I wrote this post about parenthood on my personal blog a few years ago and it showed up on my memories on Facebook. I had a good laugh remembering the day that this all became clear to me, so I thought I would share.
I am not going to delve into the over talked about differences between people without kids and people with kids. We all know there are differences. We all know that most of us are super judgemental about how we will “raise our kids differently when we have children”… I’m not going to go there. I was a jerk and I know that. #fulldisclosure.
What I do want to do, however, is tell you to enjoy a few little things. Because my sweet friends with growing babies…. there are some things you will not have again for many years and I wish someone had just told me to appreciate these. (I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway though, I really was a jerk).
“Mom… Do you want to talk about bones?”
Before Kids: Your alarm goes off, you mentally run through what day it is, whether you’re working, whether you actually have to get up, whether there is a chance you might have a sore throat and can call in sick. Nope, okay gotta get up. But first hit the snooze button. And maybe listen to the radio, maybe chuckle at the witty banter of the radio hosts.
After kids: Hear someone yelling, mentally run through what day it is, what time it might be, if you’ve actually closed your eyes long enough for REM sleep. Then you realize that its morning (they decided that 5am is morning, not you), and they want to be fed, watered and Peppa Pigged. You bring them in to bed for 5 more minutes of dozing before your 3 yr old whispers “hey mom, mom, mommmmm…. do you want to talk about bones?”.
Before kids: You need milk. You put on your shoes. Grab your keys and drive to the grocery store. You hit the easy button on your car dashboard on the way.
After kids: Feed kids, water kids, Peppa Pig kids. Put hat, boots, jacket mittens on wiggly kid #1. Put hat, jacket, boots, mitts on wiggly kid #2. Watch kid move like molasses because she is not wearing her tutu and she has does not know where the 5 day old granola bar is.
Before Kids: Husband comes home around the same time as you, you decide what you’re making for dinner, you take food out of the freezer, let it thaw, watch some Saturday Night Live from last week, leisurely cook a meal and eat casually around 7:30.
After Kids: Your tummy growls at 3:30. You start making dinner at 4 because it takes you 40 minutes to cut a carrot. You can not imagine eating any later than 5pm because you’re starving and children want nourishment. You eat your dinner casually over 3 minutes.
Before kids: You and your partner gossip about your friends in casual conversation. You can’t believe they don’t want to have kids for 10 more years. You laugh at how together you have it.
After kids: You talk in broken sentences until the kids go to bed. And then you talk about what funny things the kids did today, yesterday, last week. Wonder if we still have friends to gossip about.
But here is the icing. When you think that the life you had before becoming a parent was so very long ago, and you might be completely different humans than you were 5 or 10 years ago— your baby smiles at you and you see that they have your lips, your eyes, your nose. They giggle and you hear the same giggle they had when they were 3 months old. You see your partner’s bushy eyebrows coming in on your little girl’s forehead (#sorryhunny), and none of that other stuff really matters. I mean, I miss the days that seem so long ago. And there have been days when I literally had more shots of espresso in my latte than I did sleep overnight, but they are actually really really cool little people that I’m raising. And you’ll have cool little people too, I promise.