I can’t help but roll my eyes when I hear people say things like, “My life didn’t have meaning before I had a baby.” Seriously? These people must have had pretty boring lives pre-kids. I love my daughter and I love my life with her, but you know what? My life before I had her was pretty awesome too! Here’s a little tribute to my old life—may you rest in peace.
1. I had time for my husband
Like, all the time in the world. He was the center of my attention and I put a lot of time and effort into him and our relationship. I’d do little special things for him, like going out of my way to make his favorite dinner (even though I’m a pretty average cook), or writing him love letters and leaving them in places for him to discover. We were a pretty loving couple and it was wonderful being the focus of all of one person’s attention and love in return.
2. My dogs were my babies
My two little fur babies were the next biggest focus of my time. In addition to pampering them and giving them all of my attention after my husband, they were spoiled with non-stop belly rubs and ear scratches—something that they don’t get so often these days as they do tail tugs and neck hugs courtesy of our preschooler.
3. Traveling was important
I love to travel to new places and explore cities all over the world. Before we had our daughter, my husband and I found a lot of joy in our travels through learning about different cultures and immersing ourselves in world history. Our trips were at a different speed and tone. Sitting in silence in cathedrals. Flying in a helicopter over the cliffs of Kauai. Climbing mountains in the south of France to visit the ruins of Cathar castles. It was all wonderful.
4. Developing a career
I really enjoyed working and growing my career with no other distractions. I could devote time to my job without it taking away from time with anyone else, and still leaving time for family, friends and the man who became my husband. When at work I was able to focus on the tasks at hand and not be wondering if being there was or wasn’t the right choice.
5. Investing time in myself
With so much spare time I was able to really enjoy hobbies. I dabbled in life drawing and sewing. I blogged and went on evening photography walks. I had so much energy that I played basketball at night and took dance classes and rock climbed on weekends. Being active like this made me happy and would still make me happy if I was able to return to doing it! I was able to indulge myself with nights out dancing with friends at a moments notice and sleep away a hangover the next morning without someone peeling back my eyelids. I found meaning and joy in all of these little inconsequential things that added up to my life.
I feel like we need to celebrate all the stages of our lives loud and proud. Admitting I loved my pre-kid life doesn’t mean I don’t love my current one. People who never have kids are leading amazing meaning-filled lives, as are people who are retired and exploring on their own, or teenagers taking a gap year to discover themselves before starting college. There is meaning and value at every stage life brings us, and I’m all for enjoying each moment as much as possible, and then bidding a fond goodbye as the next stage beckons us in.
This article first appeared on MommyNearest.