It seems as if everyone I went to high school with started popping out babies and getting married only a couple years after graduation. I'm not judging at all, and to each his own. It's nice in a way to see what my old connections wound up doing with their lives compared to what I'm doing.
For me, it magnifies a sense of how big the world really is, and how many different paths we all could have taken. And as much as I envy the love they wake up to each and every day, I find my own sources of that same fulfillment.
1. Travel whenever you want.
There will come a time in your life where travel just isn't an option. And if it is, a family will make it that much more difficult.
Traveling as newlyweds could be fun, but after all that money you spent on a huge one-day event, your budget will probably be begging you not to.
As far as kids go, travel, from what I've heard, is very hard to do when you have a crying 1-year-old or a nagging 5-year-old in your posse.
While those with children are making sure their kids are going to school in the mornings or making sure they don't miss their play dates, I'll be in Ireland climbing castles.
2. Go to parties and stay out late.
Just because my undergrad years in college are behind me doesn't mean I have to stop partying.
It's fun when you party in your twenties because there's a sense anything can happen.
When you're married, you have to show up together, behave and make sure your spouse is happy.
As a parent, getting invited to a party is not as simple as it once was. Instead of deciding which party you want to attend on Friday, you have to figure out if you can even go out.
The choice is between finding an available babysitter (and shelling out about 50 dollars) or staying home and missing out.
All I have to remember to do is feed my fish before I head out the door.
(Bonus: The fish won't wake me up at 6 am when I'm hungover the next day)
3. Dedicate days to self-care.
Getting a pedicure is one of the most relaxing things I treat myself to. Sitting in a lavender-scented environment on a massage chair while someone pampers your feet is a true dream. There's a certain luxury in a spontaneous spa day that my friends with children just don't have.
There are always those mothers attempting to wrangle their children at the hair salon. While I sit in a pedicure chair, the only thing on my mind is keeping my eyelids open. I look down the row of chairs to the stressed-out lady trying to get her kids to sit and be quiet while the woman taking care of her is only on her third toenail.
There goes that relaxation.
4. Go to the gym in peace.
The gym is the perfect example of "me" time. Going to the gym as a married couple could work if your schedules mesh well and if you're both OK with waiting for the other. I personally could never be left waiting for a partner to finish their workout or feeling the pressure of having them wait on me.
As for those with kids, yes, most gyms have daycare centers for your kids, but you're kind of on a time limit. I've seen women rush through their workouts because they can hear their kids moaning and acting up in daycare.
5. Anything that requires spontaneity.
Imagine a friend calls you to say a celebrity is at the bar down the street. Maybe your favorite band is going to be at a small open mic night for a surprise appearance. What if she just came across an opportunity to be an extra on your favorite TV show?
The catch? You have to get downtown right now.
The worst situation I could be in is that I have a face mask on and need a minute to pull myself together. For parents, it would require at least an hour of figuring out who can come over to watch the kids on such short notice.
Plus, getting ready for something takes 10 times longer when there is a child pulling on your pant leg.