Things I miss from my pre-mum days

Being a mum is hands down the best thing I’ve done with my life but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a nostalgic moment or two for my pre-parent days. The ones where I (hardly ever) doubted I was going to get less than a full night’s sleep. When I had bags of time to myself that I could waste without doing anything much in particular. When I could hold an entire, articulate conversation without forgetting what I was talking about half way through.

After a few years of doing this mummy thing, I’ve finally allowed myself to admit there are things I miss from before – and that this doesn’t make me a bad mum or mean I love my children any less. Even while knowing that I would never swap what I have now, there are moments (usually following a few rough nights and/or tantrumy days) when my former life takes on something of a rosy glow.

So, perhaps it’s time to examine exactly what I really miss from that heady, carefree time…

1. Sleep
The obvious one but all too true. It’s been around four years now since I had a proper, deep, amazing night’s sleep and oh how I miss it. Even when our sleep settled down after baby number one, it was never quite the same; I will wake at the merest hint of a rustle from Little Miss A’s room these days, or a random noise in the house that could either be the central heating or a burglar/pack of wild animals trying to get in.

2. Huge long lay ins
I was really very good at laying in at the weekend. I loved that luxurious feeling of waking up and realising there was no work to go to and I could just snuggle back down and doze for another hour or two. Or get a coffee and some toast and laze in bed with a book. Or watch a bit of Saturday Kitchen tucked up under the covers. Or cuddle up to the husband for a while. Sigh. I think I might miss my lay ins even more than a full night’s sleep!

3. My boobs
Even when I lost all the baby weight first time round, my breasts stayed about a cup size larger than pre-pregnancy, which was, quite frankly, annoying as I was completely satisfied with their size before. Will they ever be the same again? I’m yet to find out for sure but I fear not.

4. Heels
Aside from the practicalities of flats for running around after a toddler, I physically can’t manage heels for any length of time any more without them killing my back, maybe a legacy of SPD in pregnancy. I wasn’t even your stereotypical ‘love to go shoe shopping and own about a billion pairs’ girl, so it’s surprising how much it bothers me. There are a pair of knee high boots, a pair of ankle boots and some gorgeous sandals that I mourn wearing in particular, all with what now seem to be ridiculously high heels – how did I wear them all day? – and all tucked carefully away in the hope I will be able to reclaim them one day.

5. Spontaneous nights out
The ones when you get home from work and can’t be bothered to cook and decide to just pop out for dinner instead. Or when you’ve gone out for what you think will be a quick drink and it turns into the most unexpectedly, brilliantly fun night ever. When the conversation is witty and the wine flowing (or the flowing wine makes you think the conversation has been witty, at any rate). When the food and company is good and can be lingered over without any thought of your toddler providing a 6.30am wake up call. We still do attempt the odd spontaneous dinner out as a family but it takes considerably more effort and it’s not quite the same without all the wine when you have to be back by 6/7pm for bedtime.

6. Conversations with my husband
Real, proper conversations about life, the universe and everything. As opposed to attempted conversations punctuated with interruptions to deal with a toddler, where one or both of us end up loosing track of what we’re saying and give up. Or attempted conversations after the day is done when really we’re both so exhausted we’d rather just cuddle up and zonk out in front of the TV.

7. Whole chunks of time doing nothing much in particular
What did I used to do with my evenings and weekends? I wasn’t out partying all hours, had a select few hobbies and didn’t spend a lot of time being organised doing practical chores and errands. I can only conclude I wasted a lot of time faffing around, maybe watching some TV, maybe keeping my books and CDs in alphabetical order, maybe taking long hot soaks in the bath with candles and relaxing music. Who knows? Free time now is at such a premium that the idea of not using it productively seems both wasteful and wonderfully decadent at the same time.

8. My really nice coats
I have a couple of lovely winter coats, the kind that are fairly smart and look flattering and aren’t waterproof but that’s alright because you have an umbrella and don’t spend much time in the rain anyway. They are packed carefully away with my heels. Now I wear my ‘mum’ coat: waterproof and warm (i.e. padded and unflattering) as I seem to be exposed to the elements much more regularly these days, usually tussling with carseats and pushchairs. And with a hood because I need both hands to manage the toddler, baby and all necessary equipment.

9. Sleep
I know I included this one already but I miss it so much I think it’s worth mentioning twice. Sleep deprivation isn’t used as a form of torture for no reason…

What do you miss (trivial or otherwise!) from your pre-children days?

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5 Comments on “Things I miss from my pre-mum days”

  1. sparrow says:

    Oh gosh, all of the above. Recently my husband and I went out on a double date with another couple (no kids), and it was such a rare treat, all that uninterrupted conversation…

  2. I miss leaving the house whenever I feel like it. It might just be a walk to the local shop, in peace without voices pestering for this and that before I’ve even got there or even a call out of the blue where I could just drop everything and leave without thinking. You made me wish I was right back at the no kids stage again!


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