Sometimes, I miss the old me.
Just saying the words makes me cringe. A betrayal of sorts to the important title I hold today.
But it’s true. I miss me. I miss the me who never missed a workout class. I miss the me who spent most Saturday afternoons shopping slow and leisurely. I miss the me who did brunch spontaneously. I miss the me who waited up for my husband to get home to watch a movie at 11 p.m.
Because now I’m her. I’m a mom. A title I prayed to have. I title I dreamt about, really the only title I aspired to be, ever. And somehow, I still miss that old girl. Because even though I am everything I wanted to be, it is hard to change who you have been for the past 29 years. I know I’m still me, but now I’m also the person who can’t make last-minute plans. I’m the mom who says, “It would be so fun to hang out!” but rarely ever sees it through. I’m the person scrambling to make it to three workouts a week, and usually only two. I’m the woman who can’t keep my eyes open past 9 p.m., and can’t get a hold on life until my first cup of coffee is gone.
During naptimes, I sometimes, for one split second, forget that beautiful, small body lying in the next room. And I map out my day. Laundry, quick lunch. Workout class at four, Target run, drinks with friends. Maybe more shopping if there’s time. And then I crash back into my reality and I remember the only thing happening on that list is a quick lunch, and that’s if I have time. I have mourned her. I think about her. I relive old times and I laugh. But to be honest, I really don’t even want to be her. Because I think the old her was always jealous of the new me. And now I know why.
Because today, I read the same book twenty times. I kissed chubby cheeks. I felt the tug on the bottom of my pants, beckoning me to pick him up. I changed dirty diapers. I felt the weight of his body on my shoulder as we cuddled away sickness. I took 500 pictures of the same cheesy smile, and didn’t delete a single one. My heart swelled with pride as I watched him learn his latest skill. And I melted into a puddle when he cupped my face and stared into my eyes as we read his last bedtime story.
So while I miss the old me, I would never trade places with her. If I could, I would go back in time and tell her to enjoy it. Enjoy the freedom, the simple luxury of just being you. The last-minute dinner plans, the spontaneous late nights. Bask in your aloneness. Use your free time to make the people’s lives around you more full.
But I would also tell her that the best is yet to come. That as happy as she is, her heart isn’t even close to full. That not even her most vivid dreams of becoming a mom will ever measure up to how beautiful it really can be.
So next time I’m missing the old me, I’ll sneak away for coffee and a Target run. But I’ll be back in record time, because feeling those sticky little hands and wet kisses on my face will always make me thankful I get to be the new me: the mom me.