Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I miss the life that never was.

Welcome to the Taboo Carnival. Our topic this spring is “I Miss My Life!” 

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.

The Taboo Carnival
Visit 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.


  1. What a lovely and fresh take on the topic, Amy. I've had plenty of big turns in my life that left me with some "what ifs," but thankfully none that really haunt me.

    The photo you chose also seems to be a perfect representation of the idea here.

    Things rarely turn out quite the way we think they will. I hope you'll get to experience some of those things one day, though...

    Thank you for participating in our carnival!

    1. Thank you, Jorje, and thanks for hosting this carnival! (Jaymz helped me search out an appropriate photo.)

      I know things don't often turn out the way we think they will. I do appreciate this opportunity to work through and share some of my feelings about all of this.

      One thing I AM sure of is that things will continue to change, and who knows what the future will hold for our family!

  2. I agree with Jorje on the picture!
    I can definitely relate to the "never was." When you get something you weren't expecting, it throws you for a loop, even if it ends up being the best thing. I think that's the problem with "expecting" when you're expecting! In Spanish they use the word "espera" which means expect but also to hope and to wait for. Much more poetic, and less loaded, I find! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I like "espera" much better!

      The funny thing is, I didn't think I really had that many expectations about what parenting would be like... but I certainly didn't expect it would be as challenging as it has been for us so far. It it also wonderful and beautiful and amazing, and I'm deeply grateful for that!

  3. Aww. That's so sad. I think those of us with "normal" children sometimes forget what it must be like to parent a child with special needs... there is so much we take for granted. Maybe we should all worry a bit less and be more grateful for what we have.

    1. I know we all have our unique challenges to face, so I would never tell another parent they shouldn't take what they have for granted. But I'm not going to lie that sometimes I'm envious of how "easy" others seem to have it... and then I remember that our joys might feel a that much more joyous because they're so hard-fought.

      Thank you for reading. <3

  4. Wow. I love your honesty. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome. Thank you for appreciating it.

  5. Oh you KNOW I can relate. I am right there with you...missing many of the things others can do with their children that we cannot. But you know...we were blessed with our little SPD children because these babes knew we were the perfect mothers and fathers to help them navigate their overwhelm with life. So as much as we miss out, I think we also gain something other parents do not.

    1. Yes, definitely. The good times tend to feel SO good because the hard times can be SO hard. I am extremely blessed to have Daniel in my life, and I do believe that ours is the perfect family for him. I'm also grateful to have opportunities like this one to work through some of the tougher parts aloud. Thank you for that.


Thanks for your comment! I love hearing from you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...