Can You Ever Go Back To Life Before Babies?


When people say they don’t remember what life was like before they had kids, I assume they’re suffering from a form of amnesia.

Before having my daughter, I enjoyed impromptu after-work happy hours and considered 8:00 a.m. an early morning on the weekend. Sunday afternoons were reserved for watching a marathon of Snapped on Oxygen as I’d dose off for a 2-hour rest on the couch I coined my “Snapped Nap.”

My husband and I took for granted the ability to leave town without much notice or planning. Whether it be a quick weekend away somewhere within driving distance, a 10-day adventure in the mountains, or a beach vacation in the middle of St. Louis winter, all we had to do was make sure someone could watch the dog, and we were on our way.

The past 12 months have been tough. I put a lot of pressure on myself to become some sort of supermom who would seamlessly navigate a full-time career and give my all to a demanding (but cute) tiny human.

I’m fairly certain every mom can relate when I say some days I ROCKED it, other days were complete disasters, but the majority were somewhere in the middle. I’ve mostly come to accept this is how it goes. The monotony of the daily routine coupled with the self-inflicted pressure I put on myself left me needing a break. An actual, real break from the grind.

I decided to channel the me that existed before my daughter and booked a 5-night adults-only trip to Cancun, Mexico for the middle of January. My parents had agreed to stay with our daughter (and dog). We had 3 weeks to pack.

A funny thing happens when you desperately need to get away, but realize you left a huge part of yourself behind. When each sun-soaked day of sipping cocktails by the pool would come to an end, we would look forward to our daily FaceTime check-in at home before heading to a late dinner. She was having a blast with her grandma and grandpa; grandma and grandpa were savoring the dedicated time with their first grandchild while we were away trying to relive the days before we knew how much our lives and hearts could change with another human in the world.

My husband and I caught up on life in a lot of ways – having conversations about things we glossed over for several months because our typical dinner conversations are interrupted by phrases like, “why won’t you eat this?” and my personal favorite, “don’t be gross.” Oddly enough, our conversations almost always lead back to the little girl back home.

Do I remember what life was like, and trips like these, were before she came into our lives? Absolutely.

However, life is infinitely better now that we are able to go away and come back to a tiny human that seems to embody the best of both of us.  

Assuming my parents are up for another week with our daughter, we would do it again in a heartbeat. But now that we’re home, stealing snuggles and laughs from our tiny human, we’re planning ahead for a trip we can all take together.

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A St. Louis area transplant since 2006, Kelly now calls St. Charles home. Having spent her childhood moving around the Midwest and an adolescence in Orange County, California, she cringes anytime someone asks her what high school she went to because, well, it’s a long story how she got here from there (not really, but as an introvert, this type of life journey dialogue usually requires a two day recharge in solitude, and who has time for that? Because…mom life). When not working full time or hanging out with her husband and two kids, Kelly is jumping on the latest fitness bandwagon, eating ice cream, or going down the rabbit hole of reality TV news and following social media influencers.