I’m here to give you permission to miss the old life you had – the one you had before kids.
The one where you could stay out late and not worry about having to take care of a tiny person the next day. The life where you didn’t have to worry too much about couponing, or budgeting, or someone outgrowing their clothes in a month, or diapers, or mysterious stains on your very nice furniture.
Where you could sleep in and not worry the house would burn down from someone being unsupervised. Where you could take a last minute vacation somewhere and the biggest logistics to wrangle were time-off from work and finding a pet sitter. Heck, a life where taking a vacation was actually a vacation (and you didn’t come home feeling like you needed a vacation from your vacation).
I’m talking about the life where the future was hazy, and you lived for the now, and you could never in a million years imagine yourself as a mom. It was a time when you could eat cereal every night for dinner, splurge on a purse, buy a scented candle for your embarrassingly large candle collection – all with zero guilt.
It was a good life, wasn’t it? You had big dreams and hopes.
In the dark of the night, or in the quiet moments of the day, you may think to yourself – “why did I ruin it?”
I’ve thought those same thoughts.
What I’ve learned though, is this:
When you became mom – however it happened – you didn’t ruin your life. To be sure, you complicated it. But complicated doesn’t always mean bad. And even in the places that feel ruined, it’s possible to reclaim them and build something new.
This isn’t a post to spout off on the joys of motherhood. This is a post to simply tell you – it’s okay to miss your old life, before you had kids. It’s okay to stand in the shower and reminisce about the days you could take a shower longer than 10 minutes (and not hear phantom child voices screaming “MOM” over the running water). It’s okay to feel burnt out and wish for the day of little to no responsibility. It’s okay to shed some tears for that girl in her 20s (or her 30s) who was so innocent and young. It’s okay.
Give yourself permission to mourn your old life. Write down what you miss. Be honest about what you’ve given up. Don’t hold back.
And when you’ve gotten it out, accept that it’s gone, but take the best of that life and bring it forward with you to your present. It won’t look the same, but that’s okay. Choose one thing from your list that would refresh your soul so much if you could indulge in it today. Then get help to do it. You are worthy of having what you want.
Mourn your old life, accept it was good and existed when it should have, take a piece of it with you in your current situation, and believe that that young girl from your past can show you how to enjoy your life today. It’s possible! I know you can do this. Especially because, if you were waiting for someone to tell you it’s okay, I’ve done that now. Go ahead and begin.