Parents love their children, but it’s impossible not to miss LBK (Life Before Kids). Things were easier then, less complicated. No diaper changes, time outs, or other scourges of parenthood.
Our clothes weren’t spotted with random food stains. We didn’t spell out “adult” words to complete a basic conversation. We sometimes even got 8 hours of sleep… in a row.
That doesn’t mean we want to go back to that time. Parenthood is too rewarding, warts and all. It’s hard not to long for a snippet of the old days, a taste of the freedom we enjoyed before we heard our first child’s cries in the delivery room.
This father misses these five LBK elements the most:
1. Sleep-in Sundays
There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday. The morning newspaper sprawled out in front of you and a three-course breakfast prepping you for the day. That’s a thing of the past with children. Kids rarely let you sleep past 7 a.m., and once they’re awake they need most, if not all, of your attention.
2. Spontaneous… Everything
Remember how you and your bride dropped everything for a three-day road trip when the mood struck? What about the time you sent out a last-minute party invite and everyone came? And how about that intimate bed and breakfast trip that let you bounce back from the worst work week ever? That might as well be science fiction stories now. Every leisure move a parent makes must be orchestrated like a bank heist. Worst of all, you always need a contingency plan in case one of your kids suddenly gets sick.
3. Me Days
No one likes a hangover, but there’s something refreshingly selfish about over-indulging one night and slowly, but surely, bouncing back with grilled cheese and bad television. Parents can’t afford to miss a day for voluntary healing, let alone declare a personal day to do as we please.
4. All Work and No Play… Isn’t All Bad
Few of us crave overtime, but there are situations where you’d love to put a little extra love into a work assignment. It could mean a bigger raise or simply the satisfaction of a job well done. Every extra work minute as a parent is accompanied by guilt. Am I putting too much pressure on my spouse? Are my kids missing me? When can I go home?
5. Leaving the House in Under 20 Minutes
Photo credit: Paul Townsend via Flickr
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