I would never have been able to write this two or three years ago. As some you may know, through direct experience or otherwise, involuntary childlessness sucks! It can suck the life of you and your marriage and it is definitely the bed-fellow of depression...
For one reason or another, however, people tend to keep reminding you how happy you should be that you don't have kids. Remember now that I am surrounded by children (I am a teacher...) on a daily basis and it seems that parents like nothing more than tell you, at every opportunity just how lucky you are not to have kids. In times like those, while being told for the millionth time quite how lucky I am not to have the one thing that I would give my left arm to get, in times like those it is tough to be grateful.
I am in a different place now, though. If all goes well (and believe you me, I frett a lot about that too) parenthood for D and me is not far. The little three letter word in my title, the 'yet' makes all the difference. In fact, it has only been since getting confirmation of our match that I have started to enjoy being childless... I have started looking at life in a different light, knowing (hopefully) that I will not have to be the crazy dog lady, when I am 60 (because between you and me, I was getting scarily close to it with four dogs...)
So without further ado here are the ten things that I love about not having kids (yet) and that I will dearly miss once our kids are here:
1. One on one time with my husband
Definitely top of the list. I love spending time with D, I always have and in the seven years we have been together there's been no change to just how much I enjoy his company! He is great to hang out with and, for sure, I will miss just being the two of us! (For more on my lovely husband look here)
2. Time with my dogs
Again, I love spending time with our four pooches. They are lovely and one of the reasons why I hate working so many hours is that I don't get quite enough time to play, lie around, walk and simply spend time with them every day. Weekends, however, are at the moment quite a good time to go for long walks, or lie in front of the fire with them... I will miss that! (Not that we are getting rid of them, of course, but I do envisage a period of readjustment... Any advice on this very welcome!)
I love running. I go out several times a week (either very early in the morning or late at night). I love the freedom I feel on the road, or more often the mountain. I love planning, preparing and taking part in races and I will definitely miss the freedom of being able to do one once a month or so...
4. Running with D and the dogs
You are probably thinking that I am being lazy here, but actually running with D and the dogs is my most favourite activity, the highlight of my week! We used to be able to go three of four times a week, but because of various logistical reasons (to do with current lack of dog-mobil) getting four dogs, plus the two of us on the mountain for a run has become quite tricky. Still, we manage it once a week. I imagine that getting four dogs, two kids and two adults on the mountain might be a challenge...
5. Quiet tea in bed
It is a ritual in our household, to get up early and have twenty minutes, in bed, just the two of us and a pot of tea (digestives optional). Each of us gets up early on alternate days, to prepare the tea, and then sneaks back into bed, where we sit, sip and look out of the window at the mountain or the sunrise. Sometimes we chat. Sometimes we sit in silence and enjoy a quiet and lovely start to the day. I am pretty sure that this will not be happening once the kids are here...
6. Cinema night
We don't go out much. Once every three weeks to the cinema is about as much as we can manage (as it involves a 40 minute drive and costs about 30 euros for tolls, snacks and cinema for the two of us). But I do enjoy our cinema nights and I will miss them. (Saying that the local summer cinema is open to all ages... Parents often bring their young children with - maybe I should add this to this post)
It's not like I can write whenever I want to - I have to be very strict in scheduling my writing time (most of it happens before sunrise or before bed...) But even so, I know that when D and I are no longer alone in this house, writing time will be like gold dust. If I am lucky it will be squeezed between naps and cooking, or between their bedtime and mine (and dare I say, at the moment I can hardly keep my eyes open past 8pm...)
8. Coffee date
Once a week I have a coffee date with myself. Once a week, between school finishing and my next lesson starting, I have about 40 minutes all to myself. I go to a local coffeeshop and... well, I have a coffee and a croissant and I read, or write, or listen to a podcast. I love my Thursday afternoon, because of that 40 blissful minutes... I am guessing that too will have to go.
9. Not having to cook every night
When I am sick, or tired, or sick and tired, or simply don't fancy cooking... well, I don't. We have pizza, or D cooks, or we simply have a toasty and a yoghurt. I am guessing that I might not be able to do that quite so often...
I am not saying we will never travel again. I am not even suggesting that we travel quite a lot (because we don't...) We tend to do one big trip a year, usually to Italy, one or two trips to the UK and some small trips around Greece. Well, I am guessing that for a while at least (and partly for financial reasons) we might have to limit all the travelling.
And yet... even after acknowledging all the things I will miss... even then... I cannot wait for them to get here! Hurry up, kiddos (lawyers, judges etc etc etc). We can't wait!!