Every Friday, I have a date with PostSecret.com. For those who don’t know, PostSecret is a site that is updated weekly with anonymous secrets sent to the site owner, Frank, via postcards to his home or left at the numerous speaking engagements he does around the country. PostSecret is updated on Sundays, but I check it religiously on Friday’s; it’s my treat for making it through the week! Some of the secrets are sad, some infuriating and some wonderful. A few weeks ago, this was one of the secrets:
Let me be perfectly clear here. I love being a mom and I don’t regret having my kids for a single minute. We tried for three years to have our children and they are the lights of our lives. Deciding to become a mom is the best decision that I have ever made. Full stop.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about the Heather that I was before I had kids.
The old Heather read books with depth to them and would stay up until the wee hours to finish them. She’d call up friends on a whim and meet for a drink or lunch with only her wallet and her phone in hand. She and the Hubs used to go to the gym at the same time to work out together. She’d celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for 16 hours straight, hopping from pre-parade breakfast to parade to party to party and then another party. She’d sleep off that last drink until 11 am the next day and fight the hangover with greasy pizza and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon without any guilt.
Old Heather would decide to go away for a weekend with the Hubs on a Friday and just go. The car they drove didn’t comfortably fit seven – although there may have been a few nights seven people jammed in there after a night out. That Heather would grocery shop as she needed during the week and not have to have a back up meal on hand in case someone turned their nose up at what she cooked. Old Heather’s biggest responsibility was feeding the pets.
That Heather would listen to NPR and songs with curse words in them and not worry about little ears. She’d dance in her car and not worry about her daughter being embarrassed by her. Her body was smaller, leaner and she was pulled together 99% of the time.
I miss that girl.
And that’s OK. I don’t feel an iota of guilt about that and neither should you. Missing who you were before you had kids shouldn’t be such a big secret that you only feel comfortable sharing it anonymously with strangers.
Missing the old Heather doesn’t mean I want to be her again. Sure, there are things I’d like back – like my 23 year old body and my ability to sleep until 11 – but not if it means giving up one second of what I have now. Because what I have now is amazing.
As my kids get older, I know I’ll start to find pieces of that old Heather again. But I also know I’ll miss having my life scheduled down to the minute with work and school and sports and clubs. I know I’ll miss the early mornings with Scorch and trying not to jam out too hard in the car so I don’t embarrass the Bean. So instead of looking back, I’m going to concentrate on where I am right now – because I know I’ll miss this Heather at some point, too.