I think it goes without saying that we all love our children. But . . . this is a safe space, and I decided to take this opportunity to reflect on the things I miss about life before kids. Not as a referendum on motherhood, of course. I truly cannot imagine living out a different vocation, but sometimes we all miss living alone.
Top things I miss about living alone:
- Things were where I left them. We have six pairs of scissors in my house. Six. I know because when we moved recently, I counted. There is a scissor drawer, and there are two other “secret” places where scissors can be found. Only, they are never there! I inevitably find myself in some kind of scissor emergency, opening every drawer only to be disappointed and scissorless. The same goes for tweezers and silverware. Whoever said “a place for everything, and everything in its place” did not have children.
- “What’s for dinner” was a question I could ignore. Remember when you could forget about dinner? Or when you could make it all the way to 5:00 and it had not entered your mind? Now the question usually accompanies my morning coffee. And it’s always a weighted question because there will never be a consensus on what the dinner should be. I miss being able to blow off dinner all together and just eat cereal, or microwave popcorn, or—God forbid—eat nothing at all.
- My mortgage was less than my grocery bill. Now, to be fair, I never actually had a mortgage before I had a family, but I did rent places for almost a decade, and in those days, my rent was the biggest bill I had. Now I am lucky if my grocery bill for the month isn’t double what our mortgage is. I am, of course, beyond grateful that we do not struggle to put food on the table, but my goodness, it takes a lot to keep nine people fed.
- Shopping without having a budget meeting first. I miss the days when I would go shopping on my lunch break, see a pair of boots on sale, and just buy them. Sure, there may have only been $100 in my bank account, but I had ramen at home, and Taco Bell had a $.50 menu, and the choice only affected me, so obviously, I had to buy the boots.
- My socks were always matched. Before I had a family, I had no idea about the existence of the force that does not allow socks to have a mate. This same force also appears to propagate socks all around the house, on every surface, free of their mate and free of their owner. There is no stopping this force. It doesn’t matter how many organizational methods are employed, or how many lectures are given. Socks cannot be matched and they cannot be put away. Who knew.
- My toilet seat was always down and there was never urine on the floor. This one could be attributed to the crazy number of males in my house, but goodness, a girl misses her clean bathroom.
I could go on, but the important thing to know is that, as much as I miss these things, or the quiet and the occasional moment of autonomy, I wouldn’t trade one second of life with all seven of these loud, hungry, needy, sock-throwing, toilet-dirtying souls that God so graciously gave to make me a less selfish, more-like-Jesus, super-grateful mother.