I have to say, I can't relate one single bit to the mothers out there who compare life "before kids" to life "after kids." I can't look back at the "good 'ole days" of my life as a woman without children and reminisce about the things that I used to do just for me. I've been a mother my entire adult life. I became pregnant when I was just a few months over 20 years old. I gave birth 6 weeks after my 21st birthday. I don't have a clue what it is like to be an adult without a child.
I'm not complaining. I'd kind of rather it be this way...not know what I'm "missing." And for the record, I don't feel like I'm missing anything. In fact, I rather feel like I have an experience in motherhood that many mothers will never in their lives get to experience. I wasn't a "baby", but in a way I really was. I had so much growing up to do. Just after my daughter turned a year old, I became a baby single mom. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination but looking back, I wouldn't trade the years of "me and Nat" for anything in the world! She was my little buddy. She went everywhere with me and my friends. And I still lived a LOT! I had a great time and don't feel like I missed out at all on my twenties.
I can't relate at all to the mothers, the parents who look back at the "good 'ole days" when they could pee in private, take a shower whenever they felt like it, sleep in til noon on the weekends if they so chose. I have no idea what it's like. I don't envy, I'm not jealous. But I don't understand it either. I can't say that I would want to either. After all, I wouldn't trade places with those people who don't know what it's like to live your entire adult life as somebody's mother. I feel like I'm the lucky one - I've had a pint sized person observing almost every bathroom trip I've made in my adult life. I can now only take showers at my discretion when my kids are at their dads' houses (divorce turns out to be a very handy thing that way!) and I've learned that I actually get a lot done during the wee hours of the morning. But seriously, I do feel lucky.
In many ways I grew up with my Nat. Our relationship is different than the relationship I have with my other children. I don't know if I could put it into words exactly. She's old enough to remember what it was like when it was just the two of us. She's old enough to understand everything I've been through, we've been through. She's old enough to remember the trips to Disneyland, the weekend mornings at Ladro, our apartment by Greenlake.
Sometimes I get the feeling that there are some parents who resent the changes that children have brought to their lives and feel it to be a big challenge. I don't know it any other way than the way it is, so it just IS. I'll never know what it is like to live "free" of obligation to another human being and honestly, I don't want to. I feel like I'm one of the lucky ones. Peeing in private...highly overrated...so I've been told (hell, even the cat wants to watch me pee!)