Once Upon a (Childless) Time

Big M is in Atlantic City for a bachelor party tonight and the kids just went to sleep. So yea…this is happening 😉

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I’m not going to lie, I’m insanely jealous of Big M.  Not because he’s hanging out with a bunch of single guys who are likely to end up, at some point, in a strip club tonight. Not that kind of jealous.  I’m just jealous that he’s lucky enough to be out of this crazy house for a night, drinking until his liver hates him, gambling away money we definitely don’t have, and maybe going to a club where I really hope all of the employees are wearing clothes. Pretty much everything I used to do BC (before children).  Right now that lucky bastard is drinking beer, playing roulette, and probably enjoying really good music in the company of really good friends. Meanwhile, I spent the day handing out juice boxes, playing peek-a-boo with one kid and Nintendo Wii with the other, and watching every single godforsaken show on Nickelodeon.  So you better believe I’m jealous as hell.

It’s isn’t actually about Big M—really I’m happy he’s going out tonight.  He doesn’t go out often so he deserves a night out, and I have a bunch of DVR’d episodes of Days of Our Lives to catch up on anyway.  It’s just that it’s a slightly depressing reminder of how much life changes when you have kids.  There is so much you have to give up…

Once upon a time I could kill a whole day lazily watching movies in bed.  I could consume as much ice cream as Ben & Jerry’s could stock in my local supermarket’s freezer and not have to fear the inevitable return of the 45 pounds I’d gained during my first pregnancy. Once upon a time I actually had the time to regularly organize my favorite new songs into iPod playlists in order to have good music to listen to while running on the treadmill.  That was when I actually knew what the newest songs out were and I also owned a treadmill (and even used it once in a while).  Once upon a time I could call my friends on any random day of the week and spontaneously make a plan to go out (dare I say it?) that VERY SAME NIGHT.  Then I could go out and blow my entire paycheck without fearing I’d just spent all the money I’d been putting aside for the kids’ summer wardrobes.  Once upon a time I’d visualized living in a great big American dream house that I’d bought with the money I’d earned at my great big American dream six-figure salary job (not quite the apartment-renting stay-at-home-mom that I am today).  Once upon a time I could sit and peacefully eat a whole entire meal without getting up even once to refill a sippy cup or wipe up spilled juice, or cut someone’s meat into fifty chewable little pieces; and I could also take a whole entire shower without someone walking into the humid, fogged-up bathroom and leaving behind a toilet full of steaming turd (not to mention forcing me to reach my hand out and saturate an entire roll of toilet paper in order to to aid in butt-wiping procedures).  Once upon a time I could even hold my liquor, much better than now anyway, and easily stay awake until the sun came up–not the least bit worried about being up in approximately twenty minutes to change diapers and make breakfast for two tiny, hungry humans.

But then again…

Once upon a time I also didn’t know how it felt getting amazing tiny hugs from those tiny humans.  I didn’t know anything about that feeling you get when you watch them sleep, and their sweet little lips pucker back and forth like they do when they are drinking their milk, and their little eyelashes flutter ever so slightly, and you’re compelled to touch their cheek very gently with the tip of your finger, just because not even the finest quality of silk in the world is half as soft as their smooth, precious skin. Once upon a time I couldn’t comprehend the seething rage or the blinding fury you could feel toward anyone or thing who dared to hurt your child, even in the smallest way, and the way you’d literally move heaven and earth to make them never get hurt again. Once upon a time I didn’t know the way every rock-hard bone in your body could be reduced to a pile of mere jello, that every cell you were composed of could melt into an enormous puddle those first few unbelievable times your sweet little angel smiles at you. Once upon a time I didn’t know that my heart could literally explode with pride and joy at little things like a school picture, or a successful doctor’s visit, or a pre-k graduation, or from merely watching your child dance around the living room to an upbeat commercial jingle. Once upon a time I couldn’t even conceive of feeling this wildly unconditional and insanely overwhelming amount of love for anything at all– a feeling so dynamic that it encompasses your entire being and is essentially greater than any other feeling you’ve ever felt before or likely will ever feel again.

Once upon a time I was certainly a lot more free. But I wasn’t entirely me.  My children have awakened a part of me I never even knew existed until they came into my life.

And that? I wouldn’t change for all the parties and drinking and clubbing and sleeping-in and Ben & Jerry’s and free time and uninterrupted showers in the world.

On that painfully mushy note, I think I’ll make this my last glass of wine….. 😉

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2 thoughts on “Once Upon a (Childless) Time

  1. I know exactly what you mean, often I see my single friends going out having all the time in the world but I find it hard to do much these days because it takes hrs to even get the kids ready and out the house so I rather stay indoors, I live them to death but god I can use some me time! I’m glad I am not the only one 🙂 , a motherly instinct you kids always come first no matter how much u want to go b out, I always feel guilty

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