Life Before Children: How Much Do You Tell Them?

08/05/2011 21:52 | Updated 22 May 2015
Talking to your childrenGetty

In my life so far I have:

Drunk much, much too much alcohol

Toured with a rock band

Taken illegal substances

Hitch-hiked through Indonesia

Lived for six months without running water or electricity in the Australian Outback

Shot a wallaby, skinned it, cooked it over a fire and eaten it

Worked as a tracker for a hot air balloon company

Had an illicit affair

Had a tattoo

Shaved my head

Eaten fried cockroach

Worn crotchless knickers. Once (sorry Dad)

Skydived (not whilst wearing the previous)

Been to a dominatrix party (yes, that's me!)

So how much of my pre-motherhood life will my daughter ever know about? Will she want to know? How much will I choose to or should I reveal? Definitely not my dodgy choice of underwear that's for sure!

I will tell her some of what she wishes to know and maybe some of the things she doesn't. It's a challenge for us all to imagine that our parents had a life before we graced them with our mere existence. I mean, are we not the centre of their worlds? Surely their lives were empty and meaningless before we came along.

Well, no, actually I had a ball. I still am having a ball, it's just a different ball. A bit smaller and a slightly different shape. But nevertheless a ball.

It's not until you get a bit older yourself that you even really begin to wonder about your mum's life without you in it. These selfish musings usually coincide with you becoming a parent yourself. It slowly dawns on you that all the concerns, frustrations, angst and uncertainty you live with on a daily basis, just might have affected your mum too.

My mother died when I was 27. Whilst I couldn't have wished for a better role model, she was of a generation who kept much of their lives private from their children. I'm sure had I quizzed her I would have received open and honest answers to my questions. The cruel irony being, that it only occurred to me to ask at all when we were faced with time running away from us. I bitterly regret that I will never now know who my mum was before she gave birth to me.

With all that in mind it is my intention to fill my daughter in on my life b.c (before child). When she is cringing from embarrassment as I turn up Hits of the 80s on the car stereo, she might just remember that I once toured with a rock band. When she accuses me of not understanding when some swine breaks her heart, perhaps she will recall that I have been there and done that. When she is laughing at my comfortable jeans and passion killer knickers I hope in the back of her mind is a picture of her mum dressed up for a dominatrix party.

The crotchless knickers? That little indiscretion? That will go with me to my grave.

Do you present an edited version of your young self to your children?

Or do you hope they'll learn from your life story and appreciate you're more than just a mum?


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