We do a lot of mourning as mothers. We mourn our child-free days when we could pee in peace and spend hours reading whatever the hell we wanted. We wax nostalgic about lives filled with matinees and manicures and mid-afternoon sex.
Well, I thought I'd mix things up a bit. True, there are a lot of things I miss about my life before I was a mother. However, there are a lot of things that are no longer in my life and I don't miss them one dang bit.
1. Sex and the City
I loved this show.
I think I've watched the entire series all the way through at least five times, but I haven't watched a single episode since getting pregnant with Griffin. It was like some weird light switch. As soon as the stick showed a positive sign, Carrie and the girls seemed out-of-touch, shallow, and just so damn irrelevant. I even tried watching episodes that only focused on Charlotte and Miranda's journeys into motherhood. Still no luck. It just wasn't entertaining anymore and I'm fine with that. Spending hours watching the same episode of SATC over and over again is not something I really miss.
Of course, the two TERRIBLE films have made saying goodbye that much easier.
In all fairness, I wasn't a huge bar patron before I got pregnant, but I played along. Occasionally, I would have a good time drinking and dancing the night away. But those nights were few and far between. More often, I was dragged to bar after bar in search of...I'm not exactly sure what. At the end of the evening, I'd have spent way more money on booze than necessary and have only stinky clothes to show for it.
These days I don't get invited to many bars. But if I do, I have the perfect, adorable excuse to get me out of it.
I know we as mothers give ourselves a lot of guilt over the inevitable post-baby lowering of personal beauty standards. We feel so bad for our chipped nails, shabby clothes, and flabby stomachs. Well, I'm here to argue that that lower standard is a beautiful thing.
Did we really love spending hours (and a butt ton of money) at the salon in an endless quest to keep our nails painted, hair straight, and legs (not to mention other areas) smooth? Because I'm going to be honest, I didn't. I like that there are things way more important to me than my appearance. I like that I no longer feel all the expectation to look a certain way. I'm just a mom. No one expects me to always leave the house looking like a million bucks and that is fine by me.
Added bonus: When you actually DO apply some effort to your appearance, you get way more bang for your complimentary buck. Put on some lipstick and people will act like you stepped off the cover of Vogue.
4. Fertility Fears
I spent a lot of time worrying about whether or not I'd be able to get pregnant. No, seriously, A LOT. I was terrified of having spent years trying not to get pregnant, only to have my ovaries go kaput when I really needed them. I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to give birth. I wanted to have a baby of my own and I was so scared that something would go wrong. I took my temperature religiously leading up to our foray in to baby-making. I made my husband stop putting his laptop in his lap because I was afraid he was frying his sperm. I read up on the right position, the right time of day, the right diet to get pregnant. But the only real way to know if you can get pregnant is to do it.
I did it. On the FIRST try. Twice.
Needless to say, not something I worry about anymore.
5. Big Moments
It's not that my life isn't filled with big moments anymore. Giving birth. First steps. These are pretty big moments. But when I look back through my pre-baby photo albums, months will pass with no pictures. It seems a bit like my normal life wasn't that exciting. Sure, there are hundreds of pictures of me at big parties with my friends or traveling in Paris and Africa. (And if anyone was offering up a trip to Paris, I would not say no.) But those were big moments and big trips were few.
Now, barely a week passes without me snapping a picture or five. Griffin will smile a certain way and remind me of my grandfather. Snap. Nicholas and Griffin will be snuggled on the couch watching Sesame Street on YouTube. Snap. I'll make a delicious dessert for my family that must be documented. Snap.
So, I know it's tempting to look back with rose-colored glasses and long for those pre-baby days. But I've got to say, even with dirty diapers and temper tantrums, parts of my present seem downright rosy as well.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland