I had a birthday on the weekend. The past two years I’ve celebrated by posting some reflections on aging, but not this time. My birthday this year was the absolute worst – and it had surprisingly little to do with growing old. No late-twenties crisis for me, thank you. Heck, bring on thirty I say (until I actually turn thirty. In that case, make it stop).
This year, I woke up just as I have every day the past month: desperately craving more sleep. There was no way the pre-schooler, toddler or giant puppy were going to let me even entertain the thought. I’m in the third trimester of pregnancy, I’m exhausted and emotionally unstable; so I cried for awhile about just wanting to lie in and be left to die in peace. Which is pretty much the theme for the entire day, really.
I won’t go into excessive detail, but to summarise Sunday: children fighting, running away, behaving dangerously, with attitudes which would infuriate even the most relaxed parents in the world.
And oh, how I day-dreamed and wondered: life without children, what would that be like?
Please, before I go on, do not misunderstand what I’m about to say. I love my children. I enjoy my children. I do not regret having children, nor would I change anything about them or their existence.
Here’s the thing though: I first fell pregnant when I was eighteen. I haven’t actually experienced adult life without kids. I’m allowed that curiosity, right?
I can only imagine what life would involve: Sunday sleep-ins, and lazy morning coffee with the husband. Reading for hours. Afternoon drinks with friends. Romantic strolls around the countryside. Weekend getaways to the city. Entertaining the idea of an overseas adventure. An empty sink and laundry basket. Believing that 9pm is not too late to put on a film.
The possibilities are endless. And yes, I know how big I’m dreaming here – this is the result of almost eight years of children full time. My biggest fantasy right now is that those two giant piles of laundry sitting in my lounge room never existed.
So I have no idea what the reality of life without kids would be like, and with a fourth on the way, I’m not going to find out anytime soon. I can tell you what it would not involve though:
- Excessive use of the words “poop” and “bum”
- Snotty noses and stinky bottoms
- Screaming about the most mundane mishaps
- Missing shoes
- Every meal all over the floor
- Questions repeated every five seconds
- Toy cars on all surfaces all the time
- Sleep deprivation.
A mum can dream right?