Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sometimes, I miss Life Before Max

I know, it's hard to imagine—just look at the kid.

This is what I'm taking about:

Dave and I went out to dinner tonight with my good friend Lyla and her husband, David, at the Outback. Over a Bloomin' Onion (I think I have used up all of my calories for the rest of the year) and strip streaks, we talked about 9/11 and its aftermath. We laughed about old stories, like the time Dave and I were walking into a restaurant and suddenly, this kidney stone I had decided to make its way down my insides (don't ever pass a kidney stone, if you can avoid it) and I turned bright red with pain and bent over, clutching my belly, and gasped, "I have go to to the hospital NOW!" and Dave said, "But can I just get a sandwich to go?" (We didn't get the sandwich.) We talked about our jobs and home renovations and a blog David is into called Sexy People that features people's old photos of themselves. We laughed more about, oh, I don't remember. But I do remember exactly how I felt over dinner: carefree. And, free. And like an adult. Not a parent, an adult. And a little sentimental.

During these rare dinners out with friends, a longing rises within me for that time in my life before I had kids.

I'll bet plenty of parents have similar pangs on occasion. You take on a world of responsibilities when you have a child. You suddenly have a little less fun and a whole lot less time for yourself. But for me, there is the added yearning of a time when I was free from the worries, the tears, the fears, the what-ifs, the will-he-have-a-seizure-agains, the will-he-be-OKs, and all of that.

We got home at 11; Max woke up at 11:30 and stood at the top of the stairs, sniffling loudly. It's how he announces he has woken up. I walked upstairs, scooped him up, buried my face in his warm neck, nuzzled him and breathed him in.

It made me happy.

But, damn, that Bloomin' Onion is lying in my stomach like a ton of lead.


  1. Funny you should blog about this - I've been thinking a lot about life before kids lately - so much so I just decided yesterday that I am going to start a reg Thur blog post called 'Thinking Back Thursday' - just to remind myself really that I had a life before motherhood - and you're right, it's always a laugh remembering good times when responsibilities were few and life was a lot more simple.

  2. You are so right. I think we all have moments when we wish we could go back to a carefree life.
    But then just like Max, one of our children brings us back to reality.
    It is fun though to go out and just be an adult, not a mommy.

  3. Sometimes i miss the life i had before Bradley but i don't think it was the freedom to go out with friends and do the things i wanted to do.
    I miss being carefree, my only problems worrying did i have enough money to pay the bills or what i would get up to at the weekend. Once you have a child with special needs your life is changed forever, some in good ways and many in bad.

    For years i cared for my childs every need, held his hand on his hopital bed, cuddled him when he was choking or coughing up blood, did his physio, learnt how to use different equipment, had all the ups and downs of the emotional rollercoaster.
    He passed away this year in January and he is so dearly missed, as are the days before he was born as i will now be a forever changed woman with good and horrible memories and grief i should never have had to endure in my lifetime of the death of my child.

  4. oh yes. Hubby is actually off camping right now. something we used to do together ALL THE TIME before kids.

    hey, i've been there with the kidney stones too... a few times, those things are almost as bad as labor.

  5. I have these feelings sometimes, too. I miss being a flight attendant sometimes when I could just pick up and go to Paris or St. Croix or Seattle. I miss being able to jump out of my car and run into WaWa for a quick coffee. I miss jetting off to Vegas with my husband on a whim. I miss struggling to get pregnant and wishing and hoping that I would have a child to love...oh, wait. I don't miss that. ;-) I have to say - with all the struggles and stress...I wouldn't go back to my old life for anything. Ever.

  6. Oh I love that blog you mentioned! Yours is my favorite, but that one is too funny. Its so weird to look at the pictures and they look familiar because I think I'm getting old and used to do my hair like that or wear those things! YIKES Thanks for the great suggestion.

  7. When I look back before I had kids, I remember that freedom to take a nap when you're tired or to just go out. Vacations sans kids are awesome for recapturing, if possible. Even if it's just for one night.

    We once had my in-laws come by for two nights. One of those nights, the husband and I took off for dinner and a hotel less than half an hour away! We both slept through the night, and got up when we wanted to. We even read books! Totally worth it.

    I was such a good mom the next day.

  8. If he likes that blog he should check out, it's hilarious!

  9. I think we all feel this way. Right? I Remember hanging out drinking and going off to Texas Nightlife where you paid five dollars to hear the band, everybody Two-stepped, and there was a mechanical bull.

  10. Totally understandable. And it's really true, laughter is the best medicine.

  11. I'm glad you got a night to remember. I know I love my kids and don't regret having them, but I miss what life was like before they came. I expect it's even worse when you have a child in crisis.

  12. Hey! *squeezes hand*

    when you have those days try and remember what you looked like with a bubble perm or side ponytail, or taffeta bubble skirt, candida jeans or those hideous high waisted baggies.

    Remember Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, All those dead looking Soviet leaders (who died a lot)

    We always think things were better before, but there were mums just like you back then, mums with less medical and clinical support, less enlighted attitudes to integration and education, less opportunties.

    And no blogs like yours to read to feel less alone.


  13. Some of the things that I miss are being able to go to church and being part of a small group. It seems as if no one misses our family. I miss talking with my family at family gatherings because I am too busy keeping track of my son.

    Though without kids, I wouldn't have my 5th grade daughter ask me if I have been smoking pot which causes short-term memory loss. Without Luke, I would have missed out on the great folks I've met and those I've met on-line. My life has been enriched.

  14. You are definitely not alone in your thoughts! Kids can be so exhausting and I'm sure all parents have those moments where they miss the quite before children came along LOL Many times I've thought - oh to be 16, or even 20 again - to have no responsibilities other than doing homework, no one to look after but myself LOL

  15. I am returning to work full-time in 3 weeks and feel conflicted about it because while I'm going to miss my children so much, it does give a nice return to life-before-kids, even if it involves other duties. I think that taking time out to be carefree also helps to inject a bit of the carefree attitude into our working days, when we need it most, even if we're not technically carefree at the time.

  16. YAY! We had so much fun with you guys too!!! I are happy to go out anytime u wanna relive your single girl days! Remember your straight hair confidence? You should blog about that! And yeah, that bloomin onion is still sitting in my big belly. Oy.

  17. Oh, yeah.

    I know what you mean. Those carefree days! The ' being able to afford things' because you weren't worrying about school fees and clothes and co-pays and toys for Christmas!

    To say nothing of the days when we'd think nothing of going to the OUTBACK for a weekend dinner!

    I loved those Bloomin' Onions too...and that disgustingly delicious sauce that goes with 'em!

  18. My experience is that those freedom moments come in spurts and gradually more frequently as the children get older.

    I'd like to say that you feel that way again at empty nest time, but not completely. Today I emailed our college-aged-child just to get him to call. It worked!

    Did you know I linked to your blog last week? 2nd post down.

  19. I love this post! It sums up exactly how I feel about parenthood some days/nights--um, tonight is one of those moments. xo


Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...