Today is the first (real) day of March Madness. Oh, how my former self LOVED March Madness. The gluttony of competition. The plethora of hope. Rooting for the underdogs. Keeping score, talking smack, spending your day at a sports bar. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or it was.
2009 – I kept the tradition alive even after my son was born. He was days old when the brackets came out. Without regard for sleep (silly, silly girl) I completed mine in the middle of the night during a long stretch of feedings, trusty laptop by my side for research. Do I have enough upsets? Where are my Cinderellas? My favorites? My unbeatables? I looked at records, strength of divisions, seniority. And sometimes I just loved the mascot. It was a fun game and I was in it to win it.
2010 – I lost a little steam. I had been sleep deprived for over a year and it just didn’t seem as fun. But I filled out a bracket before the deadline. Ian and I enjoyed taunting each other at home, if not at a sports bar.
2011 – I had a daughter who was days old. No way in hell I had the time or the energy to put into a bracket. We watched a few of the games. I was sad that I had nothing invested.
2012 – I am going on 3 years of sleep deprivation. I didn’t even have a pang of regret when I saw the brackets come out this past weekend. I am fine with sitting these out. For now.
Though it got me thinking about the other things I have given up in ‘my life with kids.’ I mean, we all openly mourn the loss of privacy in the bathroom. Or the ability to nurse a hangover.
But what about those things we gave up with little fanfare? Here’s my top 5:
1. March Madness. RIP. 1980s-2010s
2. Grooming. When did I stop shaving my legs? When I was pregnant? First or second? Definitely before I let weeks go by without a visit to my local threading salon but after I gave up on highlighting my hair.
3. Snoozing. As in your alarm clock. In college I hit the snooze bar for hours (sorry Liz!). I don’t even own one anymore. My kids are my alarm clock now, and I still haven’t found their snooze button.
4. Travel. I don’t mean the air plane kind. I mean the completely unnecessary kind. Like, ‘let’s travel through 17 neighborhoods to get that apple sausage bacon you love.’ Now it’s ‘what’s close, has no wait and customers that won’t spit on our stroller?’
5. Doing whatever the hell you wanted, whenever the hell you wanted. Without having to plan ahead, make arrangements for strollers and naps, or bringing a weeks worth of snacks for every 4 hours you’d be gone.
At times like March Madness, I miss the freer times of my pre-children days. I do. But don’t tell them (you think it would spoil their fun?).