First time mum/referee/ sleeve snot wiper to a wild toddler. Designated household bum changer. Blogging about this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest and unfiltered perspective.

Then and Now..

Chatting to my friend over our sixth cup of tea the other day and we found ourselves musing over what our lives were like before sticky fingers and night feeds because that's what you do in the small gaps where your - slightly feral, attention demanding - children have miraculously managed to self entertain themselves for more than six seconds: drink tea and complain about cabin fever and how sick you are of the living-room wallpaper and Twirly Woos and your mum tum whilst never making a conscious effort to go anywhere because going anywhere with two babies, a compact car and two exasperated Mum's ends in floods of tears (mostly ours).

We usually find we get five second bursts of uninterrupted conversation and it takes us at least forty bloody minutes to finish a somewhat coherent sentence.
"I remember when I could just - ARTHUR don't touch that!! - browse in shops without having to rally the pram - What did Mummy just say?! DON'T TOUCH! - around the aisles like some insane obstacle course."
"Do you think about the times when you fancied just going out and you did? Just on a whim. Just a totally spontaneous outing? And you didn't have to pack a literal suitcase of nappies and calpol and an emergency dummy for when the first three get thrown unnoticed out the buggy?"
"Do you remember when you had all this free time to shower - that's *burny don't touch! - and exfoliate and shave your legs?"
* Burny. Everything is classed as burny. 

I have had other parents in mutual agreement that they miss the days of a long lie, doing absolutely anything in peace and not having leaky boobs or pissing slightly when they sneeze.
But when I reminisce on those days, sometimes I fret. I begin to question that I miss echos of a life long gone a little too much. Particularly when I converse with parents who don't appear to weep and reflect on a life pre-children at all and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me.

The Mummy Nostalgia Scale 

0-3 = "I couldn't even conjure my life before I welcomed my darling angels into the world. I could never ever look back."

3-5 = "I admit, I do miss the uninterrupted sleep and going to the bathroom alone but it's worth it."

5-10 = "I just want five fucking minutes of pure peace. I want to drink my coffee before it's cold and I want to do something other than watch Baby TV all day and have a needy baby literally CLING to my leg so often that my permanent walk is now some kind of shuffling, broken penguin. I want to be able to have a monthly night out without worrying about a babysitter or having to sacrifice dinner with the girls for a night in alone again with a budget Sainsburys own ready meal."

By reading my blog, I'm sure you can conclude where I fall on this totally (and probable inaccurate) scale of pre weak pelvic floor yearning.
I fear that by me, consistently playing back to what life was, could be like, before having a child must undoubtedly indicate immense bitterness to my life as a mother now and a blatant disregard or lack of appreciation for being able to have children in the first place.
I feel myself become washed with shame and I am once again riddled with "Mum guilt" (Yes, it's a real known condition where your every thought and every action as a mum makes you question your own ability to parent acceptably and everything you do feels wrong.)
I know its silly. I know its probably normal, as I've been assured repeatedly over the last year.  I know that we all have off days as parents and miss when things were easier. I know that, of course, I love my child and appreciate his every breath and I know, undeniably, that I wouldn't change a thing.** 

Do I miss life before I was a mum?
Damn straight. 
Some days more than others.

When I'm bugged down with the flu and all I long for is a duvet day and lots of chocolate and not trying to wrestle my one year old to eat his dinner that he keeps throwing on the floor.
When I see friends on nights out, dressed up and not having a care in the world and I'm at home braving myself for the routine bedtime war, ultimately curling up in bed by 10pm because I know a 6am rise awaits and what else is there to do bar zone out during over-watched Netflix shows?
When it just feels like I'm a terrible parent and I can't seem to do anything right... yes, I miss those carefree times. I feel dejected and a little regret that I didn't do all the things I wanted to do.

And I think it's perfectly natural. We're all reminiscing about something. We all miss times when they're over, moments when they're gone whilst having no real desire to go back. 
Sure, life now is harder, a little less spontaneous, a little more military operation. However, in between, the exhaustion and the public breakdowns at baby group, I can truly say that I wouldn't want to go back. Not really. Life then, was dismal and unfulfilled. I lacked direction and a sense of purpose.
Now my life leaks with sunshine and a love I didn't know I could feel. Now my life has a whole new meaning - a sticky, snotty nosed, slobbery kissed, tantrum filled meaning.

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