As a single gal in Washington, D.C., I would leave work in the late evening and stroll through the streets window-shopping for hours, going into any store I chose. I would actually read pages and pages in books at the local bookstore. I would frequently eat at Tono Sushi or Chipotle, with a friend or alone.
This is all before I became a tired mother.
Sometimes, I would make it home at 10:00 PM and eat a Lean Cuisine dinner while watching Sex and the City reruns, lingering over a bottle of wine before peeling myself off the couch to go to bed. I would spend long evenings chatting with my roommates about nothing in particular. Every other week, I would treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. Most weeks, I bought a new blouse or a new pair of heels. My hair was cut, colored and styled by the best in the city. I jetted off to L.A., Atlanta, Uganda, and the Netherlands frequently- for both work and pleasure.
Yet throughout this luxurious singlehood, I pined away for a partner, a relationship, and a family.
When I met my husband in my early 30s, my jet-setting began to slow into a weekly commute between Washington, D.C. and Vermont. He and I soon began trying to grow our family. After several years of infertility and a lot of energy put in to adopting our two children, I now have the things that I dreamed of as a single gal- a wonderful husband and two young children. I’ve chosen a new career path which is focused on being a mom and I chose to slow down my international health career which had consumed all of my 20s and 30s. I no longer jet off to developing countries to develop programs to support care for people living with HIV/AIDs. And gone are my days of leisurely strolling through the shops and browsing for nothing in particular.
I rush through stores with a laser focus on the exact item I need, I throw my credit card on the counter and rush out to get home to make not one but three separate dinners for my husband, my finicky four year-old and the baby who would eat a horse if I put it in front of her. (I might try that next week).
I’ve been wearing and sleeping in the same shirt for two days. I can’t remember when I last washed my hair and mani/pedis are a thing of the past. I can’t remember the last time I wore heels or even a blouse for that matter.
Travel is limited to the grocery store, preschool pick-ups and Walmart. I recall earlier days when I could keep my house relatively clean- now it looks as if a hurricane blew through it leaving the carnage of toys, clothes and dog hair everywhere.
Lying in bed, unable to sleep after my husband woke me when he returned late after a business dinner, I remember those days in D.C. with such warmth and yummy delight. If I could steal away and just have one of those single gal days again, just a day to myself without any responsibilities… but I wouldn’t trade this tired mom life for anything. I am a tired mother, yet I’ve never been happier.
I look across my California king size bed at my husband who sleeps with his phone in his hand and earphones in his ears and my son whose foot is sprawled across the bed within inches of my husband’s face, and I could not imagine a more enjoyable, luxurious world than the one I have now.