Remember when got to sleep in and eat meals that lasted longer than than 20 seconds. Neither do we!
Young female couple and pet dog sleeping on bed
Credit: Getty

Remember waking up whenever you felt like it, then went on to enjoy a day of doing, well, whatever you want? Yeah, me neither. That's because once you have kids, life becomes about them. As parents, we wake up when they want, eat when they want, sleep when they want, do what they want. Every. Single. Day. Even on weekends! Until they grow up and move out—or at least that's what I've heard. I don't yet know from personal experience.

In a recent Reddit thread (which—content warning—starts with the mention of miscarriage) parents were allowed to share a few thoughts about what they miss most about life pre-kids—you know, in between getting their children snacks and playing the games they command.

Sleeping in was by far the most longed-for part of life that parents no longer get to enjoy. Some parents chimed in that they look forward to sleeping more once their kids get to the teenage stage, until a teen parent dashed all of our hopes by commenting, "Even now, with teenagers, we have so much stuff going on that we don't get to sleep in much. Right around the time they get capable enough to self supervise, weekend sports start."

Adding to fuel to that fire, another parent let us naive caregivers know, "Mine are 22 & 19. I sleep less now waiting for the front door to open and close at 3 a.m., so I know they're home safe."

Another common sentiment among the comments from parents sharing what they miss most about life before kids was expressed rather bluntly, yet eloquently, by this person: "Not cooking 3 meals a day, every day, for all eternity. Turns out small children are not self sufficient, and will die of scurvy if you don't cook for them and give them vegetables on a regular basis."

Another parent shared that they used to love cooking and now dislike it, which I can relate to so hard. I can't remember the last time I sipped a glass of wine while lingering over the stove, sampling sauce and adjusting seasonings with relaxing music playing in the background. Now, it's a mad dash to get dinner on the table before the hangry whining gets so loud I can't hear my oven timer go off. And, this: "My desire to cook and bake has gone downhill every month my baby has been alive lol. I could handle the drudgery of cooking but the clean up afterwards...drives me batty!"

Other aspects of life that parents said they yearn for include leaving the house without having to pack up half of what's in it, spontaneity and just plain old silence. Like, for one second. One commenter nailed this feeling by sharing, "I used to go entire days without hearing another human voice. My current record is 4 minutes."

Many parents lamented that there's never a break, not even when you're in the bathroom, or trying on clothes at a store, attempting to work out, or on sick days. Or how about when you're trying to speak? Because—yes honey, you can have mini-muffins—is there such a thing—please don't pull down my shirt, dude—as an uninterrupted conversation once you have kids?

Finally, it's the lack of guilt that parents say they miss—guilt-free "me" time, and not having guilt over working or parenting decisions. "Sanity," was another feeling parents say they no longer experience.

So, to review, once you have kids, you lose sleep, privacy and sanity, among many other things, big and small, like money, and the ability to shower without having to answer 20 questions about the moon. The good news? For everything we lose, we also gain so much, the least of which is love you never knew was even possible. Even if it comes with endless needs that will forever take precedence—oh no babe are you okay?—over—please don't eat that!—your own.