Dear Newborn: I Used To Have Freedom, But I Didn’t Have You

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“I haven’t even been a mom for three years.

That fact blows my mind, honestly, as the last few years have seemed like a lifetime all their own.

It’s amazing how quickly the title of ‘Mama’ changed me; in an instant really. One second I wasn’t, the next I was, and I haven’t been– nor will I ever be– the same again.

The ‘then’ and ‘now’ stand in stark contrast to one another.

I got a lot of sleep back then. I didn’t feel the need to stay up so late to cram in my ‘me’ time, and I could laze around in bed until noon many days if it seemed like the right thing to do. Aside from the occasional dog-throwing-up-incident, I could sleep through the night without unexpected wake-up calls slicing through my sleep. My eyes were bright and my body felt young. I wasn’t this big ball of exhaustion scooting through my days IN a daze.

Things were different then. I had my energy, but I didn’t have you.

I was confident in my appearance back then. My clothes fit like they were supposed to and I could put on my favorite pair of jeans without doing the suck-in-shimmy-shake to get them up over my thighs. I’d gain two pounds on Taco Tuesday, and lose them the very next day with 30 minutes of exercise and a bite of salad. I wasn’t this self-conscious girl that I’ve come to be, with the muffin top and the fuller cheeks.

Things were different then. I had my looks, but I didn’t have you.

I was a lot more spontaneous back then. Plans didn’t have to be made in advance, and I could head out the door with fifteen minute’s notice. I could be home by 8 p.m. or not until 8 a.m. the next day, and it really didn’t matter which one occurred. The only person I had to be accountable for was me, and as long as I remained in one piece it didn’t matter how I got from Point A to Point B. There were no diaper bags to pack, no babysitters to arrange, no check-ins to be made. I wasn’t this rigidly stuck-to-a-schedule stranger that I see in the mirror now.

Things were different then. I had my freedom, but I didn’t have you.

Oh, Little One, those memories feel so very far away.

Sometimes I barely think about those carefree days. But sometimes… sometimes I miss who I was back then.

I miss that energized, better looking, happy-go-lucky girl who I was before I laid eyes on you for the very first time. There will probably always be a little bit of me that longs for her, if for no other reason than that hindsight likes to make us feel nostalgic for all that was that will never again be.

Hear me loud and clear, though, when I say that no matter the good times; no matter the pieces of me that have been scattered in the whirlwind of parenthood; no matter the parts of me that I may never get back… not in a million years would I give up a single day of ‘now’ with you, in exchange for a lifetime of ‘then’ without.

I had my time.
I had my money.
I had my quiet.
I had my daily showers.
I had my tidy home.
I had my control of the remote.
I had my sanity.


Not one of those things really matters… because I didn’t have you.”

This story was written by Casey Huff of Etched in Home. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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