This post was written for inclusion in the quarterly Taboo Carnival hosted by Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama. This month our participants reflect on life before and after motherhood and “missing” some of the aspects of life without children.
Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
When I think about my life before Daniel came into our family, there's honestly not much I long for. Sure, I wish I got more sleep, or that I could jump in the car to run a quick errand, or stay up late to watch movies. But it feels like it's been so long since any of those things were a regular part of my life that I don't really miss them anymore. As cliche as it may sound, I really like that my life has a clear purpose since becoming a parent: to love and guide this little person as he grows. Everyday I mother my child in the best ways I know. I pour my heart out for him. I crash. (Repeat.)
But there are things that I miss about my life: I miss the things that didn't happen. I miss the experiences I wished to have with Daniel. I miss the life that never was.
I believe I entered into motherhood with my eyes wide open. (Or I was as prepared as anyone can be to do something she's never done before.) Jaymz and I consciously chose to conceive a child, I had experience with child development through my nursing training, and I had tons of experience with babysitting. I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant, and I felt ready to become a mother.
What I didn't expect was that we would have a child with special needs. I did not know how extremely hard it would be (at times) to parent a child who is outside the range of neurotypical. I did not know how it would affect our relationships with our friends and extended family members, or that Daniel's challenges would make it so difficult to establish or maintain connections with others.
So now I miss the family gatherings. I miss the (fun, easy, happy, relatively carefree) vacations. I miss the activities and outings that other families seem to be able to pull off fairly effortlessly. I miss changing plans to do something fun or different at the spur of the moment, just because. I miss all the things I wish I could've enjoyed with Daniel when he was a baby: going to playgroups, taking music/swimming/yoga classes, playing with him at the park, and taking advantage of flying frequently with a no fare "lap child" to visit family and friends—just to name a few.
Of course, there are many wonderful, joyful, and rewarding things about mothering my child. I believe ours is the perfect family for him, and I can't imagine my life without him in it.
At the same time, there are things I grieve because I had hoped for and envisioned such a different experience: for myself and for him. There are moments that make my heart ache with sadness at witnessing his struggle.
And I can assure you: I won't miss these parts someday.
Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Taboo Carnival! Enjoy the posts from this month’s Carnival participants:
- 10 Drastic Differences Between Life Before and After Becoming A Mother — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama compares her life before and after becoming a mother and muses on why it is pretty incredible despite never having a moment alone.
- Everyone Misses Sleep — Jorje of Momma Jorje misses the same things that most moms miss, but with some little quirks...
- Sometimes — ANonyMous @ Radical Ramblings reflects on the things she misses about being childless, despite the fact she wouldn't change her decision to become a mother for anything.
- The Baby Moon is Over — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot remembers her babymoon and misses the simplicity of being a wife before children.
- I miss my life, but not as much as I love this one. — Cara of CarasJeans reflects on how she copes with the difficult and selfless, yet profoundly rewarding, task of raising Irish twins in her young 20's.
- I miss the life that never was. — Amy at Anktangle doesn't pine for days and years past, but she does miss the life she thought she would have when she became a mother.