Today’s post is going to get a little sentimental, silly, and pretty damn honest.
Some days I get really caught up on the ‘What-Ifs’ of life. I start to think about ages 18 and 19. I reminisce about beer pong on an old computer lab table hand painted as a pink and blue basketball court, and dancing to loud rap music on the back porch. I vividly remember the night I got my first and only MIP, just 5 months before turning 21. That same night I almost got as assault charge for hitting my little sister in the face. I can still hear Journey songs blaring through the Jukebox at a smokey bar and the taste of layered shots chased with Angry Orchard. I was known as Dirty Ernie– classy right?
Now, at 25, my name is ‘mommy’ and I say ‘get that out of your mouth’ more often than any other person on Earth. I like(d) to indulge in the occasional Bloody Mary (Best Bloody Mary Recipe Here), but would never again contemplate the idea of getting White Girl Wasted… have you ever chased a toddler around and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with a hangover? I don’t want to imagine the torture.
Life has been pretty great. When I look back, it sometimes takes my breath away at how much I have grown (not physically of course… I’m still under 5’). If someone would have told me at 20 years old that my drinking career would have been interrupted with a baby, and that Chris and I would become awesome parents with our shit together, I would have laughed at them. But, here I am. Happy. Lacking some sleep. Overworked some days, but for the most part, very content. Still, I occasionally let my mind slip to that place of ‘what-if’.
What would I have done differently if I hadn’t become a parent at the age of 21? Where would I be today? What if I didn’t have the responsibility of another human’s life in my hands?
I will never know the answer to those questions, but I can tell you that I have daydreamed about being a 20-something-year-old without a child, and what I have pictured.
If I hadn’t become a parent at 21…
I would travel without limits… with the exception of funds
I would have friends my own age
I would party with the rowdiest crowd
And then sleep off my hangover until McDonald’s no longer served breakfast
Stay awake long after the bars made last call
Read books other than There’s a Wocket in my Pocket and Goldilocks and the Three Bears
My house would be clean 99% of the time
Which means I would have less anxiety and slightly more energy
I wouldn’t feel obligated to cook dinner or make a healthier breakfast
I also wouldn’t have to hide Oreos and Reeses
I wouldn’t have to rush to the store at 9PM to buy milk in order to avoid a world crisis
I would enjoy babysitting other peoples’ children
Showers wouldn’t feel like a Nascar race
There would be Zero guilt in spending money on myself
I would have an office instead of a child’s bedroom
Which gets me thinking…
If I hadn’t become a parent at 21…
I wouldn’t have been able to decorate my daughter’s bedroom
I would spend most of my evenings watching Teen Mom OG and eating ice cream
I wouldn’t have anyone to share my ice cream with
I probably wouldn’t even have the wonderful man I have, because my drunk ass would have pushed him away with immature jealousy and anger issues
I would still have serious anger issues
I wouldn’t know the value of time—I still have to remind myself how precious time really is
My house would be eerie quiet
I would still be hanging with the same group of ‘go-nowheres’ and allowing myself to get pulled into their never ending cycle of pity, drinking, and hopelessness
I wouldn’t know how fun bath time could be, or that there is such a thing as scented bath paint
I would never hear “Good Morning, Mommy”
Or “You’re hair looks so cute” (My little girl is the best at compliments)
I wouldn’t know the unmatchable joy of sleepy cuddles and kisses on the cheek
Life would be monotonous.
I’m really grateful I became a parent at 21.
**P.S. I’m not saying everyone who doesn’t have kids is boring or doesn’t know love. This is COMPLETELY personal and only relates to my current and previous life situations. I respect everyone’s decision to become a parent when they decide to, and I understand that some women struggle to conceive even when they want to. Please do not take this as me being ungrateful or condescending in any manner. I mean no harm.