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I Can't Help It: I Miss the Pre-Kid Days

Some mamas feel their children gave them purpose and redefined their lives. That's great and all. But what about the moms who REALLY enjoyed life before kids?

The longer I'm a mama, the more I realize that whole "expectations versus reality" thing couldn't be more true. Truthfully, I am nothing like the parent that I thought I would be. This isn't a bad thing. It's just a realization that I've discovered. Accepting it makes me be more appreciative of, well, me.

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I thought it was just me at first. I heard so many new mothers talk about how their lives were reignited and renewed the minute their little ones came into the world. They talked about not having any purpose or drive until their kids landed. They mentioned that there was no life before kids.

I could never relate to that because, you know what? I loved my life before kids. I did. Only recently did I come to the conclusion that this isn't something to be ashamed of. Why should it be? Why can't I find joy in the years I had before I became a mother? Just because I've brought forth life doesn't mean that everything I experienced and went through doesn't matter.

Having become a mother closer to 30 years old means I had well over a decade to, you know, find myself. I moved away from my parents, went to college, traveled, made a crap-ton of mistakes and, really, just lived. I refuse to forget about those moments simply because I've become a parent.

While it seems like a distant memory, man, I loved college. Of course I was crazy dramatic and thought it was SO stressful back then. But living in dorms, walking to classes and hanging out with friends until 2 a.m. was the best of times. I think fondly of those days and, instead of pretending that they weren't important to me, I can't wait to share my experiences with my kids. I love looking back at my parents' pictures of when they were in college, because it reminds me that they were actual people before they became my mom and dad. And it blows my mind.

Then there's after college. I'm not even going to lie—I miss living alone. That was the life. My pre-kid bachelorette life consisted of coming home to a house that stayed clean. Beds stayed made and a Netflix binge was an actual hobby. I could head in and out of town on a moment's notice, and it was quiet.

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But you know what? I'm trying to picture my current life the way my life was before kids. A clean house? Coming home and not having to worry about dinner for an entire household? No screeching toddler? Stain-free furniture? Somehow, I can't even fathom this. My life with a kid is crazy, messy and loud, but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

That doesn't mean I'll stop reminiscing about those fabulous kid-free days, though. Those days made me ... me.

Image via Twenty20/colinmccarthy

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