Before we had the boys, whenever my husband and I would take holidays, we would be what is known as ‘Lobby Bar’ people. We would haunt around the hotel bars, drinking whisky and cocktails before we went out for dinner. Usually, the staff would know us by name, and probably the first street we lived on as well. Maybe, they also knew our entire medical history. I don’t know, but we would be there a lot.
The past week we took the boys to Melbourne and it was awesome. They are just that little bit older, which means they can tell us what they want and when they want it (NOW). Also, they can walk a lot longer, they’re more interested in things in general and they delight every bloody person they meet. Then there’s the hugging thing. At 20 months, they hug each other, all the time. It is probably the most adorable thing I have ever seen since someone posted photos of a puppy sitting in a bowl of cake mix.
With all of the good stuff, comes general frustrations that parenting toddlers encompasses. For example, it takes them so long to do anything. They want to walk, but they have to smell every flower along the way and point out the colour of everything they see. Yes, I know, we CAN learn a lot from toddlers about appreciating the simple things in life, I get that, totally, but when it takes half an hour to walk 20 metres it can be just a little bit tiresome. Aside from this there are the tantrums, the not being able to take them into restaurants thing because they will most likely scream ‘ORANGE’ for half an hour, and then there’s the naptime issue and just all the shit you have to pack with you to go anywhere. Somebody has a bowel movement at an inconvenient time and one twin decided he didn’t actually want to sleep this trip. Nah, stuff it, I’ll just keep everyone awake instead.
You see, holidays are different now. They revolve around two little people who are our whole entire worlds. Our days are planned around their sleep. Our nights end at 7pm when they are in bed. Our day starts at 6am. The activities we do are totally and completely around the boys, the park, the aquarium, the zoo. We were very fortunate to get an evening out and it was nice, being able to enjoy each other’s company again. I miss that.
Going away as a family is pretty bloody awesome, and I love it with every part of my soul. BUT, I do miss just having some time completely to ourselves, no agenda, just doing whatever we want. It doesn’t mean I enjoy trips away any less, but just that there’s a small part of me that misses the old us. I can feel guilty about this, or I can just roll with it. Yes, I love being with my children, but some days I just want to pee alone and drink cider with my lunch.
When we read books about parenting, it’s not in the rules that we have to love it every day, all the time and it’s okay to miss our lives beforehand sometimes too. It doesn’t mean you’re any less of a parent, absolutely not, even the mum who seems to have it altogether probably cries in the cupboard once in a while with a packet of Tim Tams. It’s fine to feel these feelings, they are so normal. Even if you feel so blessed to be a parent and thank God every day because you had a miscarriage or a few rounds of IVF doesn’t mean you have to love it every day either.
Hopefully one day we will have a couple nights just the two of us again, hanging out some lobby bar and making friends with the staff there. I can just picture it now. Drinking our wine, showing everyone within a 20 metre radius pictures of our adorable twins (you WILL look at them, and you WILL love them, goddamit). Then I’ll probably collapse in a heap of tears because I miss them so bloody much. Then I’ll look at all the videos of them and smile about how they are the best things ever. You see, being a parent means we never ever are the same, after all, and it’s for the best reason in the world.