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9 Things Moms Miss Most From Life Before Kids

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Photograph by Twenty20

When we bring children into the world, we trade one type of life for another. Often, I find myself missing my old life, the life I loved without even fully realizing it.

I asked some of my mom friends to dish on what they miss most about life before kids, and these were their answers:

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1. Spontaneity

Most of us had commitments before we became parents, but few were as relentless as having children. I vividly remember a moment when my infant son was taking a nap, and I felt restless. I thought Oh, couldn't I just go for a quick walk around the block by myself? And then I was instantly pummeled with the realization that no, I most certainly couldn't.

2. Disposable income

From daycare costs to organic apples, from college savings accounts to Tae Kwon Do classes, kids are not cheap. "If I didn't have kids, I'd probably be retired by now," one mom quips. "OK not really, but I'd at least have nicer clothes." Kids cost a ton of money, and many families end up sacrificing one income by having one parent stay at home.

3. Space

Whether we're avid consumers or striving for minimalism, kids guarantee a virtual shit storm of gear. Trying to keep a simple home with kids is like trying to tame an avalanche with a broken shovel. One mom vents, "All the stuff. In my house. In my car. On trips. I can't take all the kid stuff."

4. Possibility

I miss feeling like I still had my whole life ahead of me.

When we have kids, we usually give up the limitless possibilities our old lives held. While we once felt like swooping off to a foreign country for a year was a possibility, a simple trip to the grocery store with kids can be daunting. "I miss feeling like I still had my whole life ahead of me," shared one mom. "Closing in on 40 and being so tired all the time, I have significantly lowered the bar on what I feel I can accomplish in my lifetime." Another wistfully replied, "I miss feeling like the world was my oyster. Now it's THEIR oyster."

5. Our vaginas

"My vagina used to be like a vice," admits one woman. "Now it's like … a pot holder. Without a hand in it." Another adds, "Yep. I miss not dribbling pee when I sneeze. Or laugh. Or jump." Weak pelvic floors are yet another reminder that having children forever changes us—and not always in good ways.

6. Our social lives

Remember when you used to call up friends on the spur of the moment and head out for a movie, dinner, or drinks? "I really miss going out with friends," one mom says. "Now we have to get a babysitter first. And our friends have to get a babysitter. It's expensive and complicated."

7. Morning sex

I miss morning sex without worrying about one of my kids toddling into the room.

Remember when sex could happen almost anytime? "I miss morning sex without worrying about one of my kids toddling into the room," says one mom. "Spontaneous afternoon sex just can't happen," agrees another. "Unless you set them up with a TV show. And snacks. And then—it's not really spontaneous."

8. Relaxing

Recently, a friend who doesn't have kids said she's usually up and coherent by 9:30 a.m., causing me to tremble with envy. Having kids definitely means sacrificing the ability to sleep or relax when we want. "I miss my couch," says one mom. "I used to spend so much time there— knitting, watching TV, reading. Now there's always something else I'm supposed to be doing." Another mom bemoans her former siesta habit, simply stating, "I miss naps." A third mom shares, "I really miss being able to relax when I'm sick or tired."

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9. Less fear

The love, pride and delight that our kids bring into our lives is matched by the specter of agony looming in the event that something bad were to happen to them. "It used to be that my worst fear was dying in a plane crash," shares one mom. "That's nothing in the face of the deep, dark fears I have now."

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