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Basic Life Functions That Are Luxuries Post-Baby

Photograph by Twenty20

The other day I laughed heartily when a certain Mom.me meme came across my Facebook feed. I said to myself, "This? Is totally me."

Because you know what? I revel in the opportunity to drive by myself, even if it's for stupid errands that I really don't want to do. Driving alone takes me back to a time when life was less complicated: I roll down the windows, crank up the radio and am instantly in my happy place. I have even been known to take the long way home in order to get every last minute from this simple pleasure.

The meme made me think about all the basic things we take for granted in our pre-parenting days, things that feel like a luxury once we become a mom.

Here are some basic life functions we need to survive that, post-baby, feel like time at the day spa when we can actually do them:

1. Eating

I can't remember the last time I actually got to sit down and eat an entire meal without interruption. It is ironic, given I am responsible for the sustenance for eight other living creatures. A great deal of my time is spent feeding my family and our pets. But for me to sit down and enjoy a meal is close to impossible.

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2. Showering

One thing new moms learn, which is not a given once you have given birth, is basic hygiene. By that I mean a shower. In the beginning, finding time to take a shower can seem like a monumental task. And even five minutes under running hot water feels like a visit to the spa. It's easier now that my child is older. But still feels like an extravagance rather than meeting a basic human need.

3. Sleeping

Any time I can sleep through the night without being awakened by someone in this house is a luxury. I fantasize about getting a hotel room by myself and never getting out of the bed. But who am I kidding? I'd wake up in the middle of the night freaked out and wanting to check on my child, because I hadn't heard her so much as cough.

Basically, anything I get to do alone these days feels like a luxury.

4. Going to the bathroom

I never truly appreciated the value of being able to pee alone until I had a child. Now, it is sacred, albeit rare. And yes, I make it last as long as possible. I'll stay in there until my rear end is numb and my family is at the door asking with concern, "Are you OK in there?"

[W]hen I finally get the child in bed and have the opportunity to talk? I'm too tired to do so. Plus, I forgot what I wanted to say anyway.

5. Visiting the doctor

Many loathe this particular activity. I don't mind it. Why? I get to sit and be still. Read a magazine, even. Someone actually takes the time to ask about my health and well-being for a change. So what if I'm sitting with nothing but a paper tablecloth in my lap? It's all about me!

6. Having a conversation

Many say the art of conversation has been lost in the digital age due to social media and technology. I say it is because of kids. Once you have them, you lose any ability to have a full-blown conversation. Complete a thought. Even a sentence. My days are filled with unfinished conversations. And when I finally get the child in bed and have the opportunity to talk? I'm too tired to do so. Plus, I forgot what I wanted to say anyway.

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Even if it is actually work or a chore, activities I get to do alone make me feel free. Going to the grocery store without the child. Taking the dog for a walk. Picking up takeout (forget delivery—that requires me to stay at home!). Actually drinking a cup of coffee while it is still hot.

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