A few months before Lily was born, I jolted up from a rare, deep sleep. I'd been dreaming about a dinner of lobster and clam chowder and it was fantastic. When I awoke, because of that distinctive kick in my ribs, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep again until I ate that delicious meal.
The next weekend, I ate it. As I savored every bite, I wondered when on earth I'd be able to have another meal like that. It certainly wasn't the most child-friendly restaurant — would I ever eat there again? In six months? In a year? Five years?
Sadly, I haven't been back since. Of course, over the last seven years, I could have arranged it, but I just haven't found the time or the reason. I do, however, still remember exactly how delicious the meal tasted. And, if I had it to do over again, I would have gone back the next weekend, and maybe the one after that.
My regrets don't end with food. Had I known exactly how life changing kids would be, there's so much more I would have done. If you've yet to have kids, let me suggest the following ...
1. Enjoy sleep. Nap. It’s a luxury that becomes a necessity you never seem to have enough of. Buy nice sheets. Roll around in them. Spend a whole day in bed. The next time you do it, you’ll be comforting a feverish, puking child and that’s not nearly as enjoyable.
2. Appreciate your body now. As flawed as it may be, after children, it will be worse. Droopier, stretched out, and mushy. Even your feet will be bigger. Get a pedicure and flaunt them.
3. Drive a fun car. A convertible or a Beetle. Blast music that you love. Soon you’ll be driving a minivan and singing along to the Laurie Berkner Band. Even when you’re alone in the car.
4. Travel with your spouse. Family vacations are wonderful, but not the same. And finding someone to watch three kids under 5? Impossible.
5. Shower. Alone, without faces peeking through the glass critiquing your body.
6. Do things spur of the moment. Jet off somewhere at the last minute, with nothing but the clothes on your back. Have an impromptu adventure. Once you have kids, you’ll need to plan everything.
7. Call in sick to work and use the day for yourself. Moms never get the day off, and you’ll make up for that sick day tenfold by caring for sick children when you are indeed sick yourself.
8. Spend money on yourself. Invest in some really great forever items, because once you have kids, the trade-off will not seem worth it. You’ll calculate the number of diapers you could buy for the cost of those designer sunglasses. Buy them now and wear them later.
9. Pee with the door shut. It will be years before you get to do that again.
10. Under-appreciate your parents. Roll your eyes at them. Question their actions and judgment. Tell them they don’t know everything. Once you have kids, you’ll have a new-found appreciation for them and discover that they know a lot more than you gave them credit for. Ignorance is bliss.
What do YOU wish you'd done more of?
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