I love being a mother and I love Edwin, but I can't help but look back on our pre-baby time with a touch of nostalgia. I suppose that's only natural. Here, for my own re-kindling and your enjoyment, are some things I miss about being childless, along with some corresponding compensations for having a child.
What I miss: The freedom of being able to go out whenever I wanted, stay out as long as I wanted, and not have to bring fifty pounds of necessary stuff with me (not counting the baby).
My compensation: Having cute, often smiley company for walks and shopping trips.
What I miss: That moment when you wake up on your own and realize that you can go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
My compensation: Snuggling with my son and having him reach for me at night.
What I miss: Being able to pick up and go to our favorite vacation place for a spontaneous weekend getaway and not worry about how we can afford it.
My compensation: Experiencing our favorite places in new ways as we introduce them to Edwin; having vacations become more precious because they are more rare.
What I miss: Not having to plan my day around nap times and lunchtimes.
My compensation: Learning a new skill set that allows me to get things done in small, unpredictable windows of time.
What I miss: Doing laundry once a week or less.
My compensation: Getting that satisfied feeling of completeness when the laundry is done. (Okay, that one's a stretch.)
What I miss: Having to answer only to myself; not being needed so often and so much.
My compensation: The feeling of being the most important person in the world to my little boy.
My verdict? Of course, the compensations outweigh what I miss. I love my son and I'd never want to be free of him. But I do need to make some time to be on my own. I know I'll value it highly and it will leave me feeling refreshed. In the meantime, here's hoping that Edwin's "fussy time" will end soon, and that a new nap/sleep schedule will emerge from the chaos.