Often I’ll be talking to Dave, friends or new acquaintances and something will come up in conversation where I’ll say ‘yeah, we did that, you know, before kids’. It’ll be an experience, a holiday, city break or even a West End show and it will bring up memories of this time BK. Before Kids. When it was just Dave and I.
It’s as if there’s a line drawn through your life. BK and AK. There’s before kids and after kids with no transition in the middle – one minute you don’t have kids, the next you do and there’s a line drawn in the sand. Life as you knew it will never be the same again.
Dave and I did so much before kids. We bought our first house, got the cats, got married. We travelled a bit – going to Egypt, Tunisia, Rome, Paris, Las Vegas, the Dominican Republic and on honeymoon to Mexico. We went to see movies all the time and we went to more concerts than I can even remember.
It feels like all those things were a lifetime ago. In fact they were two lifetimes ago – they were before LP and Little Man, two lives that changed our lives forever.
It also feels like all those things happened to a different person. And they did. They happened to the me that I was before kids – and I think, no matter how hard you try not to let it, having children changes you. It makes you a different person, it makes you see the world differently and it gives you a whole new purpose in life.
Before kids Dave and I had a really lovely life. We did so much, went out a lot and just enjoyed ourselves. After kids was so different – but it was the same too – and better, all at the same time.
After kids we still went out a lot – with children in tow. We enjoyed ourselves even more because we saw everything through the children’s eyes and we did things we knew would make them happy.
We did so much before having the children but most of it seems irrelevant now. We went to Rome and it was my favourite place, my favourite city break and somewhere I loved instantly. It had so much culture, so much history and the food was incredible. But, I’d love to go back again – not just to go again but to go back with the children. I’d love to introduce them to that city that I loved so much, walk through the Colosseum with them and share huge bowls of pasta with them. Going to Rome with the children would feel like we hadn’t been before, it would be fresh and new with two little people to help us see it as if for the very first time.
I lived so much of my life before kids. I was 26 when LP was born. But one day, the time after kids will overtake the time before kids. I’ll have had more life with the children than life before them. But even now, with twenty more years before kids than after them, I feel like the time before kids was so much less. The time after LP was born and after Little Man came along has been so full, so rich and so happy that anything before them seems to pale in comparison.
I’ll always mention that time before kids in conversation. It comes up and it’s relevant. It has an almost nostalgic feel to it as if it’s sepia tinted and packed away in an attic somewhere, gathering dust and getting crisp around the edges.
The time after kids is bright and bold, HD in comparison and 4D, jumping right out at us and using every single one of our senses. It’s vibrant, fun, loud and smells like sun lotion, the outdoors and wet wipes. The time after kids is the here and now. It’s every single minute of every single day and I just wish that those days would last longer. That there were more minutes in each hour of each day to really sit back and appreciate this life that we have.
Life after kids is pretty great – and so different to the life before them.