Let me preface this by saying that I know that "this too shall pass". The time we have with our girls while they are little and still want our full, undivided attention is fleeting and I remind myself of that every single day. That does not negate the fact that I still miss quite a few things from my "former, carefree" life starting with:
1. Sleep. I LOVE to sleep. I've never had a problem sleeping, I enjoy it and am cranky without 8-10 hours every night. With two toddlers, sleep just is not that easy to come by. So Len and I take turns on the weekends. Last night was Len's turn. He slept in the guest room with the monitor while I slept a delicious, uninterrupted, blissful 11 hours.
2. Sleeping in. Not to be confused with #1 above which is just to get a full night's sleep without listening for a child waking up and then spending time soothing her back down. By "sleeping in" I mean "being awake with my husband in bed in the morning without children or, more importantly, clothing". I'll just leave it at that.
3. Living near family and friends. Yes, we've made a rather nice circle of friends here in Chicago which I am grateful for. But now that we have children, I miss being able to share that experience with our family and the close friends we've made in FL and DC. And the girls miss it too, asking to see their grandparents quite often.
4. Movies. As in going to the movies. Yes, we could download and watch them at home but frankly, it's not the same as seeing something in the theatre. And these days I barely have the energy in the evenings to sit through a 30 minute sitcom so a 2 hour movie seems light years away.
5. Exercise. And I don't mean pushing a stroller around the neighborhood. I mean the kind of exercise I used to look forward to. Yoga. Bellydancing. Dance classes like Zumba. Pilates. I haven't found the means (time, expense) to really pursue these just yet full time. I have found a gym with a built-in sitting service but I'm just not sure the girls are ready for that. I've yet to leave them anywhere other than at home with a sitter so not sure how they would react to being left in a rather institutional setting with strangers for an hour or more.
6. My 20s. Not the mind-set, the impatience or the flightiness of my 20s but the physical strength and stamina of my 20s. Somehow at 45, my back and neck have become bitchy old broads.
7. Spontaneity, otherwise known as being able to leave the house without a day's worth of diapers, snacks, sippy cups, wipes, toys, tissues, etc. on your shoulder and 30 minutes of dressing toddlers before you can even think of looking for your keys.
8. Reading for pleasure. The last 3 things I read were, The Emotional Life of the Toddler, Stress Free Potty Training, and various adoptive and parenting magazines.
9. Vacation. This includes sitting on a plane without someone on my lap, a tropical location, lots of fruity alcoholic drinks, suntan lotion, trashy beach reads, morning AND afternoon "sleeping in" (see #2 above).
10. Shopping that doesn't involve a giant kid-cart and an awareness of aisle width relative to the wingspan of two children.