I don’t think any parent would disagree that becoming a child rearer changes everything about your life – your body, your relationships, your finances, your sanity. It completely tips your world upside down and shakes it around like a crazy life washing machine. It is the most incredible yet equally terrifying thing you could experience and I wouldn’t change my current life for anything (lie, I would totes love me a money tree in my yard and a wine tap in my kitchen) but there are definitely things I miss about my former life, you know – before I became a slave to a miniature human.
- My body. Now this is something I never imagined I would say due to my horrible body image that has affected me for many many years, but I wish I had appreciated my pre-baby body a lot more. And not just my shape but my ability to do what I wanted with it when I wanted. I definitely appreciate what my body went through growing and birthing a child and I’m proud as hell of it, but I still get a little sulky when I look back at my pre-baby pictures of my smooth unmarked belly without any floppy skin or deep red stretch marks. My stomach now resembles a deflated overstretched whoopy cushion, my boobs never shrunk after my very short breastfeeding journey so they are not proportionate to my body and I don’t think my navel will ever return to the cute little inny it once was (and I know I’m extremely lucky to have been blessed with the ability to carry and birth a child, I’m not ungrateful for that in the slightest. Just saying I have definitely taken on the mumbod form in it’s full glory). And just to be able to sit by myself and watch a full movie or even a news segment without having a toddler crawl all over me, or to be able to cook dinner without holding Chloe on my hip as she can’t bare to be more than a meter away from me – not to mention peeing without her on my lap. To have my body just to myself for one full day would be heavenly, I can’t believe I once felt ripped off that Chloe wasn’t a “cuddly” baby. I jinxed the shit out of myself there, she’s pretty much my 5th limb now.
- My bladder control! I was fortunate to never pee myself while pregnant (I hear it’s a thing) and I was very strict about my pelvic floor exercises twice a day throughout my entire pregnancy. But I won’t lie, I’ve had to do the dash to the loo legs crossed tight more than a few times since giving birth. Coughing/sneezing fits, laughing too much, running and trying to hold it for too long all result in near leakage situations. I’m still yet to actually require a discreet nicker change but we have had some extremely EXTREMELY close calls.
- Money. I remember saying a lot throughout my pregnancy “Babies aren’t that expensive, they just get expensive when they’re older”. Baha-fucking-ha, you silly woman! Although I still believe that to be somewhat true if you’re smart with your baby spending (I was one of those “It’s my first so I want everything new” mums, Gumtree will be getting a work out for number 2 that’s for sure) it’s the living off one wage instead of two when your are accustomed to a certain lifestyle that is difficult. We never really lived beyond our means but we absolutely should have been smarter throughout my pregnancy with budgeting to prepare for my maternity leave. Gone are the days of freshly manicured nails each fortnight or new threads with each payday, god knows what bacteria mini cities are growing under my nails nowadays and I can’t remember the last time I went into a change room to try something on for myself. That’s a lie, I do remember – it was when Chloe was 13 months old and I had worn the crotch out of my favourite pants so I took her into Target and promptly left in tears sans new pants as she had an epic tantrum in the fitting room and I couldn’t bare the scornful looks from fellow shoppers. It was her first public meltdown and it seriously sounded like I was murdering her.
- My ability to sleep through anything. Prior to Chloe you could set a blender of nails to turbo next to my bed and I wouldn’t flinch, I was one of those people that would fall asleep seconds after my head hitting the pillow and I would wake up in the same position 7 – 10 hours later (side note: can’t wait till Chloe is old enough to get herself out of bed and start her day without me so I can sleep in past 6.30am – literally cannot wait!). Surprisingly I’m still able to sleep through my husbands alarm, showering and starting his obnoxiously loud motor bike for work but as soon as that baby monitor flashes on from Chloe coughing or groaning in her sleep as she’s bumped her head on the cot wriggling around for the 13th time I’m wide awake and generally won’t get back to sleep. And bloody anxiety, I bet I’m not the only mama out there awake at stupid o’clock worrying about ridiculous things like if Chloe will get picked on at school (she’s not even 2 yet) or if I’m feeding her enough iron. Wish there was an off switch for the mum-worries!
- My sex life. I know my mum and mother in law read my blogs so I won’t go into too much detail but what they say about your sex life post children is unfortunately proving to be true. Don’t get me wrong, we still do the horizontal dance at least a few-ish times a week-ish (sorry mum) but the old “I’m too tired” or “I have a headache” gets thrown around a hell of a lot more nowadays (or in recent months “Your devil spawn has driven me pretty close to the edge today so I don’t want to chance an oopsie baby from a broken condom!”). I’m not saying we were sex crazed maniacs pre Chloe but the frequency of bonking has definitely dissipated. In fact, the most romantic thing my husband and I have done together in nearly 2 years is share a tub of ice cream in the dark and watch Ghost Adventures after Chloe has gone to bed. Needless to say we are in desperate need a date night without Chloe before my libido packs it’s bags and leaves me for the fantasies of spontaneous overnight hotel getaways with the hubs that I haven’t seen wandering my thoughts in a hot minute.
But with all the things I miss I still couldn’t imagine my life without my little wild child in it. She may have changed my life dramatically but in the most incredibly, exhausting, exciting, terrifying, amazing way. No matter how many times I say becoming a mother has flipped my world upside down, it has made my life more meaningful and whole. It is a journey but a journey I wouldn’t want to do with anyone else but her. But I would still love that money tree or wine tap if such a thing exists.