Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: I Dreamed A Dream: The Things I Miss Since Becoming A Parent (Part One)

Monday, 13 August 2018

I Dreamed A Dream: The Things I Miss Since Becoming A Parent (Part One)

I have been in the situation of parenthood for four and half years now and there are a few things I am beginning to note by their absence. That is to say: i miss them a lot. Of course, I love my children, they are "my world", I am such a "better person for having had them", "a world without them is one I could (and would) never wish to fathom", etc. However, was there never to have been this husband, these children and this life there are a few things that I would immediately stop taking for granted:

1. Music

Now, I have never been, what anyone would deem, a discerning listener and my idea of a good tune is one which I can belt out in my own private concert on any given motorway. If it has a strong melody and lyrics to which I can somehow relate I am ALL there. The driver's seat is my bar stool and the open road, my stage. 

However, it would appear that my bringing life into this world has coincided with a complete exodus of opportunity to choose the music being listened to at any given time. The soundtrack to my life is now a mash up of the Disney Princess back catalogue interspersed with some classic nursery rhyme anthems. 

I now jump at the chance to drive to the local supermarket for any last minute errands or to undertake the more arduous of meal preparations just so that I can slip in five or six hits from days gone by. It would also appear that my most recent song purchases  were from a time when Miley was dealing with her break up from Liam (the first time around) in a rather destructive fashion, One Direction were not only together but were actually a quintet and Avicii was promising to Wake Me Up when my music drought was all over. 

I would have liked to have been able to have held him to that.

Headphones used to fit better

2. Reading

I was a prolific reader in my pre-child life. I would devour novel after novel with my holiday luggage (because I also had them back in the day) consisting mostly of pages populated with characters, situations and plot twists that I could lose myself in for hours on end. It was bliss. 

I planned, rather optimistically, that my first maternity leave would be spent with baby on breast and my face buried in stories being ticked from my bucket list of "must reads". I would return to work having expanded my mind rather than have let it go to the same consistency of mush that I was spoon feeding my baby. 

I read about six pages. I also read them twice, only realising in the last paragraph that I may have been here before.

I have since turned to audio books and whilst this allows me to lose myself in another person's story for an hour or so whilst I plod the pavements, it is not the same. Enjoyable yes, but not the same.

I used to read in the sun, now I parent.


3. Post work drinks

My social life could potentially have been put on the list in its entirety but that would be unfair to all of the friends whom I get to see in my parenting role. However, outside of these groups, my social life is largely based in my workplace as these are the people my maternal guilt will not prevent me from seeing. These are the people whom I get to speak to uninterrupted with requests to "GO WEE WEE!" or "you be the baby Mummy" or "SNACK!" These are the people with whom I get to be an adult and not a parent. That is until the invitation for an after work drink is issued, then I am most definitely the parent again.

"You won't be able to come will you?"
"I take it you are having to run off?"
"Not even time for one?"

I'd be disgruntled about their assumption except, more often than not, it's true.

I'll be off then...

Obviously my children have given more to my life than they have taken away and I can happily say that I have never actually missed the freedom of choice I no longer have more than I have delighted in the joy that they have brought but if they would just stop making me Let It Go and just allow me to Kiss the Rain from time to time, I would be a lot happier.

If you too suffer from withdrawal from your pre- parenthood lifestyle, do not suffer alone. Talk to someone. Lament together.  

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