know how when you live somewhere you never end up doing the touristy things?)  We weren't going to movies, because my husband flat out refuses (weird).

I guess some of the time we must have been working.  We probably watched tv, but certainly not all day (I don't think!).  Then I suppose there was the occasional visit, trip away, get together with friends, etc.  And sleeping in - we definitely did that.  But a general routine?  No clue.  Having kids has changed  our world so much that it is literally hard to remember life before them.  It's just such a world away.  Can you imagine having every Saturday and Sunday to spend exactly how you want?  What on earth would you do?  The possibilities are endless!

My sister is 27 and lives in Manhattan with her boyfriend.  She is a PhD student, so while she is busy, she pretty much manages her own time.  She goes to brunch on the weekends, meets friends for drinks, samples New York's restaurants, goes to the gym at her leisure, never watches Nick Jr., has a semi-empty refrigerator, and sleeps in when she has a hangover.

I can't say I'm jealous, because I've been there, done that.  And I have to say, overall I have few regrets from my life pre-motherhood.  I had a blast in college.  I lived in London for two years and traveled through Europe.  I actually had fun in law school.  I did an around the world post-bar trip.  I ate at restaurants I couldn't afford and took up yoga.  But when I speak to my sister, almost every day, I marvel at how different our lives are.  And I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to trade places with her every now and then, just for a day or two - to catch up on sleep, catch up with friends, and buy clothes that fit my widening hips.

But at the end of the day, I don't want her life because it doesn't have my kids in it.  Motherhood is weird like that.  You give up your life as you know it and center everything on these little people that depend on you completely, but you do it willingly with love and passion.  I would never want to go back to my life pre-kids because then I wouldn't know my kids.  Now that I've met them, I am hooked.  And even though I'm not globetrotting, eating at fine restaurants, or getting 8 hours of sleep, I am well aware that these are going to be the best days of my life.

Someday my sister will have kids and experience the same roller coaster of love, exhaustion, uncertainty, patience, joy, aggravation and wonder.  Until then, enjoy sleeping in, Rachie.  Your days are numbered!


  1. I will train my kids to sleep just like me, right? Right?? But until then, I'll wake up early with yours when I come to visit - well, 8am early, not 7am :)

  2. I found your blog on a link to an article and you say EXACTLY what I say and feel. Keep up the good work. I have two boys too (2 and 3) and it is great to know, I am not alone! :-)


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