11 Sep 2015

Life BC (Before Children)

Young Love: Gosh, how fresh faced we looked BC!

It’s fair to say that our life has changed dramatically since we’ve had kids. It wasn’t quite the colossal shock to the system with Alex as it was when we first had Becky, but still, having kids has had an impact on our lifestyle and habits like nothing else.

So in memory of my pre-mummy self, I’ve compiled a little list of Life BC (Before Children), and the contrast to life after:

Having a Lie-in:
I used to looooove my lie-ins. I can’t even begin to describe how much. In fact, my bed is my favourite place on earth, better than London, Hong Kong, New York or a remote beach in Bali put together. My weekends would be spent having 12 to 14-hour sleep-athons, and I never ever got up before 12pm on a Saturday or Sunday. Now? I’m lucky if I get seven full, uninterrupted hours, averaging more like six, and a lie-in is if the kids don’t wake me up before 7am. This, my friends, is really hard and probably the biggest sacrifice of parenthood.

Drinking a coffee – warm:
Those who know me, know that I am a coffee aficionado who can’t function without my daily
(over-) dose of caffeine. Unfortunately, the only time I can actually drink my cuppa warm and undisturbed is when I’m at work. As soon as the kids are around, I leave a trail of freshly made and gone cold coffees around the house. A sacrilege, in my book!

When I could still enjoy a drink without thinking about it. 

Nights out
This is an obvious one. It’s not the nights out per se that I miss; I miss the nights where you could go out, stay out and drink as much as you wanted, and have the luxury of nursing a hangover the next day. Fast forward to today, and nights out consist of one sneaky vino with your mummy friends down the local, where we clock-watch pedantically and keep checking our phones, paranoid that a domestic emergency is happening in our absence. And let’s not even start on having an actual hangover when having to get up at 7am and looking after two kids at the weekend. Two words: Worst. Nightmare.

Hangover. From. Hell. 

Date Nights
See above, as they are a similar scenario. It’s not just that they are a rare occasion, but when they do happen, one of us is driving so one of us is sober enough to deal with the kids if needs be, and it’s all a rather sensible and grown-up affair compared to the going-out-for-lots-of-drinks-and-letting-your- hair-down nights of the past.

Going to the toilet in private
Gone are the days where you could go about your daily business in the bathroom without a small person bothering you / following you / talking to you / trying to break the door down (insert your own scenario here). Apparently when you’re a mummy, it’s too much to ask for five minutes to yourself.

Having a bath
The last time I had a bath was when I was in labour with Becky nearly five years ago, when the midwife told me it would ease the labour pain (did it heck! But that’s another story). Actually, that’s a lie. I had a bath in Moscow of all places, during a press trip in September 2013, where I stayed in the swish Radisson hotel and seized the opportunity for a child-free and uninterrupted soak. Other than that, I’m lucky if I manage to jump in the shower for two minutes and wash my hair without a small child bothering me / following me / talking to me /  trying to break the door down (see above).  

Wearing a “normal” bag
Gone are the days when I could just go out with a nice handbag carrying my phone, purse, keys, a hair brush and maybe some lipstick. Now I can’t go anywhere without my changing bag and 100-plus kiddie paraphernalia contained in it. And you can bet your last pennies that the one thing I end up needing won’t be in it anyway!

Travelling light
In the same vein, travelling with just an elegant suitcase and nothing else is a thing of the past. When we travel now, we need to take prams, car seats, suitcases and travel bags each, hand luggage, toys, ipads, sticker books, story books, clothes for all weather conditions - basically everything but the kitchen sink. Even if it’s just for an overnight stay with the grandparents  - we may as well be moving house.

This was just a little weekend trip. 

Travelling overseas
I’m not saying this is impossible with kids, but I, for one, don’t fancy going on a long-haul flight with two little ones, especially not with Alex. It’s bad enough when I take them to Germany on my own a couple of times a year, and that’s just over an hour’s flight. So our dream destinations of China, Japan and Vietnam have to wait a few more years at least, and Cornwall, even if it’s rainy, it is for the time being.

John and I on honeymoon, road tripping through California. 

Relaxing weekends
As I said above, weekends BC consisted of lie-ins, nights out, cosy nights in - basically doing what the hell we wanted or didn’t want to do, and being lazy and relaxing was one of the best things about weekends. I was, as they say, living for the weekend. Now, weekends are hard work. Much harder work than my working week. Because I have two lively kids at home, who want entertaining from dusk till dawn, need ferrying around from ballet to play dates, and where we cram lots of stuff into the two days a week to have quality family time. Forget “Fri-yay”. Am I the only one who is glad when it’s Sunday night, safe in the knowledge that “Mon-yay” is only one sleep away?

Reading a book
I'm an avid reader, at least I used to be. No Kindle or reading app has ever come close to the enjoyment I get out of owning and finishing actual books. However, this too has taken a step back. I'm either too tired to read a book, or have got absolutely no time to cram this into my schedule. I barely manage to read all the blogs I want, but at least they come in bite-size format that even my baby brain can deal with. 

Being spontaneous
Ok, I’m German. I like things to be orderly and I like to plan and know things in advance. So I may not have been that spontaneous before, but at least it was nice to be able to do things on a whim and without much preparation. These days I can’t even pop to the corner shop without logistical precision and kids in tow, bribing them with sweets and mini toys to be patient.

So this is my run-down of all that’s changed since I’ve become a Mummy. Would I trade my two kids to have this life back? No way! Despite everything, my kids are worth every little change and sacrifice. But it’s nice to reminisce and think of all the stuff we could do and never appreciated at the time.

What’s changed for you since having little ones? Let me know in the comments below.

* Linking up with #ShareWithMe
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27 comments

  1. All of these things are gone but not forgotten. I dream of the day I will get them back. And the day no one genuinely wants to watch me have a poo. #thelist

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    1. Haha! That just made me chuckle. Wishing us both that the day will come sooner rather than later! x

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  2. I miss getting the Sunday papers with all of the supplements and leisurely reading them through all of Sunday morning. Now I'm lucky if I've glanced at a paper and often don't bother to buy them.

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    1. Ah yes, good point! I used to do that, too. Sunday papers in bed, cuppa in hand. Now, like you, I don't bother buying them anymore, only very rarely, as well as most of my monthly magazines. Should have added having no time to yourself to the list! Thanks Sarah! x

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  3. Oh I totally agree. Especially the sleep and travelling! That said, your priorities change don't they? I do miss all those things but I'm lucky enough to work from home so I can look after my children full time. And I wouldn't trade that for the world.x

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    1. Yes, you're right, your priorities do change, and even though I miss all of the above, I know that I wouldn't change things for the world and that I would miss my life now far more if I didn't have it. x

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  4. Oh my goodness, it is all so familiar. In particular I miss sleep, and quiet. Just actual silence in my house would be nice sometimes. I also love how you embrace your German stereotype! Popping over from #sharewithme

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    1. Oh yes! Silence! That's a really good point! Me, too! Sometimes, when the kids are asleep, I just take in the sounds of nothing (or just their gentle snoring) and enjoy it. Definitely one to add to the list! x

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  5. Oh yes all of this and more! I miss the peace the most! But wouldn't it be boring to be peaceful all your life?! #sharewithme

    http://www.motherhoodtherealdeal.com/

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    1. Yes, absolutely, Talya! Although sometimes, just a little bit of peace and quiet would be ever so nice! :-) x

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  6. I feel hungover even if I go out and don't drink, I am so tired! We did Dubai this year and the flight was sooooo much better than the one to Lanzorote as the kids just watch the TV all the way! xx

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    1. Haha, I'm with you on the hangover front. I think if I actually got the chance to go out on al all-nighter, I'd be asleep in a taxi by 10pm anyway. Rock 'n' roll! :-) x

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  7. Oh the good ol days before kids LOL. I do miss those things, but thankfully they make giving it up worth it most days :). Thanks for sharing #bestandworst

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    1. That's true. I just wish I had appreciated these things more when I had the chance, but I would never want to miss experiencing my kiddies! x

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  8. My big one's no longer dancing. I used to dance 3-4 evenings a week, and now don't go at all. Having N then meant I started a blog, so even less chance to go dancing again.

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    1. Blogging is like another full time job on top of everything else, isn't it? Maybe you'll get a chance to dance again some day. Life does return to normal, I'm being told - eventually! :-) x

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  9. You get some of them back as they get older! (Promise!) #sharewithme

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    1. Ah, great thank you! I'll take your word for it and live in hope! :-) x

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  10. I was writing that thinking, yep, yep, oh yes, yea lol. I whole heartedly agree with all, I sooo miss my lie ins too, even just to stay under the duvet until 9am would be marvellous! I do try and sneak for a bath every so often but I am usually joined by a toddler! The joys. Thanks for linking with the #bestandworst hope to see you again! :-)

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    1. Thanks Helen! I honestly miss those duvet days most. And baths are just not the same when little ones are barging in all the time! :-) x

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  11. Love it! I really miss those day long hangovers. There's something so wonderful about being 100% allowed to lie in your pjs all day watching Friends reruns and then ordering a pizza for tea. *sobs* Great post :) Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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    1. Oh yes, that's exactly it, Hannah. Hangover = pyjamas, lie-in, carbs and Friends boxsets. Oh those were the days! x

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  12. I dream of lie ins! And long baths (without millions of plastic toys falling on me in an avalanche! I guess we can do that when the kids are grown up though, so for now I'm (sleepily) trying to cherish the giggles from the kids! Becky x #BestandWorst

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    1. Yes, that's true, when the kids are grown up, I bet I won't be able to have a lie-in and won't be bothered about hot baths, haha! Giggles definitely compensate for a lot! :-) x

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  13. Great post. I can relate so much has changed for us too. It's amazing a drink and staying up pass 11 can harm us so much hahah that's my excuse anyways feeling old. lol hahaha At least we can go back to a few of these when the kids are grown. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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  14. You do start to get them back I promise, we are starting to get some time back now. #sharewithme

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  15. It really does change everything doesn't it? Having children in great ways and unexpected ways too. So can relate. Lovely post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me.

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