I love my kids, but I dream of what life without them would be like. A LOT.
Before kids, I was happier. There I said it. I had the time to go for a walk after work when I felt stressed. I had time to call my friends and vent – like proper, everything off my chest, vent. I had time to think about what else was going on in the world; I volunteered, attended seminars, cooked food from scratch and knew there was more to the world than me. I genuinely felt like I was doing a good job at being a human.
Then I had kids.
Now kids for me didn’t come easy, so please don’t go thinking they weren’t ‘really-really’ wanted. That maybe that’s the reason I feel this way. It isn’t at all. They were really-really-really-really wanted.
And I do love them, like properly LOVE them. It’s kind of annoying that I have to tell you that, but I know that every time a mother writes anything negative about her kids, she’s expected to remind you of that. My love is strong, please forgive me for being a sucky mother who fantasises about her kids not existing. My love is strong, despite me being an ungrateful mother when so many women desperately want kids but can’t have them. My love is strong, even though I fantasise about running off to live on a beach in Bali. Because I do. I really-really-really-really do.
I’m not neglecting my kids, far from it. If anything, wondering what life without kids would be like makes me feel so guilty that I’m over-attentive, over-caring, over-mothering. No one can know that I daydream of un-mothering. Of neatly snipping through the ghost of the umbilical cord and untethering myself from my offspring. No one can know.
But still, daily I dream about life without them.
Would I have time to wash my hair, like, weekly?
Would breakfast be more than leftovers off the kids’ plates, 7 days a week?
Would my house look more like a home and less like a dump-zone of kid crap?
Would I be able to run around the park without fear that my whole insides are going to fall out?
And what else would I do with all the time I’m not sitting at dance rehearsals, driving kids to sports and organising bloody lunch boxes?
Can you imagine the bliss?
I think about this, daily. Not just during the especially hard times, but every single day. So it’s when I’m in the middle of one of those dreadful days where the house is a bomb site, the kids are feral and my husband calls to say he’s going out after work, see ya. It’s when a nappy explodes all over the change table and I’m left knee-deep in literal shit once again. It’s when there has been too many relentless days kid stuff and not enough adult company. All those days, I want to un-mother.
But it’s also when I am watching the news and see the heartache going on in the world, it’s when I look at my husband and think I haven’t properly chatted to you in weeks, and when I see girlfriends walking with each other down the street, carrying out a conversation without a small human screaming at the top of her lungs. Surely that stuff would make us smile and fill any ache in our heart that our tiny people currently take up?
Am I crazy, or would the quiet and lack of potty-training, school angst and teenage dramas be too much to bear? What do you think?