Tonight I went to take a shower after both kids had fallen asleep. As I turned on the water, I realized that all my cleaning products were in the other bathroom. All of a sudden my daughter loves showers. She’s too young to take one alone (she FREAKS if water gets on her face), so I have to take one with her. She won’t use my shower (reason: unknown), so by default, I moved all my shit to the kid’s bathroom.
Showering by myself for the first time in several days led me to think about what I miss from five years ago. I was a newlywed, still in my twenties (albeit in my last year), and oblivious to the joys and sacrifices of motherhood. I’ll spare you the obvious “I miss sleep” items, and get to the subtler, more understated things.
1. Post-shower pampering. Five years ago, showering was a different experience. I wasn’t escaping for ten minutes. I wasn’t rushing so I could get to bed as early as possible. And it included more than just cleansing. I miss those fifteen-or-so minutes after each shower where I would pamper myself.
Hey, here’s a mud mask sample from my last Ahava order. Let’s give it a go!
Hmm, my nails look a little misshapen. I’m going to have a seat and straighten them out.
I miss the eyebrow plucking, the lotion lathering, the general attentiveness I gave my skin. I don’t think I even have a beauty regimen anymore, which brings me to…
2. Drying my hair. Please. I don’t miss the act of drying my hair. That slow process of sectioning off clumps and holding my arm at weird angles, and never getting the back as nice as I’d like… I miss how my hair looked when I dried it. I hate the term “letting yourself go,” even if there’s some truth to it. I have certainly let many beauty-related things go since I became a mom and this is one of them. It’s safe to say my hair looks like crap most of the time. It’s naturally wavy and extremely disobedient in humidity and I just can’t find enough energy to care. Still, some days I think about dusting off the old dryer (do I still own one?), and giving it a whirl.
3. Not having to clarify to anyone if I’m peeing or pooping. My daughter walked into the bathroom today and wanted some details as to what I was doing on the toilet. I answered and didn’t think twice about it at the time. Later, it occurred to me how nice it would be to keep such information to myself. Why does she really care anyway? Granted, she always keeps me appraised of what she’s up to, but that’s out of courtesy to prepare me for wiping duty. I long ago learned how to wipe my own butt, so I should be able to keep my potty activities private.
4. Time with Husband. I’m not talking about “date nights,” because we do occasionally fit this in. I’m talking about mid-Saturday morning pauses where we discussed what we felt like doing next. We used to live 3.5 miles from Boston and more than a few times we’d just walk in, walk around, and walk back with no agenda. Now we cater to feeding schedules, nap times, birthday parties, and the fact that it’s often easier not to do anything. Plus, when we do get time away alone, a portion of my brain is always on my kids.
5. My career. Husband likes to point out how much more employable I am than he. My undergraduate degree is in accounting. Everyone needs accountants. I have an MBA. I have a (current) professional license. Recruiters sometimes randomly call me. He’s right, I could probably always find a job somewhere doing something. That being said, I don’t want a fast-paced, high-climbing, stressful job. Not right now anyway. I love being a mom and I love having the time to be a mom. There are moments though, when I miss being career-driven. I always enjoy learning new things and being challenged. Right now, parenting provides me these avenues, but takes most of my energy in the process. I look forward to the day when things quiet down on the home front and I can pursue a more professional path.
So, those are just a few things I miss from a time not too long ago. Perhaps it’ll only be another five years until I gain some of them back. Time will tell.