I love being a mum.
Yet if I were to be honest, I do occasionally find myself daydreaming about the time in my life before my son came along (usually around the time of the fifth tantrum of the morning).
That pre-baby life sits far off in the distance, like a land before time.
When I’m feeling wistful, I think of all the carefree moments that filled those days – some I wasn’t even aware of as anything worth noting until I became a mum.
So here’s my list of things I miss and daydream about. I have a sneaking suspicion that other mothers have similar lists mentally stored away, either consciously or not. I know many of these things will return to me eventually and, even if not, I’d still do it all again for the love I feel when Little Man gives me a slobbery kiss on the cheek.
1. Finishing things – I’d really miss being able to finish things like sentences, cups of tea (while still hot), the newspaper (ok, gossip magazines), tying my shoelaces and eating breakfast.
Despite loud protests, I still do manage to brush my teeth properly but only because I fear a visit to the dentist more than the daily threat posed by a Todzilla rampaging through my bathroom cupboards.
2. My brain – I used to be pretty sharp back in the day and then I got pregnancy brain. I didn’t quite get as bad as putting the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge but I was pretty close.
I could have entire conversations and half an hour later have zero recall. Words would escape me and I’d find myself mid-sentence and not quite sure what point I was getting at. Things have improved since I had my Little Man but I still feel like about 10% of my brain has permanently left the building.
3. Holidays – Ahh, the favourite set of memories that the remaining 90% of my brain wanders off to when it wants to daydream. Thailand, poolside in a resort at happy hour where they would ring a bell and you could swim up to the bar to order a cocktail before heading off for a round of spa treatments. Those were the days… no strike force planning of how to move baby from Point A to Point B with minimal distress for all parties involved. Just pure, spontaneous, do-what-I-want relaxation.
4. Feminine mystique – Since the pregnancy, my body has been poked, probed and scanned in all manner of undress. And then there was the whole birth thing, which my husband sat through with the strict instruction not to walk round to the business end for a look.
Still, he saw enough then and postpartum to ensure nothing is left to the imagination anymore.
5. Ignorance – Before my son came along, babies were little bundles of cuteness that could be handed back to their parents at the slightest sign of a funky smell or cry. Now there is no innocent ignorance. I am comprehensively aware of every bodily function or fluid possible from each orifice and have, at some point or another, worn them as some form of sad mummy accessory.
6. Lazy evenings – Once upon a time my husband and I used to come home from work, watch Deal or No Deal and then potter round in the kitchen or go out spontaneously.
Now our evenings are honed with military precision, aimed at getting our son fed, bathed and ready for bed before he crashes. Once he’s bed-ready, we have play wrestles and chase each other round the house, which is beautiful, but sometimes I long for my couch potato days.