For a few decades (ok, that would be a bit exaggerated, since I’m only 40), but let’s say for a giant chunk of my adult life, I was living in the world’s biggest cities: London, Paris, Sydney and Montreal. I was completely wild about being part of the hectic schedule, the busy traffic (probably less about that) and the never-ending buzz. I absolutely adored everything the metropolises had to offer: the shopping, the entertainment, the cultural highlights: the concerts, the museums, the theaters, the art galleries and the historic monuments.
I would spend entire afternoons in the cities renowned cafes; going out most of the weekdays (and thinking of excuses why I turned up late for work), as well as brunching until very late on Sundays in the capital’s trendiest spots. Putting on way too much make-up, and high heels in an extra bag (just in case), and hitting the town whenever I had some extra cash or a friend to sponsor the getaway.
That was, until I had kids.
Having children has put my me-myself-and-I life completely upside down (and not only luggage wise):
1. Having kids meant dragging tones of stuff (that you’ll probably never need anyways) across one part of the city to the other, on a small, foldable stroller that you used as a truck.
2. Having kids meant giving away most of your cosmetic collection, because the only time you got to do your make-up was between changing a diaper, getting dressed, and changing a diaper (not to mention the ditching of nail polish altogether, because honestly who’s got the time?).
3. Having kids meant getting used to bind your long beautiful hair into a ponytail (the only alternative to having your hair completely cut off) and getting a “Wow, mommy, you’re so beautiful!” comment each time you had it undone.
4. Having kids meant arranging for a nanny, a baby-sitter and a whole array of more or less voluntary (and never free of charge) helpers, whenever you had the urge to hit the town.
5. Having kids meant having to lock yourself in the bathroom anytime you wanted to take a bath, to prevent being disturbed by repeated calling: “Mom, he hit me. No, it was her!”
6. Having kids meant never going on far-away holidays (unless you’re a millionaire and can afford to travel first class), because the sheer thought of being squashed between two-year and five year olds for a seven-hour flight made you nauseous (without the addition of turbulences or smelling your back passenger’s feet, right in your face).
7. Having kids meant never having time for yourself (not even in your sleep), and being a caterer, nanny, social worker, teacher, psychologist and priest – all in one person (without of course the necessary financial compensation).
8. Having kids meant never being able to get a full night’s sleep, because when you’re not woken up by your kid’s nightmares, than it surely will be a fever, a bothering cough or something else (until hopefully when they go off to college, but I guess it’s even worse then).
9. Having kids meant forgetting about your day at the spa, because even if you can afford it, there will be no occasion when you have all three: the cash, the baby-sitter and not being sick.
10. Having kids meant growing into your t-shirt and leggings ensemble, and starring regrettably at your closet full of beautiful cloths, that you never get to wear anyways.
Ok, I will stop right here before you start thinking I’m not entirely happy being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s the most beautiful thing that can happen to any of us. And there is surely not a single day where I’m not thanking God for having blessed me with my amazing kids.
It just that the list occurred to me when I was having a one-day-off from mommy-duty (when my in-laws arrived for a few weeks) and I was able to soak myself in a two-hour-long-candles-included bath. And OMG you have no idea how I enjoyed THAT.