How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

5 Things I Miss About Being Childless

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Becoming a parent was one of the most important and transformative things that has ever happened in my life. I can’t understate how much it’s changed me. I don’t think I ever truly understood what it meant to platonically love another human being until I had my boys.

That being said…

There are moments when we all need a break. The trouble with breaks, for me, is the nostalgia that accompanies them. “Remember those days when…?” Here, now, is my list of five things I miss about being lonely and carefree and immature and lazy and… well, being without children…


1. Eating Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want

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Remember that time you decided to go find a Korean barbecue place at four in the morning and you decided to drive up to San Francisco because you wanted a great Thai meal instead? Neither do I, but the point is IF I WANTED TO… not an option.

At least not without three days of prep, a week of whining children and even less sleep than an insomniac with a meth addiction.

2. Extracurricular Activities

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Going to the movies all the time? Eating a dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t have squeaky toys or foam pads covering corners? Going to a concert?

These are just a few things that went on the Endangered Species list for me as a parent. I just don’t have a schedule that permits them. I can hear you all yelling at me now in the comments about being a martyr or whatever. Sure, I could carve out time to do this more of this stuff, but I’d either have to hire someone to watch my kids so I can go out or I don’t get to go out with my favorite person. Either way, I’m taking the hit. And I’m not quite self-obsessed enough to make that a regular thing. I got shit to do.

Also, just using the bathroom without being interrupted would be nice.

3. More Time To Take Care of Myself

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Aging is a bitch. Aging while taking care of two kids is like watching that guy in Indiana Jones who chose the wrong grail cup. I think I’ve aged faster and more hideously in the last five years than all of my teenage years combined.

As I’ve said before, I think my sons are growing rapidly because THEY ARE STEALING MY YOUTH from me. THIEVES.

4. Hanging Out with Friends

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When you have kids, something magical happens. You stop hanging out with people. Well, MAYBE if they have kids. Or at least as much. I didn’t have many friends to begin with but this drought is the worst I’ve seen in decades. Sure, I talk to lots of people by text and on this stupid website (which I very much enjoy), but face-to-face conversations are at an all-time low. Like the current goodwill for airline company industry social media.

5. Not Caring About Someone Like My Life Depended On It

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Remember that time you didn’t worry about another human being breathing, playing, learning, burping, eating, sleeping or being happy? Me neither. And this is why I wouldn’t have it any other way. These two life-suckers are the best thing ever. And my wife tops off my happiness glass. Sure, I wonder about what my life would’ve been like without them, but then I get visions of George Bailey running down a street crying and wishing it could all go back again. Their happiness is intertwined with mine now.

The struggle and the worry and the pain and love is all worth it. And that, dudes, is worth more than just pizza and a cowabunga.

PS: That new TMNT movie looks like total horseshit, right?


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12 Responses to “5 Things I Miss About Being Childless”

  1. I hear you. I miss having quiet in my head. Finishing thoughts. That was fun.
    However, there are just moments that make it all worth while, even when you think you’ve finally had enough.
    I had a couple of those moments today and they could not have come at a better time (I was ready to run away from home)!

  2. Amy McD says:

    6. Peeing with the door closed. Or broader: doing anything in the bathroom with the door closed. It’s like the kids have a sixth sense for when you try to sneak to the bathroom.

    Agree with all these – definitely the top 5. But more importantly, agree about TMNT. I am glad they are doing another live action movie (was disappointed that the last one was animated), but after seeing the trailer I am quite skeptical of it.

  3. Shawn says:

    Very nice. And yes. It does look like horseshit…except, well…you know. Megan Fox.

  4. Tessie says:

    I miss having the cats chase each other and not causing a grumpy, teething five-month-old to awaken from a rare nap.

    However, I feel better when he calms down and I see that still-toothless smile.

    Just like “Episode One,” I will do my best to hide this Bay influenced disappointment that is the new TMNT from my son.

    My man noticed they look more like a bunch of Hulks and less like mutant turtles. I can’t stand the part where Donnie is flung into a Humvee, and crushes it with his shell.

  5. Lisa says:

    Sleep. I miss sleep. Dead-to-the-world for 6 hours straight, get up and pee, go back to bed and sleep another 3 hours. Every night, if I wanted to.
    And I miss the option to stay up late doing stuff I want to do, knowing I can catch up on sleep tomorrow night.
    And ‘flow’… you know when you get so absorbed in what you are doing that you are just in this wonderful timeless creative zone? It’s hard to do that when you are also listening for the little one to wake any minute now.

  6. Angela says:

    I have major issues with the most recent cartoon incarnation and I WILL NOT see the new movie.

  7. Amanda says:

    I miss being able to just “go.” Like, “Hey, I forgot milk. I’ll run to Kroger real quick.”

    Nope. Not anymore. Not with car seats and shoes and “mommy, I have to pee,” and three (going on four) kids to keep track of in the store, and…..

  8. Brenna says:

    Forgot to mention sleep… think I miss that the most.

  9. Larry says:

    I really do miss hanging out with friends. Now, to make a plan with everyone is a big to do.

  10. Amen to #3. Aging quicker than the President of the United States. Interestingly, when you become a parent your baby face goes away but the baby tears remain.

  11. grandpa says:

    You are building memories. Be sure to build good ones, because they will sustain in the autumn of your life. Trust me!We have many and they are all good. Remember the christmas photo shoot in Memphis?
    Love grandpa… thank you for the memories.

  12. Mimi says:

    My day today was basically all this in my head. It was also pretty crappy. Sigh. One day at a time. Hopefully my kids won’t remember that day mom basically stayed in bed (except for my prenatal visit with both in tow) and let them watch movies and eat crap. Anxiety+depression+pregnancy= no bueno!

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