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Monday, October 02, 2006

Pre-Kids...Just a Distant Memory

I was thinking the other day about things I used to do pre-kids.
Or even when I had less kids!
It's hard to remember that era of my life, but I vaguely do.
I was thinking how I would like to hear some of the things that
you, fellow parents, did before kids. Reach way back, into your memory.
The children may have burned that part of your brain, and fried
it beyond repair, but TRY! You young mothers (i.e. Sally and Kendra), it was not too
terribly long ago, but your lack of sleep may make it equally as difficult.
So here's a short list of mine. Some things you didn't know about me:

1. I used to arrange fresh flowers once a week in a vase in my house. It was quite lovely.
For those of you who have witnessed my dead plants, you know that is no longer the case.

2. I used to be an interpreter for the Deaf.

3. I used to wear make-up on a regular basis, not just on Sundays, and always checked the mirror before leaving the house.

4. I used to spend hours and hours clipping recipes out of magazines, and made things that required a long list of ingredients! (Cooking has had to be a bit more simplified now-a-days.)

5. I never, ever, ever exercised, except for a brief period before my wedding, thinking I could get a brand new beautiful body for my wedding. I did not.

6. We went to movies on a moment's notice, without planning it 5 days in advance, and paying $10/ hour in addition to the cost of movie tickets. Sometimes we even went on a WEEK NIGHT!

7. We randomly went on weekend adventures...to wherever we wanted. We drove to cool places, slept in, and shopped for clothes for ourselves!

8. We watched live TV, payed our bills long before they were due, and our to-do lists were much easier to achieve.

These are just a few. Now, by reading this list, you may think I would wish to go back to that time in my life.
The odd thing is, despite all of this, now is the best time of my life BY FAR! I love my life, and would not trade being a mother for anything in the world!!!! Our time and energy is a lot less about US, but our life is so full. We are so blessed.
Now-I want to learn new things about you people!!!


Kathryn Berilla said...

1. I used to go to the bathroom BY MYSELF. I can not even imagine that now.

2. I used to leave my house after 8:00 oclock at night and not make a dozen phone call to do so.

3. I used to sleep with both eyes closed.

4. I used to talk on the phone for hours and no one was doing a dance to get my attention.

5. I used to be able to walk from one end of my house to the other without stepping on anything but floor.

But like you Jenn, I also would not trade one bit of privacy, independence, sleep or a clean house for my two precious boys who remind me daily of God's grace!!!

Jennifer Bacak said...

That was awesome Kathryn! Such a good list.
They all were true for me too!

Hendrick Family said...

1. I had absolutely no reason what so ever to put my hand into toilets.

2. I took naps.

3. I took naps.

4. I took naps.

5. I slept in.

6. I sat down.

7. I ate slowly.

8. I listened to music in the car instead of Hayden saying, "Mom, guess what...and you know what...and mom, you know what...and you know what else...and guess what...and look mom..."

9. I too went to the bathroom by myself and NEVER had to get up and help a screaming child before wiping. Sorry...but it's true.

10. I watched TV in the middle of the day.

11. I talked on the phone with out someone, or multiple someone's falling off a book shelf.

12. I only had to find two shoes before leaving the house instead of 10.

13. I never bought off brand anything.

14. I left my house at 9:30 p.m. to go to Sweet Eugenes to watch everyone watch my husband wow them with his incredible guitar skills...that's when he had time to be mind-blowing. Now he'd rather play with little boys than play his guitar. Miracle.

15. I wanted to be a mom.

I would NEVER go back to the person I was before I had my children. Everything on this list was an idol in my heart that had to be stripped away so that I could know my God in a deeper way. I love serving my family. I don't mind the lack of sleep, or lack of food, or lack of sitting...it's all worth it. They have all made me more like Christ...a servant.

Kathryn Berilla said...

No apologies Heather, I think we all have had to stop mid-potty!!

Alex went through the stuff in the potty phase, I even had to call a plumber when it was too much for me. I don't know why that train wouldn't go all the way down!!!

What is a nap?

lisasmith said...

1. I had hobbies...I scrapbooked. This summer I developed 13 rolls of film at one time. For the record I haven't put the camera away after Palmer's birth. These little lives need documenting!

2. I shopped for clothes, the house, whatever.

3. I ate at restaurants without indoor playgrounds and paid no attention to the price of a kids meal or any meal for that matter.

4. I took naps at the pool, working on my tan.

5. We went away for weekends.

6. We went to movies and ball games and dinner and anywhere else that sounded fun at the time.

7. I never had to look for my keys, or purse, or shoes, or sunglasses or cell phone.

8. I went to the bathroom immediately when I felt the need without forgetting.

9. I slept 8 or more consecutive hours each night.

10. I drove a clean and fresh smelling car. Now, we don't even eat in the car...where did those crumbs come from? that smell? why are there always 10 pairs of shoes in the car? Really, we try!

11. I bought shoes at places where they only put one on the rack and you have to ask for assistance.

12. I never forgot doctor's appointments, hair appointments or other prescheduled events.

Wouldn't trade any of it. Not the sleepless nights and busy days. I've always wanted lots of children and don't ever want to grumble about having the precious ones I've been givenl. I am living the best dream ever reminded daily of God's goodness and mercy in my life.

Jennifer Bacak said...

I love this! I'm learning things about you girls! I think you all led more glamorous lives than I did before kids. Never bought off-brand, Heather? And Lisa, I don't even know where those shoes stores are. I was buying at Payless even then.
But it's awesome to see what amazing mothers you all are, and how little we care about what we've given up.
I thought of one today.
I never used to surrender perfectly good Tupperware to my children for the bug they've caught and cannot let go. I even punch holes in the top of it! I never used to find Tupperware with dead bugs in it around my house days later either.

Anonymous said...

The bathroom thing is probably # 1 for me.

2. I ate at a normal speed. Now I just scarf it down, even if she's sleeping...she could wake at any moment!

3. I took my time at the grocery store. And the post office, and the mall, Target, etc. Now I jet in and out as quickly as I can. The clock is ticking ALL the time.

4. I was creative: I wrote and scrapbooked and decorated and sewed. Oh the days...

5. I was fashionable. I was able to wear necklaces and wear my hair down without them being tugged on. Now I'm lucky to find a top in my closet that even fits this Dairy Queen's chest.

6. I didn't sway 24/7. People didn't look at me like I was crazy because I'm swaying all the time (even when she's not with me)

7. We went away for the weekend on a whim.

All these things for that sweet little angel sleeping in her bed right now. I can't imagine a better reason to give up those things. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And I will do it again tomorrow. And the next day...

lisasmith said...

I totally identify with the swaying thing...my mom STILL sways!

I also hear the fashion thing...I went in to have my hair done in September and actually told my hairstylist without exaggerating at all that I have worn my hair in a ponytail everyday since mid-May...and now Palmer's really pulling!!! I also quit wearing jewelry on a daily basis...now I'm back up to earrings and wedding ring!

I thought of another one...I would NEVER touch a pregnant woman's tummy, even when it was my best friend and she tried to make me...now I'm totally drawn to those cute tummies and find myself apologizing to women I barely know...I can't help myself...along with that I now miss the feeling of that baby inside me, I miss the tummy table, I miss being pregnant...not the sicky stuff, the cute stuff.

Another thing I used to never do is save a bite or two of a leftover...that could be a whole meal for a toddler!

This really is fun, if you listen really carefully you can probably hear me laughing...speaking of laughing, I never had any incontinence...I used to jump on the trampoline!

I used to never have to choose between showering, cleaning, writing, etc. Now the things get done based on levels of importance during the 2 hours of naps...if everyone sleeps! What a life...a wonderful life...

Jennifer Bacak said...

I know! Our college girls are probably reading this, terrified, but we truly are "living the dream" like you said, Lisa. Swaying...while living the dream.

Garratts said...

1.Never answered so many questions?

2.Didn't race through Target. I actually got to look at stuff. My fav store.

3.Peed alone.

4.Didn't go to church. (not a good one)

5.Ate sitting down.

6.Took naps.

7.Watched shows when they first ran. Not reruns at 12am. I have DVR now! Woo Hoo!!!

8.Not in my car so much.

9.Wore make-up

10.Went to the gym at 4pm. Now I can't even move at 4pm.

So with all that said I think my kids made me better. And God of course, he gave them to me. I wouldn't change it a bit.

Anonymous said...

This will give you an idea.

After reading your post, I had PLANS to write one of my own...

but that just goes to show...my life as a mom...i never got around to it.

I would make this longer, but my baby's crying.

so goes the story!

but i love it!

Melodi said...

O.K.......can I even REMEMBER.....

1. I used to remember things.

2. I used to go to the bathroom without worrying about locking the door.

3. Mark used to walk in the door on Friday afternoon and yell, "Let's go camping!" or "Let's drive to Austin and stay in an expensive hotel!" Now he walks in the door and I say, "Let's make sure we are in bed by 10 tonight. I'm exhausted."

4. I was famous for sleeping until 2 p.m. on Saturdays! I'm so ashamed of that! People always said they didn't think I could adjust to the schedule of a newborn!

5. To get me out of my bed on Saturdays, Mark would walk in with a box of Shipley's donuts and yell, "DONUTS!!!!!!!!"

6. I had a guest bedroom. That was clean all the time.

7. I wore size 9 shoes. Now I wear an 11.

8. I shopped for children's books constantly, preparing for our future brood!

9. I was not only on time everywhere, but early!

Like all of you, I would never, ever go back to those days because our lives are full of joy, love, full quiver (in our opinion), laughter, and absolute blessings! I have learned to get over the "must have a spotless and organized house" thing, and have learned that there is no way I can know the "big picture" of what God has in our future. It is a blast watching it all develop!

Hendrick Family said...

I have some more..

I NEVER wore clothes with snot on them. NEVER...and IF I would have gotten snot on my clothes, I would have changed immediately. Now...snot is perfectly acceptable...I don't even try to wipe it off.

I never had stickers all over my floors of my house and walls...and toilet...they were simply NOT a part of my decor.

lisasmith said...

I totally hear the guest room...I had a study and a guest room at one time...in college my roommates said my bedroom always looked like it should be on the cover of a magazine.

At one point not so long ago, I had TWO whole rooms in my house that had only miniature furniture in them...you had to be kid sized or sit on the floor!!! Imagine...

Now, I've come to be okay with not so organized and not so clean and someday I WILL clean out all those cabinets and drawers and closets and under beds but right now, I think I'll go play soccer with my kids...Have I ever played soccer before? Is that where you kick the ball?

lisasmith said...

So, I've been thinking about why I am so obsessed with this post...I think, Jenn, you summed it up when you said "how little we care about what we've given up".

I have become such a different person post-kids...people who've known me for a long, long time say that the change began in me post-marriage (a different post completely) and continued into the era of children.

It is amazing how just giving up your own time will change you! I just really liked being alone...and doing things my way.

Anywho, I know that I can say it was not the power of marriage or the power of kids that changed me but the power of God and my life today is living proof of the awesomeness and strength of His power because I truly am completely different.

Really, the list of used to be's goes on and on and on...thanks for such a fun post!

I really do love the creamer and it reminds me to say a prayer for you and your non-wearing-prairie skirt-homeschholing family each day. Before kids, I didn't drink coffee much, didn't need to!

Lyns said...

This is for you girlfriend!

1. I hear you on the bathroom business. I can't even shower without playing peek-a-boo in between rinsing and washing.

2. I wasn't very organized because I didn't really need to be. I lived life spontaneously! Now, everything has to be methodically thought of.

3. We lived in a camper!

4. I had no friends. Praise God my life is filled with them now. I don't know what I would do without them.

5. I didn't have to decipher speech codes for myself and other people. Now I spend 3 minutes trying to understand toddler lingo!

6. I had an emaculate and spotless home.

7. Melodi, I hear you on the sleeping until 2pm on weekends. I loved that!

8. It took me an hour to get ready. I'm ready in 15 minutes max most days!

Our befores are all so similar and yet none of us can deny how our children have blessed our lives. My life is so much better being a wife and mother. It has taught me so many wonderful things like being disciplined, organized, a planner, and a servant (like Heather had mentioned).

rachel super said...

I really enjoyed reading these comments from you moms with multiple, older kids! It helps prepare me...

1. I agree with the bathroom thing--I used to go by myself without having to pick a baby up off the ground because he was licking the front of the toilet. Seriously. He always does that!

2. I used to eat slowly, savoring my food. Now, like Kendra, I scarf. Maybe once he can eat finger foods he'll sit longer.

3. I slept in. I haven't slept past 7:30 in months.

4. I didn't wake up in the middle of the night leaking.

5. I remembered things without having to write them down.

6. We went camping a lot and did a lot more outdoors-y things.

7. When I was pregnant, I took a nap almost every day. Now, when the baby naps, I stay busy!

8. I was in MUCH better shape and not covered in stretch marks.

However, I wouldn't trade any of those things for those kid-free days, even the stretch marks. I agree with Heather, these babies/kids are making us so much more like Christ. I also feel like I have more friends than before, even outside of the church. It's so much easier to get to know someone when you have a kid close in age, and you have excuses for hanging out.