Are we too negative about motherhood? Everything I seem to read now is about how boring it is, or how much you have to give up and sacrifice, or how things become tricky and complicated when you have children.
Clearly, lots of people are missing a trick. Along with all the good stuff you get to do instead, there’s lots of the not-so-good things you never have to do again.
Here’s the things I don’t miss about life before children (let me know yours):
* Going to Glastonbury festival – Don’t get me wrong, I love Glastonbury. From my sofa, in my lovely house with a fully stocked wine and snack fridge and clean, plumbed-in bathroom. I’ve been twice to the festival proper – we even jumped the fence and everything – and although it was great* (* hellish, knee deep in liquid farm mud, non-stop rain, people getting trench foot) I’m glad every year now that children are a convenient and valid enough excuse for me to never, ever, ever have to go again. I’m more than happy to go to festivals, as long as it’s one of the super civilised ones where you can drink prosecco and sleep in an airstream while your children do arts and crafts in a fairy costume. In about five years time. Maybe.
* Being really self concious – I went to a wedding the other day and realised halfway through ‘all things bright and beautiful’ that it was me I could hear singing really loudly. Three years of baby groups and nursery rhymes will do that to you; there’s no more mouthing along and low mumbling. I sing all the time in public now – walking down the street, on trains and busses, occasionally when neither of my children are there. Breastfeeding boobs and bikinis mean I’ve spent lots of my holiday with a slight bit of nipple showing, but aren’t bothered in the slightest. After having children I now have no shame, and it’s brilliantly liberating
* Working in an office – freelance life for me means working mainly from home. While there are loads of things I do miss about the full-time 9-5 (colleagues, banter, office-in jokes, lunchtime Topshop sprees, Friday beers) there’s an awful lot I don’t. This includes making up ridiculous, transport-based excuses for being late and all day meetings about meetings. I especially don’t miss the sweaty summer commute. I’ll take my non-ergonomic kitchen table any day
* Having spent most of my twenties going out most nights, I now much prefer my quality one night out a quarter. But what I don’t miss most of all is the hangovers. Drinking when you have children is not a good mixer. Especially when you have a 5am baby alarm clock that bashes you in the face (here’s a guide to hangovers with children. Ouch)
* Sleep – ha. Just kidding. That, I will never stop missing…x.