Saturday, October 1, 2011


There are some things that I knew I would be giving up when I had a baby -- the things that are running jokes on sitcoms and in movies: sleep, being able to go anywhere or do anything at a moment's notice, sleep, alcohol and caffeine, sleep, long showers, sleep, and also sleep. But I am surprised almost daily by the little things I didn't realize would become impossible. Here are some of the things I miss:

1. Cooking. I used to love getting Real Simple every month and flipping right away to the new recipes to see what I might want to try experimenting with. I would find recipes on food blogs and think of ways to adapt them to a vegetarian diet. I would get up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to make omelets and muffins and pancakes so Jason and I could enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch while reading the paper. I still cook, but it's one of three things (stirfry, pasta, or some sort of burrito or taco or fajita) that I slap together during the few moments I have to spare while L is sleeping or, if I'm lucky and Jason decides to come home right away after his classes are over, while he's playing with her out in the living room. And baking is pretty much out of the question. I don't pretend to be a great chef -- far from it -- but I didn't realize how much even going shopping for ingredients for a new dish was enjoyable to me until I stopped being able to do it.

2. Cleaning the bathroom. Don't get me wrong -- I am no perfect housekeeper, and I hate chores as much as the next person. But the clutter and disarray of our house is making me totally crazy, and the thought of having a completely free afternoon to scrub the shower, mop the kitchen floor, and dust the bookshelves in the living room makes me feel a little giddy. Not going to happen any time soon, but it's nice to daydream about having a clean house again sometime.

3. Anthropologie. Yeah, I can shop online, but nothing beats being able to go browse around a mall for an afternoon, smelling the new clothes and people watching and stopping for a cappuccino when your feet get tired. L can't handle being up long enough for me to get to a shopping area, since there aren't any within 30 minutes of here, so I won't be enjoying any in-person retail therapy any time soon.

4. Sleep. I know, I know. I expected that my sleep would be interrupted for feedings. But I didn't know that my sleep in-between feedings would be shallow and unrestful. In fact, I'm writing this entry at 1 in the morning because I decided I'd rather be up enjoying a quiet house to myself than getting a few minutes of terrible sleep.

5. PBS Masterpiece. Yeah, we can watch online if we're lucky or Netflix (soon to be Qwikster?!) what we miss. But I always thought babies went to sleep around 6 or 7 and then nighttime was downtime for parents. L is such a poor sleeper that it's pretty much impossible to watch any show straight through without the ability to pause and rewind it to catch what you missed when she started fussing for her pacifier or crying because she was lonely in a dark room.

6. Wearing nice pants. Or shirts. Or anything that needs to be drycleaned. I didn't realize how much dressing up every day made me feel like I could accomplish anything -- and trying to get spit-up stains (not to mention poop stains) out of my nice stuff just isn't worth it.

What sacrifices were hardest for you when you became a parent?

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