LBTK - Life before The Kid(s)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Children are a blessing, but as any parent will tell you - they are apt to change your life in more ways than you ever thought possible. More than just simply knowing that we have to accommodate them in our lives, our very existence will inevitably revolve around them in one way or another. It's a serious lifestyle overhaul, and while there are some parents who can seamlessly continue their lifestyle habits and practices before the kids, the majority of us make changes because we want to. The transition is almost effortless, because when a little being depends on us and looks up to us for guidance, we make a conscientious effort to always, always be there for them.

I love my son to bits, more than life itself - but there are times when a certain song, place or a face will trigger a memory. A time when I only had to worry about and be accountable to myself. What do I miss most about life, pre-Caden?


The freedom to only think of myself, and for myself. Doing things on a whim, and spending all my hard earned money on myself. I miss worrying for myself, wondering if I look presentable, and choosing shoes. I miss tottering about in heels, mini skirts, and not needing to carry anything but a card, some emergency cash, mobile and keys.

I miss me, sometimes, but the feeling is fleeting, almost - and fades to nothingness when I am greeted with a huge smile, a fierce hug, and a warm, loud "Hai-ooooh Marmee!!"

I'd like to think that I'm not the only one who sometimes think about LBTK (life before the kids). Parenthood is a big deal - don't let anyone tell you otherwise - because nothing, absolutely nothing in life will ever prepare you for it. It's a huge responsibility, perhaps the biggest thing (after marriage) that one will have to deal with in life. It's a roller coaster ride involving a gamut of emotions, and there isn't a stop button anywhere in sight. Nor a rewind button, for that matter.

Sometimes it's nice to reminisce and think about what we really miss doing. Things that we used to do, and habits that we used to have before the kids came along. Even if only for awhile.

I approached a few Mums (and Dads) with kids spanning from 7 weeks to 14 years of age, and asked them what it is that they miss most about life before the kid(s). Here are their thoughts:

Adeline Oon:


Alicia Tan: "I know that we can all do with more sleep and I definitely miss that. But what I miss most is being able to be 'irresponsible' doing something totally free spirited once in a while. Such as just packing up your bags for a diving trip or just heading off to discover Phomn Penh, just because. I definitely do not have any regrets being a mum (and one with superhero multi tasking and super hearing powers!) but as Uncle Ben says 'with great power comes great responsibilities'"

Angeline Sim: "I do miss the uninterrupted sleep; the ability to order my fav dish at the food court without considering if it's too spicy to share with my kid; the lazy Sunday mornings where I can enjoy my Sunday read without being harried. I miss our Baliness-inspired furniture which has made way for more kids-friendly ones. I miss the evenings when we can go for late night movies as a couple without the parent guilt. Even though these 'luxuries' are long gone, I would not trade the pitter-patter of the kids' footsteps, their endless, joyful chatter and boundless energy for anything in the world. I remembered how deafening quiet the home used to be, how empty our hearts felt and how fervently we prayed and waited just to have a child in our arms. Life pre-kids was liberating; life with kids? Blessed beyond measure."

Diana Gale:

Eddie Yii: "I miss vacations to places unknown with my wife, where we walk for the whole day and change cities frequently, which is just not possible after Noah arrived."

Evelyn Tan-Rogers:

Sandra Tan:

"What I miss most pre-kids, or what I refer to as my pre-Jayvonian days (my eldest), are the simple things: sleeping in on weekends, being able to go out shopping without lugging a suitcase-worth of baby stuff, watching midnight movies with friends - to name a few!"






Uh huh.

***

... and then, we are reminded how beautiful life is, post-kids.


Adeline is mum to 14 year old Brandon and 12 year old Megan.
Alicia is mum to an almost 6 year old preschooler, otherwise known fondly as Dumpling.
Angeline is mum to 6 year old Dana, and 7 week-old Alexander.
Diana is mum to 4 year old Aden and 2 year old Jadelyn.
Eddie is dad to 2 year old Noah.
Evelyn is mum to 8 year old Layla and 3 year old Zion.
Klessis, mum to 8 year old Joey and 5 year old Jayne.
Magdalene is mum to 3 year old twins, Charlotte and Daniel.
Natasha is mum to 2 year old Liam and is expecting her 2nd child any day now!
Sandra is mum to 6 year old Jayvon, 3 year old Xavier, and 1 year old Zoie.
Shereen has 7 year old twins, Jordan and Evan, and 4 year old Dylan.
Summer is mum to 4.5 year old Angel, and 19 month old Ariel.
Winston is married to Liza, and they are parents to 6 year old Xander and 6 month old Yvie.
Caden is 3.5 years old, and that's 3 and a half years of *not* missing my life, pre-kid! (well, sometimes I do, like now!) 
***

No matter whether we have one, two, three or more kids - life takes on a whole new meaning. Children affect every part of our lives. From dining out, going out, travelling, to becoming really clever at telling white lies as a shut up tactic, once we bring that little tiny person home, life will never, ever be the same again. It's a crazy tospy turvy world from there on, and there are days when you lose your cool, and moments you miss the times when you can have a cup of coffee, curled up on a couch, and read a good book without any interruptions. You think about the clothes you're able to wear (and oh, the places you'd go!) on the pre-baby body. You grab the paracetamol when the whinings hit fever pitch and you're already nursing a bad headache from work.

You ask yourself time and time again: Is it worth it?
Are they worth every sleepless night, every new opportunity foregone, and every sacrifice made?

Why yes, they are, and they always will be.

***

Share with us what is it YOU miss about your life, pre-kids!


N.B. Thanks to all the Mums and Dads featured here, for gamely sharing with me what they missed most about life, sans kids. Click on their names to read about their musings, post kids - in their respective blogs!

18 comments :

  1. Awwww.. this is such a heartfelt post which will resonate with so many parents out there! Thanks for including me, Reg, and for reminding me about all the good things in life, both pre and post kids. Life is beautiful, it truly is!

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    1. Thanks for giving me your thoughts, Summer!!

      Life is better now than before :)

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  2. Oh yes I definitely miss doing things on a whim... or just staying in bed all day long!! haha.. I will definitely not say life is worst now with a little one in tow. It's just different with many other joys to discover and experience. These are times to treasure as before we know it, we will reach the period of LATK - life after the kids!!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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    1. The empty nest thing is very scary leh!! Better enjoy the noise while we can :D

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  3. Haha I like Mr Tay's honest sharing. I can certainly relate to many of what some of them shared like traveling on a whim, sleeping in late, the golden silence, eating without having to stop and feed, wipe and clean. But at the end of the day, my life and heart is fuller and there is nothing I'll do to change that.

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    1. I totally agree, Susan! It's amazing how we can't live with them, cannot live without them more ;)

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  4. I love this! It's a funny place we parents are at ya?

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    1. Totally! And it's not too bad a place to be :)

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  5. L.O.V.E. this post! And thanks for having us!

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    1. Ah che, Thanks for the bowling share which I wouldn't otherwise have known!

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  6. Have to say I miss Game Nights with my friends where we just hang out at their house all night and drink and chat and not have a care in the world! Now wanna organise Game Day also hard... sigh.

    But yes, sleepless nights better than Empty Nest!!!!

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    1. Mad, whatever nights with friends very difficult la... esp since all of us have our own kids to jaga. coordinating schedules around a few adults (with kids) is a nightmare!

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  7. i can relate to many, if not all, that has been mentioned. on top of it all, i also miss our red car, which we gave up before blake was born *sob* and a clean and neat house. hahaha!

    that said, just like many of the mommies have responded... children bring a different lot of emotions and amazing experience that money can't buy :)

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    1. Clean and neat? I'll take messy and dirty any day :D

      Just have to suppress the OCD tendencies lah!

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  8. Thank you so much for including me on this brilliant list of mummies and daddy. We are certainly in a very special club of unconditional loving!

    I miss being able to sleep and feel sorry for myself when I am unwell. The trade off? The twins are constantly checking in on me when I am laying down and offering me cups of tea from their play kitchen.

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    1. It's an amazing experience, ya? Thanks for contributing, Mags!

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  9. Thanks Regina for including me in your list also! I love the end when you reminded everyone the bigger joy of having kids in spite of the things we might have lost TEMPORARILY.

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    1. The rewards are double the loss ;)

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