I Do Remember

life before baby

life before baby

I’m a new mom to a beautiful little girl. (Well, not so new—five months in.) People say a lot of things to new moms, I’ve learned.

“How are you sleeping?”

“Cherish every moment.”

“Just wait until…”

There’s one in particular though that I just can’t shake. It’s this:  “Can you imagine life without her now?” Or a different version: “Can you even remember life before her?”

When it’s asked, I pause. I know what they mean:  babies are amazing, being a mom is amazing. A baby changes your life beautifully and completely. So I give the answer they want to hear.

“No, I can’t,” I say, with the widest smile I can manage.

But to be honest, there’s something that doesn’t quite sit right. Because I do. I do remember life before her.

I remember the mornings in bed, talking for hours.

I remember the weekends at our favorite restaurants.

I remember reading and thrifting and DIY project-ing to my heart’s content.

The thing is, I loved my life before her.

But with that question, I get the sense it’s not right for me to feel this way. I have a beautiful, healthy baby. She is a wonder and a miracle and a gift. I should be filled with gratitude and joy at her arrival and my subsequent new life.

And I am. I’m so grateful and so happy. But am I not allowed to also mourn the loss of my pre-baby life? The season of our marriage where we discussed interesting things and went to the movies? When we made last-minute plans and had great sex?

I am both over the moon with our little girl and a little sad at the loss of our old life. I want to be allowed to feel both of those things at the same time.

Motherhood is complex—there’s a lot of both/and. We need to give each other space and permission to feel our complex feelings.

So let’s relax on the clichés. Instead, let’s promote open-ended questions: “How are you doing? What’s amazing? What’s challenging?” And when the clichés come (because come they will), let’s not be afraid to insert a little honesty.

The next time someone asks me if I can even remember life before my baby, here’s what I’ll say.

“You know, I do, actually. I loved my life before her. But I love it now, too.”

And we can go from there.


About the Author

Amber is a freelance writer and editor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can find her thoughts on intentional living, faith, and books at http://www.alternativegrace.com/ and @alternativegrace on Instagram.

5 comments

  1. Great perspective! I feel like this idea is the completeness of what it is to be able enjoy different seasons of life. Enjoying one part does not nullify your enjoyment of another. Thanks Amber!

  2. I am so glad that moms are beginning to come out if you will about these things. I had the same feelings too. There is already enough guilt and pressure. Let’s just be real. I was just talking to my husband about this. He has no shame in saying how much he missed life before babies. Haha! I get it though, I remember too. Thanks for sharing this fresh and real post!

  3. Okay, like why am I tearing up?! I think its because I feel the exact same way. My daughter is about to turn one this week and I miss my old life still. I miss being able to leave home whenever I pleased. Now I have to check the time and see if someone can babysit or just stay home and wait until the next day to do all the things I need to do. I think in the end we all just need to talk about it and let these feelings out because we really don’t know that maybe someone close to us might be feeling that same. Together we can overcome that “mourning”. Have an excellent day love!

  4. Oh my, I used to get this question ALL THE TIME. And you know what? I answered it factually and moved on. Yes, I remember then asked them, why think of the past when I have so much to look forward to?

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About The Author Amber Adrian

Amber is a freelance writer and editor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can find her thoughts on intentional living, faith, and books at http://www.alternativegrace.com/ and @alternativegrace on Instagram.