I love being a mom – and I love being with my kids. But there are also lots of things I miss about my life before they were around.
Being able to shower in peace is one thing I miss. Heck, being able to shower alone is something I miss.
I miss being able to eat an entire meal uninterrupted, at my own pace. (Am I the only mom whose food started to disappear from her plate in record time soon after she gave birth? It’s the better-eat-quick-before-things-go-awry-because-who-knows-when-you’ll-get-to-eat-real-food-again phenomenon. “Real food” is, of course, a loose definition, meant to include everything from steak and baked potatoes to M & M’s. FYI: M & M’s can be eaten by the handful, which makes them a very practical meal for a mom on the go. I speak from experience.)
I miss that carefree way of thinking that disappears as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Remember? When you didn’t have to worry about whether that cheese you just ate could have been contaminated with deadly listeria or whether your baby was really just taking an extra long nap or whether he had – horrors – stopped breathing or whether your preschooler was on track educationally and whether he was making friends and … well, yeah, maybe you remember.
I miss being able to go to movies at the drop of a hat – or even just being able to sit still in front of the television to watch an entire 30-minute show.
But maybe more than anything else, I miss reading. When I made the decision to leave my full-time job and work from home, I gave up almost all of my free time. My kids are with me 24/7 so I really have to juggle to meet deadlines. When they’re occupied or asleep, I’m working, so there’s precious little time for me to curl up with a good novel. I sneak in a few pages here and there, though, staying up later than I should, getting up earlier than I want … and, OK, I read while I blow-dry my hair, provided my husband is home to make sure Tallulah doesn’t plunge headfirst down the stairs while I’m doing it. (Is that weird? It’s probably weird. But I’ll keep doing it anyway.)
I manage to read quite a few books, despite my lack of time. It’s a compulsion, really. I feel restless – lonely, sort of – when I don’t have a good book (or two or three) to sink into, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
In the last few months, I’ve read Little Bee, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Olive Kitteredge, the Year of Magical Thinking and a few others. I just started The Help …
So, my question to you is this: If you knew you could only read one book this entire year, what book would you pick? I’d love some suggestions to add to my reading list.