It is a good thing that babies are so cute! Just one peek at those big eyes and chubby cheeks can remind us why we have taken on the most difficult job in the world. Taking care of our kids and babies is demanding, exhausting, thankless work, but we love it—most of the time.
Of course there are the days when we see our childless friends out shopping, going to movies, and freely enjoying their days that we long for the time when that was us.
Sometimes that Facebook post casually describing a friend’s lazy, rainy afternoon—hitting up happy hour, running some errands, grabbing some last-minute Thai food with a friend—just serves as a reminder of how difficult it would be to pull off that same list of activities with a toddler tagging along.
Here is a hint: impossible. Forget quickly running some errands or doing last-minute anything. And mom had better remember to schedule in nap time or the rest of her day will be a rough one.
We all love our kids, but there are days when we see just a twinge of green at the sight of childless couples out for a leisurely lunch or taking a spontaneous trip across the country while we are up to our elbows in poopy diapers. What makes it worse is that we were once those people, so we remember (vaguely, through our sleep-deprived mommy brains) what we once had.
Here are fifteen totally relatable ways that moms miss being childless.
15 Peeing Without An Audience
Being a mom doesn’t include breaks, but at the very least you should be able to escape to the bathroom—the one personal refuge of the house—right? Wrong. So wrong. Most moms rarely get the opportunity to use the bathroom without a baby or a toddler right alongside them.
What are they even doing in there? Mainly unrolling the toilet paper, getting into the cabinets, and somehow figuring out how to fall into the bathtub just out of your reach. And just wait until they discover your box of tampons under the sink! It’s like you have hidden a box of toys from them their whole lives.
Most moms never think to savor those moments alone in the bathroom, relieving themselves in peace, but we all wish we appreciated those moments just a little bit more once they are gone. It really is the simple things that we miss the most from our days before kids.
14 Spontaneous Intimacy Time
There used to be nothing better than when your man rolled over for a little late-night lovin. Or maybe you would lounge in bed and make love all morning, dozing off together. Well, after you have kids, those days are long gone.
Between the nightly duties of feeding babies and taking care of your toddler’s every whim, all you want to do when your head finally hits your pillow is get in some winks. And nothing kills the mood in the middle of a roll in the hay like a scared little voice at your door needing some reassurance that there are no monsters under his bed.
In the morning, you might barely have enough time or energy to shower and put on real clothes before rushing out to school, the playground, or a play date, much less get frisky. It might not sound alluring, but many moms and dads have to schedule date nights and intimacy into their routines to make sure they don’t lose their spark. As great as those moments of quality time with your spouse are, it doesn’t mean you don’t long for simpler times when intimacy was more spontaneous.
13 The Freedom
Remember the days of getting a call from friends at eight o’clock and meeting them out for dinner and drinks at eight thirty? Remember taking in a movie and then deciding to stay for a double feature on a whim, or picking up an aerobics class in the middle of the day? That is freedom not many moms have once kids enter the picture.
Suddenly there are play dates to attend, lessons to shuttle kids to, and babysitters to arrange. Every day is filled with obligations to your kids and their schedules: picking up the snack for the soccer team, meeting up at the park to let your kid run off some of that energy, volunteering at the school, or just remembering that all-too-important nap.
This is all great, unless you find yourself with the desire to do something outside of this perfectly orchestrated timetable. Then it becomes glaringly clear just how good you used to have it. Want to take a cross-country trip with a few days notice? Well you better have a very understanding babysitter who doesn’t charge extra for overnight stays.
12 Not Having To Put A Plug In The Potty Mouth
Having a mouth that would put a sailor to shame was no big deal before having kids. You could vent about your stupid boss or let out all of that road rage without fear. Letting it all out felt good and didn’t cause any real harm. Well, not anymore Miss Potty Mouth, because there are little ears everywhere.
When other people’s kids curse it can be hilarious, but when those words fall out of your own offspring’s beautiful, innocent mouths it can be horrifying. Somehow kids always know that the f-bomb is the one piece of vocabulary they shouldn’t pick up, so of course they do.
Even if you don’t mind a little salty language from your kids, just try to explain little white lies to the four-year-old who just heard your real thoughts about that gift from your mom—and hope the lesson sticks before everyone is privy to your private conversation.
11 The Sleep—Beautiful Sleep
Babies and toddlers can be demanding, and that doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Between infants eating every few hours for their first few months and toddlers finding every possible reason to get out of bed, nighttime is not as restful as it once was.
Before having kids, getting ready for bed, laying your head down, and pulling up those blankets meant that you would most likely stay there until your alarm went off in the morning.
After having kids you are never immune to the call of the baby monitor, even if that means leaving your warm bed multiple times a night and into the early morning. Toddlers can be masters of manipulation and seem to become the neediest little people once they are supposed to be confined to their beds. More water, colder water, their red cup, a different blanket, socks on, socks off—it just never ends.
10 Never Having To Touch Someone Else's Poop Or Pee
All new parents know there will be lots of diapers in their futures, but no one tells you just how much of your life will revolve around the bodily functions of a little person—who has no idea how gross they are.
Putting on baby's first diaper might be a precious moment, but that fades when you realize that it never stops. Ever. All day and night you are on call. The diapers are unpleasant, yes, but you can only hope it all actually stays in there. Your first blow out changes what you thought you knew about how much can come out of a teeny tiny baby.
It doesn't stop at the diapers, because potty training is coming. Oh yes, you are responsible for training a small human with little grasp on the English language the very specific rules of using a bathroom. And it will get messy. Just try explaining what it feels like to trip over a little potty full of pee in the middle of the night to yourself pre-kid.
9 No Curfew
Going out for a couple of drinks and then deciding to go out dancing until two in the morning was never much of a problem before having kids. You could let your friends convince you to stay out for just one more drink until last call if you wanted.
Sure you might have needed to sleep in the next day, but hey, you didn’t have kids so that wasn’t a problem either. You were free to come and go as you pleased, never worrying about how that affected anyone but yourself.
Fast forward to after kids have entered the picture and it changes quite a bit. Now your night’s plans revolve around the teenager sitting on your couch at home and what time she needs to head out of there. Throw in there the very real thought that you will definitely be getting up at the crack of dawn with those early risers you somehow spawned, and dancing the night away might not sound so good anymore.
8 The Money
No one said raising babies was cheap, but holy cow can all of those diapers and pacifiers add up. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a baby born in 2013 to a middle-class family will cost her parents $245,340 by the time she is eighteen years old.
Just beginning to calculate all the expenses can be brain numbing. There is the extra housing cost since the baby will need her own room, the clothing for that rapidly growing body, and don’t even look at how much daycare and schooling costs.
All of that cash has to come from somewhere in your budget, and you might not be happy about the cuts you have to make. Once routine excursions such as getting your nails done or eating out at a nice restaurant will be on the chopping block. Picking up a pricy new dress or splurging on daily trips to the coffee shop for a venti caramel macchiato will become a thing of the past.
Even if you only occasionally spend money on yourself without kids to suck it up, the change in your budget can feel drastic.
7 Seeing The House Clean For More Than Five Minutes
Before having kids, you could clean the house and it would stay clean except for a few stray clothes and dishes over the next few days. Now, as they say, cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.
Kids have a talent for leaving a living room in a state of disarray that would rival a rock band’s stay at a hotel—only kids can do it more quickly. They move through the house like a hurricane, scattering a minefield of Legos along their way.
When your house was a kid-free zone, you would never think twice about taking steps in the dark, but now it could result in torture beyond your imagination. Is it selfish to want your furniture choices to revolve around the color of your kid’s favorite juice? Perhaps, but that is the life a parent, and we love our apple juice colored couches complete with cracker crumbs.
6 Indulging In A Little Bad Judgment
You have never felt more judged than when those big eyes stare up at you after getting caught red handed shoveling forkfuls of icing into your mouth after explicitly declaring no cake for breakfast.
When you were living on your own, without kids studying your every move, indulgences here and there were no big deal. Eating a drive-through dinner on the couch while binging on your favorite television shows, staying in your pajamas all day, and letting the laundry sit on your bed for a week once in awhile were just how you dealt with life.
Now that you are a role model in charge of molding little minds and guiding little hands, you are forced to rethink every move in a different frame: would I let my little one do this? Sure we fudge our own rules sometimes, but getting caught has some unpleasant results and it just isn’t worth it for most of our selfish indulgences—except for eating cake for breakfast. That one is always worth the ridicule.
5 Hogging The Television
Moms might disagree about a lot of things, but our solidarity against Caillou is sound. Before kids you didn’t even know who that whiny little brat was, you were free to watch your Lifetime movies and trashy reality television shows whenever you wanted. But now he haunts your dreams—and your days when you break down and give in to the endless requests.
After having kids, your television isn’t yours anymore. Now you have to share your screen with animated princesses and cars that talk. Forget watching that new movie in the middle of the afternoon; you will be watching a little train with a positive outlook at that time.
Of course, you could record that movie and watch it later, but you have to share that precious DVR space with curious monkeys and puppets who want to teach you how to count—and figure out a time when you can pry those tiny fingers off of the remote.
4 That Pre-Mom Bod
The post-baby body is a beautiful thing: it housed and nourished an adorable little human, after all. However, that doesn’t mean that many moms don’t lament the loss of the bodies they once had. It might seem selfish and trivial, but many moms miss their pre-baby bodies because they were part of their old lives.
Big changes don’t just come in the form of sleepless nights and messy houses, but also in physical and very visible ways. Stretch marks and extra pounds can be a visceral reminder of just how much your life has transformed.
Even if you didn’t carry your little one in your own belly, your body will surely go through its own set of changes while it adjusts to parenthood. The busy schedule and lack of sleep would make even the most dedicated gym rat fall off their routine. Of course, the diet of leftover mac and cheese swiped off your toddler’s plate won’t help either.
3 Never Having To Share Food
Nothing says “mom life” like eating a candy bar in the bathroom so you don’t have to share. It might not seem like a big deal to share your food with your kiddos once in awhile, but when it is every day at every meal, some days you just want to eat your own food without breaking every morsel into multiple equally sized pieces.
Before becoming a mom, you probably would have raised your eyebrows at a mom who admitted hiding food from their kids. You would never do that, right? Wrong. You would. You do. We all do. Selfishly, you want three minutes of peace to enjoy your own treat without little grabby little hands or hovering eyes infringing on your space.
Who says being a mom isn’t filled with adventure? Trying to stealthily eat chocolate in the presence of a toddler feels exactly like sneaking drinks in front of a cop when you were seventeen.
2 Vacations Were Actually Relaxing
Remember when vacations were actually relaxing? Those were the good old days when a vacation meant trekking around a new city, unencumbered by a schedule, or lounging by a pool, snoozing off and on under a big hat in a tiny bikini.
And then you have kids, and suddenly there are two kinds of vacations: family vacations and kidless vacations. Both have their pros and cons, and they are each very different. First you have to decide if you would rather drag along an overtired, over-stimulated toddler, or pay for someone to watch him at home and stress out about being away from him every day.
How you will get to your destination is a whole other problem in itself. Little bitty babies are pretty easy to take on a plane, but after that it is like pulling off a covert operation. Packing that carry-on bag becomes a practice in strategy: which toys will I cram in here? How many snacks will it take to keep a toddler from screaming for a two-hour flight? Ahh, don’t you already feel relaxed?
1 Those Little Moments Of "Me Time"
Sure, when we used to use our evenings to do our nails, read a book, or take a long, hot bath we wouldn’t think much of it, maybe even think of it as any other night. Now put me in a quiet house with enough time and freedom to do whatever I want and that is pretty much my idea of heaven.
Whatever you are into—sleeping in, eating breakfast in bed, taking your time reading the newspaper, digging around in the garden—it was just plain easier to do before having kids. Now we are combatting babies who think five in the morning is an acceptable time to get up and toddlers whose idea of fun is chasing their siblings with the rake in the yard.
Moms don’t get “me time”, or at least it isn’t the same as it once was. Really, who can enjoy a soak in the tub with those little fingers reaching under the door?