Maybe I'm a little cranky because Freddy decided to wake up sca-REE-HEE-HEAming around 3 am this morning and then again at 7ish, but I spent a little bit thinking of all sorts of things I took for granted before I had kids.
1. Sleeping when I want for as long as I want
Forget just sleeping through the night - I miss being able to go to sleep late (night owl insomniac here) and sleep until I wake myself up, skip breakfast to keep sleeping, sleep sleep sleep. I lurve sleep.
2. Showering regularly
I took a shower today. I think the last one I took was on Sunday.
Irony: I probably need showers more now than I did before.
3. Eating a meal leisurely, especially at a restaurant
I can do this if I leave the kids home, but Freya (the dog) is a terrible babysitter. Otherwise, I usually eat coldish food or spend the entire time eating as quickly as possible while keeping an eye on one and hoping I can finish before the other wants to eat.
4. Running a quick errand
If I need to grab a gallon of milk, I can't just run in and get it in 5 minutes. In that time, I have probably gotten one baby out of his or her carseat. I have actually forgone doing something while I was already out and getting it over with because I didn't want to have to deal with the unloading and the reloading and the hauling. If the weather is nasty, forget it. We'll have dry cereal for dinner if we need to.
5. Buying clothes
I'm not talking about the ability to try things on (though that is part of it. Rosie decided she was going to figure out how to crawl under a door the first time I took her into a dressing room with me). I'm talking being able to buy whatever style of clothes you want in whatever fabrics you want. I am forever making sure that I have easy boob access, which is kind of the opposite of my high school and college girl fashion advice. Forget silk or dry-clean only - stuff that can be tossed in the wash immediately and frequently is the only option. Being able to wear it while the body is in flux is a must, not the least of which is because it gets really tedious to wear the same dang stuff over and over again in that last trimester when you already had to wear it in the other ones because you outgrew your normal clothes too fast.
I can't tell you how many things are in my closet that don't fit at all (not just the belly - I went from a B to an F cup), don't fit correctly, or are impractical (most dresses), but that I don't want to get rid of because they might work again eventually and it's sadly frowned upon to wear maternity pants when you're not pregnant. That's a shame, by the way, because they're the most comfortable, best-fitting pants I've ever had. I wish I were joking. I also kind of wish I hadn't lent all of my maternity pants out since Thanksgiving is coming up. No need to loosen the belt if there's an elastic panel!
And yet, with all these now luxuries that I don't get to experience, I wouldn't trade my kids or future kids for it. Getting woken up by a scream sucks, but a baby who is sporting a flirty grin while rolling around in his cosleeper is priceless. Seeing a little face peeking out from around the corner as she "sneaks" up on you is worth the yowls from teething. Watching a baby give kisses to a baby because it makes them both happy outweighs the kicked ribs, squished internal organs, and heartburn.
I don't know if I ever really understood the concept of God creating humans out of (giving) love instead of for (receiving) love before I had kids. I mean, I got that He didn't need our love, but it seemed a little weird that that was essentially our purpose - to love Him and worship Him. But helping create that little life, building that tiny person - I get it. I didn't have a baby so that I could BE loved by her - I (we) had a baby because we already HAD love and wanted to shower it on a new someone else. It's great that they love us back (for now), but their purpose is not to love us - our purpose is to love them.
Even when they prevent us from getting showered and gussied up, wearing a fitted, non-nursing-friendly dress to a dinner that we can savor, popping in to grab a dozen donuts for breakfast tomorrow morning, and having said donuts for lunch instead because we woke up at 11.
Speaking of love, check out the last favorite of Hallie's over at MoxieWife! Grrrrowl. Reminds me of an Albert Einstein quote: "Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."