Nothing as exciting as a cup of coffee. (Ellie Hitt)

Remember when “fun” meant you and four friends, all in hot outfits, in a great new bar or restaurant, talking and laughing? Not wearing nursing bras? Yeah, me neither. Brain fog from breastfeeding, maybe.

Anyway, here is a list of 10 things that moms find fun. Don’t tell your pre-kids self. She’ll cry for you.

1. Getting a latte
Okay, lattes are good and everything, but I know moms who act like a latte from Starbucks is a combination of something we can’t mention here, a chocolate brownie, and NKOTB tickets when you were in junior high. Chill out, ladies. (OH MY GOD I NEED A CAPPUCCINO CHILLER. I DON’T CARE IF IT’S WINTER. GET INTO YOUR CARSEATS, ALL OF YOU.)

2. Seeing a friend without kids at your feet
A half hour manicure with a friend when your husbands are watching the children? Who needs a girls’ weekend in Vegas when this awesomeness is available? And by available I mean it’s one of those things I’ve wanted to do for these past five years of being a mom but I have not yet been able to coordinate it. Any takers? Please?

3. Sleeping until 8
8 a.m. is the new 11:30 a.m. Except not at all. But it beats 5:30 a.m. Thanks, husband.

4. Exercise
Okay, exercise used to be one of those you did so you could drink and eat with abandon during the fun nights out I mourned in #1. Now it’s this magical combination of a way to leave the kids in gym daycare and not have to play Frozen anymore while you simultaneously get an endorphin fix that leaves you less likely to have a nervous breakdown. And you also get to burn off some of those damn lattes. Where’s the down side? Also your partner acts like you’re hotter if you exercise than if you just sit around eating pretzels, even if your body doesn’t look discernibly different (possibly from those post workout pretzels). Power of suggestion.

5. Grocery shopping alone
This is embarrassing to admit, but I look forward to this. Ah, to wander around, picking up the specialty mustards, placing them down again, perusing the olive bar, having a chuckle when you see other moms’ kids and their mischievous antics that, when it’s your own children, drive you to frantically whisper “WE ARE GOING TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW OH MY GOD WHY CAN’T YOU JUST CALM DOWN FOR ONE SECOND???”

6. Movies
I used to watch movies willy nilly. I barely even remember all of them. On TV, in the theater, on Netflix, whatever. I grieve now for every movie that I watched without fully appreciating it. The idea of getting two hours to watch a movie on my own TV, nevermind in a theater, is a distant melody floating on the winds of time past. And it sounds nothing like the in-my-ear melody of a fussy baby waking up for the third time. One day I will see you again, movies. Wait for me.

7. Phone calls
Another thing I used to take for granted. Vast swaths of time to converse with friends about the details of our lives. Uninterrupted, except possibly by call waiting. Now I talk to friends approximately once a week and someone’s kid interrupts by needing to be fed or something else ridiculous. But until the interruption, it’s like I’m 25 again.

8. Jeans
I used to wear jeans all the time. Now, I usually work out in the morning (see #4) and then have no time, or, frankly, inclination to shower until that night, by which I mean the next morning. Judge not lest ye be judged. Anyway, the days I wear jeans I feel almost like a real person. Until I put my hand in my pocket and find a baby wipe.

9. The mall
The mall was fine and all before kids. Nothing to get excited about. Now it’s like Mecca. Family bathrooms? Play areas? What would we do without you in cold or inclement weather?

10. The Internet
I am never going to be a no phone mom. The Internet, while great before kids, is now a veritable lifeline to the world, a social life without having to coordinate nap schedules, and the reason you’re reading this hilarious, insightful, wonderful, okay I’ll stop, article right now. Internet = mom salvation. And it also lets you look up YouTube version of “Mr. Sun” for your kids when you run out of craft projects (by which I mean, giving them crayons and paper). Take that, husbands who imply that their wives aren’t positive thinkers! By directly stating it! Now take the kids so we can run a mile and look even hotter in the jeans we’re saving to wear next week when we shower and go to the mall.

Samantha Rodman is a clinical psychologist in private practice, a dating coach, and a married mom of three. Visit her at Dr. Psych Mom or on Facebook.

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