Miss My "Old" Life Prior to Having a Baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a SAHM and have a beautiful 15 month old son.  I'm so grateful we have him. 

 

But I do miss my life before we had him. 

 

Can anyone else relate?

 

I miss the freedom of being able to go out to the movies, shopping, etc at the drop of a hat.

I miss being able to eat out in restaurants and linger over brunch with bottomless cups of coffee and a book.

I miss being able to sleep in and take long afternoon naps (rather than being abruptly woken up after a short catnap).

I miss the friendships I had with my other single and/or childless friends, many of whom I have not seem for a long while.

I miss having my own interests and hobbies, having time and energy to do them.

 

And I feel so guilty for feeling this way.  I remind myself that I wanted to have a baby for a long time, and once upon a time my biggest fear was not being able to have kids.

 

I just really needed to express myself and I'd love to hear from other mamas who have experienced the same.


40 y/o married Mama, 3 y/o DS, Angel Baby lost in Sep 2013, Angel Baby lost March 2014.
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#2 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with missing your old life. My DS is 18 mo and sometimes I find myself looking forward to the teenage years when he won't need me so much! I talk about how I'll redecorate then, travel, sew, and work to my heart's content!

 

Yesterday DH made an awesome cappuccino and when I took a sip of it, I was instantly transported to our honeymoon in Italy, sitting in a cafe in Florence. And I was momentarily very sad at not being able to go out and linger lazily over a cup of coffee.

 

But I'm happy and content where I am. Most of the time!


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#3 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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I hear ya!

My hubby has been away for nearly 3 weeks now, I have no family near us nor anyone really to help out. We were all down with a spectacular stomach bug (no more sick days off work here!). It really brought back to me how free I was before having kids.

I miss it a lot but I also love my kids to bits (most of the time winky.gif)

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#4 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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I totally hear you hun! I feel exactly the same way, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all. Things change SO much when you have kids, and you have to be SO selfless, who wouldn't want to take a break every once in a while? Too bad it often times doesn't work like that, lol. Anyway, I hope you can get more time to yourself. For us, I am pg with our third and dh is getting the big V after this bc I'm DONE, lol. Good luck!!


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#5 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you're feeling! You're a Mum but you're also a person, being a Mum doesn't mean you have to stop doing things for you as a person. Sure, you don't have the freedom to just drop everything and head out for brunch or dinner but you can *organise* time to do that! There is nothing wrong with organising a date with your girlfriends, get SO to watch your DS and go out for dinner and a movie with your girlfriends. Use naptimes to read a book. Organise with SO that you get to sleep in on Saturday and he can sleep in on Sundays, or vice versa. I think it's even more important for SAHM to find time to do these things for ourselves because we don't get the child free time that WOHM have. Sure, they are working, but they are dealing with adults all day, they can drink a cup of coffee before it gets cold, they can go to the toilet by themselves.

 

Disclaimer: I am not saying that WOHM have it easier or that SAHM have it harder. I realise there are challenges to both situations and benefits to both. I think that every family needs to do what's best for them and that Mum's feel enough guilt and judgement without getting it from other Mum's!

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It's complicated.
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#6 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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Sure, I can relate.  I bet almost everyone can.  Is there any mother who doesn't miss those things?  I don't see any reason to feel guilty about it.  Recognizing what you lost by having a baby isn't the same thing as wishing you didn't have him.  (And you haven't lost all those things forever.  You'll get freedom back as your kids get older.)

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#7 of 17 Old 03-18-2012, 04:17 PM
 
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I do miss the freedom at times but mostly I regret I didn't make better use of those years!

 

We all have days that are just hard & tiring. And I do believe, like a pp mentioned, that this is an area that can be harder as a sahm. Just to get to the gym for my workouts requires so much organization each week (no gyms here have childcare). If I worked I could go on my lunch.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#8 of 17 Old 03-19-2012, 09:40 AM
 
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15 months is a really hard stage.  Eventually they learn to sit in restaurants, our DD is almost 3 and our DS is just 7 months and we go out for breakfast every week and get that extra coffee. 

 

I really miss going for drinks on Fridays after work.  Good times.

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#9 of 17 Old 03-20-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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I've been really struggling with this for the past few days.  I'm re-ordering my closet to function more smoothly for a stay-at-home mom, so I'm sure that's what is throwing up all the feelings of loss.  I miss my ridiculous shoes.  I miss my sporty little car.  I miss getting up in the morning and getting somewhere.  I miss conversation; real, spontaneous conversations with other adults.  I miss taking myself out to lunch.  I miss skipping lunch and going clothes shopping - it was always such a ridiculous thrill.  Hell - I miss meetings.  I miss sitting there, bored out of my skull, passing notes like a naughty second grader.  I miss painting on a pair of jeans and going out for fun drinky time with the husband.  I miss whiskey.  I miss being able to just say "YES!" to plans with girlfriends; no baby, no carseat, no diaper bag to worry about.  I miss movies - big, blockbuster action movies with overly muscled heroes that are no fun to watch alone, and are so insanely noisy they would cause the baby to scream instantly.  

Of course, I would trade her for anything.  I wouldn't trade her for everything.  But I do miss just scrubbing my face off and going to bed - no baby to feed, no crying to deal with, just me, going to bed when I want to, and going to sleep.

 

We'll make it.  (Right?)

 


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#10 of 17 Old 03-20-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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Probably every mother on the planet can relate to this.  I think it can be especially hard if you are a younger mother, or if you start having kids before any of your friends, or if you don't live near family and have that nearby support network.  A common thread among my struggles with parenting is learning how to stop resisting and accept whatever is going on - whether it's a tantrum, a bad day, teething - knowing that it will be easier to handle if I stop wishing it weren't.  It is.  He's here, he needs me.  I go through phases of joyfully drenching my 15 month old with all the attention, cuddles, and nursing he can take while peacefully handling meltdowns, and then there are stretches where I feel trapped and suffocated, and all I want to do is go out to dinner without chasing a kid, go to the grocery without little arms reaching for everything, have coffee with a childless friend, or just go do drunken karaoke.  

 

I stumbled on this poem by Peggy O'Mara, and it is dead on (also, scrolling through Carrie Contey's Facebook page can be motivational and comforting):

 

There Will Be Time

 

 

There is time still for sitting in cafes in Paris sipping wine.

Time still for going to meet the guru.

There is time still.

Now I am caring for eternity.

Carrying bodies soft with sleep to beds of flowered quilts and pillows.

Answering cries deep out of nighttime fears.

Buckling shoes.

Opening doors.

Pretending.

My soul now is dwelling in the house of tomorrow.

Tomorrow there will be time for long leisurely conversations, for poems to write, and dances to perform.

Time still.

So I surrender now to them and this, knowing it is they who will teach me how to do it all.

 

(Link )

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#11 of 17 Old 03-20-2012, 07:59 PM
 
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Oh, and on a funny note, this reminds me of something my mom (who has 5 kids) always says when we ask her if she's heard of a band or seen a movie:

 

"Did it happen in the 80s?  Then no.  I skipped the 80s.  I was raising babies."

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#12 of 17 Old 03-22-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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I love that! lol. And I love this thread, some days I feel like I'm the only one feeling like this. 
 

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Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

 

"Did it happen in the 80s?  Then no.  I skipped the 80s.  I was raising babies."



 


Claire, book reading, tree loving, coffee drinking wife to K, and happy SAHM to ds G Feb '09 home birth, dd C ~ free birthed June '11, and now a new lil surprise due October 2012 joy.gif

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#13 of 17 Old 03-24-2012, 04:00 PM
 
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luckiest- beautiful poem thanks for sharing

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#14 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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I have an amazing, soon to be 3 year old boy. I am a SAHM, and feel so lucky that I am able to spend this time with him. All of that said, OF COURSE there are times that I feel that crazy desire to just go...anywhere; to get coffee with a friend and linger, drive to the coast, sit around all day and watch movies, stay in my garden for hours, not make dinner, or be woken up in the morning, etc. Often, I can't even visit the toilet with out being summoned. It's intense, and constant, and all consuming.

AND, it is a phase. Really such a short, precious phase of life. I am especially reminded of this when I talk to my mom, who selflessly raised 3 kids and dedicated her life to them, only to find herself 65 and alone; all of her grown children moved to different, far-away states. This is a phase of our lives, and countless strangers remind me of this when they see me with my son and tell me that to enjoy these precious years. They tell me that when they look back on their own lives, the years with young children were the best. 

So I take deep breaths (and sometimes I lose it) and try my best to stay present, and remember that I will again someday linger over coffee, and watch movies on rainy days, and visit the toilet in peace, and miss my son.

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#15 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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I went through this pretty hard. Having my first kiddo was a big transition for me. I went through periods where I was actually resentful of all the changes I felt I had to make. Everything from giving up my time and energy, to no longer feeling comfortable wearing some t-shirts with raunchy sayings on them, to having to give up furniture and other things to make room for baby all just made me mad. I think what luckiest said below is the BEST advice.
 

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A common thread among my struggles with parenting is learning how to stop resisting and accept whatever is going on - whether it's a tantrum, a bad day, teething - knowing that it will be easier to handle if I stop wishing it weren't.  It is.  He's here, he needs me.

 

There were times where I would be resisting or fighting to hold on to something of my "old life" that was just ridiculous. The most extreme example I think was once baby started crawling and pulling herself up, I was spending a stupid amount of time picking up all of my DVDs several times a day because she'd pull all of them off of my shelf. Finally, after a couple of months of this, it finally clicked "Dang, why don't I just deal with this and put the DVDs in a closing cabinet." Such a logical response, but before I would just be thinking "Why can I not just have my DVDs stay on their shelf for more than 2 hours! Arrrgh!" It's laughable... now!

 

Maybe there are things that you can find "work arounds" for so that you can get some satisfaction out of keeping to "old" routines. Like, maybe you can go pick up brunch, keep the coffee pot filled up, and spend the morning in a book while wearing baby at home? You'll of course get distracted by diaper changes, feedings, and cute noises the baby makes, but you can deal with those and go back to your book.


SAHMhippie.gif married to DH treehugger.gif since 09/11. Mama to DD (01/08)dust.gifand DS (06/12) babyboy.gif

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#16 of 17 Old 04-22-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

A common thread among my struggles with parenting is learning how to stop resisting and accept whatever is going on - whether it's a tantrum, a bad day, teething - knowing that it will be easier to handle if I stop wishing it weren't.  It is.  He's here, he needs me.  I go through phases of joyfully drenching my 15 month old with all the attention, cuddles, and nursing he can take while peacefully handling meltdowns, and then there are stretches where I feel trapped and suffocated, and all I want to do is go out to dinner without chasing a kid, go to the grocery without little arms reaching for everything, have coffee with a childless friend, or just go do drunken karaoke.  

yeahthat.gif  Some days, everything seems easier, and it's so much easier to go with the flow.  Some days, I feel like, "AH!  I am still in my 20s - what was I THINKING?!?!!?" - especially when I spend too much time looking at facebook photos of friends doing grad study abroad, sipping espresso and eating chocolate in Belgium, going on wild honeymoons to Costa Rica, or even just partying drunk somewhere.  I remember a life where the coolest band/bar/microbrew of the moment was just amazing, where sex was never scheduled, where the house didn't need to be babyproofed.  But the truth is, there is always a trade-off - my life is so much more healthy, positive, and fulfilling.  There is no drunken drama.  There is no room for fake friendships.  I feel truly rooted in the real goodness of life, instead of just skipping along the superficial surface (though, skipping can be damn fun! winky.gif)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post

I went through this pretty hard. Having my first kiddo was a big transition for me. I went through periods where I was actually resentful of all the changes I felt I had to make. Everything from giving up my time and energy, to no longer feeling comfortable wearing some t-shirts with raunchy sayings on them, to having to give up furniture and other things to make room for baby all just made me mad...

 

There were times where I would be resisting or fighting to hold on to something of my "old life" that was just ridiculous. The most extreme example I think was once baby started crawling and pulling herself up, I was spending a stupid amount of time picking up all of my DVDs several times a day because she'd pull all of them off of my shelf. Finally, after a couple of months of this, it finally clicked "Dang, why don't I just deal with this and put the DVDs in a closing cabinet." Such a logical response, but before I would just be thinking "Why can I not just have my DVDs stay on their shelf for more than 2 hours! Arrrgh!" It's laughable... now!

 

I have done this soooo many times!!!  I can completely relate.  Times where I finally realize, "What was I fighting this for?"  The fight can easily be ten  thousand times harder than the solution, or just plain giving in! (I've learned this about DS's fascination with the stairs - I constantly pulled him off them, resulting in CRAZY tantrums dizzy.gif and tons of stress - then I asked myself, "What exactly is the compelling reason behind this?" - when all I could come up with is, "I'm too lazy to get up and follow him" I knew something had to give - now, I burn a few extra calories, DS improves his gross motor skills, and everyone is happy! thumb.gif)

 

I have also been guilty of resenting that I didn't go to more music festivals, on any wild and crazy travel trips, etc.  Generally all those bucket list life experiences, that it seems everyone I know from college is still having!  It is definitely hard to be the first of my friends to have kids, and it is also hard because DH is 7 years older than me, and he DID all those things I wish I could do now!  There are plenty of times when I think, "This is not fair!!!  You got to do this and I didn't!  I'm giving up so much!"  But things like Peggy's poem really help me to take a deep breath and realize, that when all my friends are tied down with newborns, my kid will be older and the tables will turn (although, I will certainly still have to handle my freedom with more maturity and responsibility, because I owe it to DS as his parent).

 


~ Lucky wife of DH blowkiss.gifand loving mama to DS biggrinbounce.gif (04/11) ~

 

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#17 of 17 Old 04-23-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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I think this is part of the transition to motherhood that is so poorly prepared for and expressed in our culture. At one time, I could absolutely relate! I felt that way and I felt very guilty over it, too. I couldn't completely accept that I could both love my child and being a mother, and also miss the freedom (both physical and mental) of my pre-child days. Then something happened. Certainly it had a lot to do with DS growing past his high-needs infant days, with my own learning curve and adjustment to mothering and homemaking, with my personality. I also made a decision that I was, as much as possible/reasonable, going to live my life alongside DS and not schedule ALL of "my" stuff for when he was asleep or with DH or at my mom's. If I always have to wait to do nonparenty things I find enjoyable, than parenting becomes less enjoyable. I like to concentrate on projects, do them well and finish. You can't usually do that with a child. But you CAN work on projects, and I'd rather do that than not. DS usually loves to help anyway, or it is a time for him to get absorbed in some play of his own for a short time. I also went through the secondary infertility ringer (rare and randomly-occurring issue). Now, I feel the opposite. I love these days and never want them to end (not really, may he grow and thrive, but you know what I mean). Not that I wouldn't like to sleep in, take easy trips, and linger over coffee, but you know, I get to sleep enough these days, we take fun family trips, and every once in a while, I even get to drink my coffee calmly. 4.5 years in, my pre-child years are remote to me. I feel much more present in my own life now than I did then, much more fulfilled and purposeful. I am having a tough time with DS turning five and starting kindergarten next year, even though we are so excited about his school (something I didn't think I would be able to find). I will miss him like crazy when he is at kindergarten!  My point is, that I think all of these feelings are part of the huge transition into motherhood. Even if you cannot imagine feeling differently someday, you may (or not...I have friends who enjoy being "big kid" parents more than "little kid" parents, nothing wrong with that). It is healthy, I think. We have to mourn the differences between our old and new lives before we can fully live in he new normal. And when you get there...it can be more wonderful than you could have imagined!

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