Life before kids was quiet and self-serving. The few responsibilities we had (work, rent, bills) seem so frivolous now. I can’t believe we complained about them so much. Things were pretty simple back then. There were no screaming kids, no toys littering the floor, and personal bathroom time was just that, personal.
Our biggest struggles were deciding on what to do with our evenings and choosing between Japanese or Thai food for dinner. Any leftover money after paying bills was blown on shiny new things, trying out new restaurants, and exploring the nightlife in our city.
Living It Up
Life before kids was full of late nights and even later mornings. Our bedtime routine was relaxed and unhurried, often getting in a little reading time before drifting off to a full, rejuvenating 8 hours of sleep (or more).
Like most parents, we took these things for granted. Yep, things were pretty carefree and easy-going back then. While I miss those days… it isn’t the reason why I wish I could go back to life before kids.
The years prior to having kids were filled with fun, romance, and entertainment. We never so much as even thought about starting a family for almost a decade into our relationship. Because we waited so long, life before kids was just one long honeymoon phase.
Much of our time was spent traveling, moving around, and just enjoying being a couple with no tie-downs. At the risk of sounding too cheesy, every night was date-night.
We were happy for a long time in our life before kids. The biggest step we ever took toward starting a family was adopting our dog, Finnegan. We loved to imagine that we understood what it was like to raise a child, having reared a rambunxious puppy.
It was a pretty exciting life. We lived by the notion that nothing ever had to be permanent. When we became bored with where we were living, we just packed up and moved on to the next city, Finnegan in tow.
Now that we’re a family of four, our relationship is different. It’s not like it’s bad or anything, it’s just that our priorities have shifted. The nightly one-on-ones we so cherished 5 years ago, have been replaced with baths, teeth brushing, and bedtime stories. While I see my husband daily, I miss hanging out and the connection we had in our life before kids.
Having a family definitely turned our lives upsidedown, so I’m thankful for the years we had when it was just he and I. Our pre-child days were romantic and passionate, and though I miss it dearly… it’s still not the reason I wish I could go back to life before kids.
Having Second Thoughts
We definitely had the “family” conversation a time or two in our life before kids. But they never went how you’d expect. They mostly focused on the mutual avowal of never having kids, and how inconvenient it was just finding accommodations for our dog when we went out of town. We were far too selfish back then.
But, as time went by, we found ourselves longing for more. We couldn’t help but feel like something was missing from our lives. What did we have to show for the way we’d been living? Sure, life before kids was fun, but we had no one to share our memories with, and no home to call our own.
My husband never had a big family growing up, and I grew up in a stereotypical large Italian family. We were ready for more. We both agreed, we wanted big family dinners around the kitchen table with our little ones, Saturday morning pancakes in our pajamas, and summer vacations at Disney.
Life Before Kids-The Best Decision We Ever Made
Had we known in our life before kids how much it would change for the better after starting a family, maybe we would have done it sooner? It’s not that we regret waiting, there were definitely benefits. We were financially stable, emotionally mature, and both established in our careers. However, it’s hard not to think that by waiting so long, we were ultimately taking away from the time we’d have with our kids in the future.
Having “geriatric” pregnancies with both of my babies was an eye-opening reality. It put a lot of things like time and getting older into perspective for me. Sure, there’s no way of knowing if things would be the same had we started earlier, but nevertheless, it’s these kinds of details that keep me awake at night.
Things like, “I’ll be in my mid-50s by the time my son graduates high school” and “what if my health declines at an early age?” are just the types of sobering thoughts that play over and over in my head.
Life Before Kids-No Regrets
While there’s no way to turn back the clock and no point in dwelling on the things we can’t change, getting a move on starting a family IS the reason I wish I could go back to our life before kids.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t wait until my late thirties to consider having children. Likely, I would do what people in the movies do and get to baby-makin’ on my honeymoon; or at least get started much earlier.
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Knowing how much having kids has changed our lives for the better, I might have even considered having one or two more, had I the fertile years to do so. My babies mean the absolute world to me, and having a family is so much more fulfilling than we could have ever imagined in our life before kids. While I don’t regret our responsibility-free years, I do view some of the time as a missed opportunity.
Related to Life Before Kids:
Relationship Solutions For The 7-Year Itch
How To Fix Your Marriage After A New Baby
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