Before children, I often went about my life with the harried pace of the corporate world. Commuting, bouncing between conference calls and meetings, late nights at the office, 4AM wake ups for early morning flights, eating meals at my desk. However, nothing quite compares to life at home now with two kids under 4 and a third on the way. On a daily basis, I am reminded of just how many of life’s small luxuries I took for granted before kids.
8 Small Luxuries I Took for Granted Before Kids
So many of these were just such a part of my daily routine, I never realized they were something to be enjoyed and savored… until I now live without them.
1. Using the bathroom… alone
I never thought about how nice it was to go to the bathroom, whenever I needed to, with the door closed and no audience. Now, if I’m lucky, only one of the girls is in the bathroom with me, and if I dare close the door, one or both of them are either knocking on it, opening it, or worst of all, coming in and slamming it on the other. On the rare occasions I am left to use the bathroom in blissful peace, it actually terrifies me… it usually means something like this is happening.
2. Showering… daily
The biggest obstacle I faced with getting a shower in every morning before kids was whether hubby hit snooze one too many times. Now, that’s still an obstacle – but I’m also competing with the uber-early internal alarm clocks of a toddler and preschooler. I used to get a leisurely 45-60 minutes to shower, dry my hair, moisturize, apply make-up and get dressed in freshly dry cleaned, tailored duds every morning. Now, if I get a 20-30 minute window once every 2 days to shower, dry my hair and grab the first washable, dryable shirt and semi-clean jeans I can find on my closet floor, I’m doing pretty good!
3. Eating a meal… hot and uninterrupted
The only time I get to actually sit down, remain seated, and finish an entire meal from start to finish without leaving the table is when hubby and I make it out for a date night every month or two, or I go out with my girlfriends, which is even less frequently. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, and no matter how well I think I have everyone situated, the second I sit down to take a bite, someone needs something… a napkin, ketchup, another fork, more milk. I’m also always the last one to sit down at the table, by which point the food is usually already luke warm. And everyone is usually up and running around wreaking havoc again by the time I’ve had about my third bite.
4. A freshly cleaned house
There is no such thing as a clean house with kids. A clean room? Maybe. But as soon as you leave it, they come in behind you like a little tornado, leaving a path of destruction in their wake again. With just Big M, it wasn’t as futile, but Lil’ M just enters a room and it’s destroyed. We currently have our house on the market and constantly have to prepare for showings, open houses. We basically wait to clean until they are sleeping, and then get them out of the house the next morning as fast as we possibly can before they have a chance to mess anything up. There is no such thing as a clean house with kids – just a never-ending battle to keep the chaos at bay.
5. Running a few quick errands
I remember when I used to be able to get gas, the car washed, drop off and pick up my dry cleaning, swing by the bank and even make a trip to the grocery store in less than 2 hours. And I actually enjoyed tackling a list of errands. Now, just the thought of more than 2 stops with both kids in tow exhausts me. First, there’s the battle to get everyone dressed, force use of bathroom/diaper changes, and into the car without every toy they own. This now takes even longer since Lil’ M has officially reached 2 and must do everything her ‘self!’
All of this must then be repeated, twice, at each arrival and departure point. It takes a good 5-10 minutes per stop just to get everyone in and out of the car! Then, when you are actually in places, I must say, “Don’t touch that,” “Put that back,” “Do not put random things in the cart!” at least 10 times each. There is a reason I am an Amazon Prime subscriber, use Subscribe & Save religiously, and also have my groceries delivered via Peapod. If someone would just open up a drive-thru produce and milk stand, I’d be set!
6. Making last minute plans
Remember when you could text your girlfriends at 4pm to meet out for drinks at 7pm on the same day? Or decide on Friday afternoon, you and your husband would meet out for a nice meal? Now, to meet up with my girlfriends requires at least 2 weeks notice, negotiating all our different calendars to find a night that works, which usually pushes it out at least a month, and then repeatedly reminding my husband he needs to be home that night so I can make it out the door in time. A date night with the hubby is now contingent on our babysitter’s social calendar – which I can assure you, is way more active than ours – and often requires at least 2 weeks notice. Someday, we will maintain our commitment to weekly date nights… in the meantime, we will just keep making it our New Year’s Resolution every year.
7. Sleeping past 7AM
Forget sleeping-in. I’d just like to someday sleep past 6:30 or 7AM, on a weekend, just once. I don’t even set an alarm anymore – I have two real, living alarm clocks, named Big and Lil’ M. There is some inkling of hope on this one though. While Lil’ M is still up with the birds every morning, Big M seems to be sleeping later and later, especially if I keep her super active the day prior. So maybe, just maybe, in 4-5 years, when M3 is Big M’s age now, it just might happen!
8. Traveling light
Whether packing a small overnight bag, or just walking out the front door with only my keys, phone and wallet, once you have kids, the days of traveling light are pretty much over. I’ve done it once or twice in the last month, and instantly regretted it every time. My diaper bag has pretty much become a permanent appendage for the last 4 years, and with M3 on the way, likely will be for the next 3-4 years to come.
A quick overnight at the in-laws, that used to require little more than my swimsuit, pjs, a toothbrush and maybe a change of clothes, now requires 3 large tote bags, a duffle bag, blankies, binkies, a sound machine, and just short of a partridge in a pear tree… and while I always remember every single thing the kids might possibly need, I always forget my own toothbrush.
While I love my girls dearly, and get great joy from their laughs and childhood innocence, I definitely miss these simple, daily luxuries, that I never even thought twice about before kids. What small, simple luxury do you miss most from your pre-kid days?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy 9 Reasons Moms are the Worst Drivers and An Inside Look at the Real Daily Life of this SAHM. You can find all of these, as well as our favorites from around the web on our What to Expect and Parenting Tips boards on Pinterest!