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We have all heard it at least once in our lives, “ wait until you have kids!” This was a saying ingrained in my head by my mom and all her friends during my 20’s. And as always I would laugh, roll my eyes, and agree sarcastically, “ok yea sure.”
Boy does the universe have a funny way of slapping you in the face with an I told you so because guess what? They were right! My mom, friends, all parents before me, having a child does, in fact, change you.
The problem is, no one ever really told me how it changed you as a person. They were more than happy to make the claim but failed to elaborate.
During my pregnancy, I was convinced that while I would have to make some life adjustments, I would still be totally me just with a kid. I can still hear the universe laughing at this. The minute I saw my son for the first time and he grabbed my husbands finger, it was like this whole other person awakened within me.
I knew from that moment I was going to do anything and everything to love and protect my new family. However, there were some other changes that I wasn’t entirely prepared for and honestly, I am still adjusting to.
Let’s go over those changes, shall we? You can be the judge if this is spot on or not.
1. Doing things just for you? Not anymore…
Some may call it being selfish doing or buying things just for you. And hey, nothing wrong with that at all! But once I became a parent I find myself wanting to do more or buy things for my son.
Not that I go overboard on spending, but when I do go to stores and see a nice shirt or outfit, my mind tells me no. While this is sweet that your new mommy mind wants to make sure little is taken care of, try to also take care of you. So go ahead buy that shirt, it’s going to get spit up on it anyway! Haha
2. Bodily functions are not that gross
Poop, pee, and boogers……yea I used to borderline gag just seeing it in movies. Now, not so much, especially with a son, which I have. I’ve gotten diaper blowout on me several times and I shrug my shoulders and proceed to clean him and myself.
I have literally used my hand as a quick reflex to shield my husband from that pee stream baby boys like to show off oh so much. I really didn’t think about what I did until I did it, and it’s funny every time.
As a parent you even find yourself looking at poop diapers to make sure your little one’s poop is “normal”. We have just become human snot rags aside from awesome parents lol. Drool……so much drool
3. Social life….wait what social life?
Ok so it’s not completely impossible to maintain a social life, but in the beginning years, it is hard! Now I’ve never really been the type to crawl from pub to pub til sunrise, but I do enjoy the grill out gatherings with friends.
While this option may be easier to tote along kids, it’s still not as social and relaxing as you think. If your kid is still at the breastfeeding and fussy when it’s too hot phase (raising both hands here), be prepared to excuse yourself in the middle of conversations or even eating to tend to your kid’s needs.
I’m told it gets easier as they get older, but nevertheless, they are still a priority.
Different friend circles
After a while you might end up favoring a slightly different circle of friends…..you know the ones who also have kids. You find it is easier versus trying to arrange for a sitter and go meet up with your single friends.
Again it’s entirely doable, just requires more planning in advance……goodbye spontaneity…..for now. Because many parents will tell you keeping to a schedule is key to saving your sanity, this is even more true with multiple kiddos.
I do strongly believe that when you’re ready, spring for that sitter or call up the grandparents and give yourself an evening off. It’s good for your mental health to have the occasional adult only time. The trick to that, however, is to not go on an entire night gushing about your kids, which trust me is hard. They are just so stinkin’ cute even if they did drive you crazy that day.
4. Your sex life…..it will change
Raise your hand if before having kids or while you were pregnant, you heard the phrase, ”goodbye sex life” or “ buy a planner to schedule sex!”……
Now raise your hand if you told yourself “oh that’s not going to be me”……I bet you can hear me laughing with you over the screen.
While your sex life won’t completely die, it will change pace, especially at the beginning. Some husbands are not prepared for this hiatus and some are just as mentally exhausted as you so it’s not exactly on the forefront of their mind either.
You will be exhausted….more if you have multiples. I can only imagine since I’m barely at the one kid count and some days I’m running on fumes.
But don’t worry!
This is normal as by the end of the day many couples are so wiped out, they choose sleep over sex. I know kinda sad right?! But don’t fret, if you work at it and make the effort to put your marriage first it will get better.
You have to make the effort to carve out time for each other, whether it’s after the kids go to sleep or perhaps convincing a close by family member to watch them for an afternoon.
Make the effort! It will make all the difference for your marriage in the long run, which results in a happy family all around.
5. Sleep and bedtimes
Remember when you could easily stay up until 2 am with friends or just binging on a good Netflix series? Yea me neither….now I actually get excited when I can manage to stay awake to 11 pm.
You may even find yourself going to bed at the same time you put your kids to bed. Heck, there have been Saturday’s where I’m in my pajamas are ready to face plant my pillow by 8.
Your single friends will probably give you crap about it and call you old, but hey I need to grab sleep when I can! Because face it, you don’t get much well at least more than 8 hours.
Pregnant? Sleep Now!
I did not heed the advice from family and friends when they said to get your sleep now (when I was pregnant) or nap when he naps ( ha yea right). So now I’m trying to live life as an adult functioning off maybe 5 hours of sleep.
Did I mention it’s less in the beginning if your breastfeeding?
I was waking up every hour to an hour and a half for the first 4 weeks, then every 3 hours the next 4 weeks. Just now at 9 weeks has our little been sleeping a solid 7 hours straight…..doesn’t mean I do. Hello, middle of the night pumping to relieve my engorged breasts. But I like all parents know, the goal line is near.
Once they hit past a certain age (every kid is different), you will be able to welcome back your 8 her nights again.
6. Parent is a walk in the park…..not
Parenting is hard and it can test your marriage at times.
Babies don’t exactly leave the hospital with an owners manual (wouldn’t that be nice). And even after reading all the articles and “listening” to others parenting advice, you still find yourself being seriously challenged on raising your kids to the best of your ability.
It seems even harder nowadays with social media and all the mom shaming running rampant. (Can you tell I’m rolling my eyes).
Trying to raise tiny humans into good respectable people puts a whole new level of pressure on you. You have become the primary role model.
It’s up to you and your partner to show and teach kindness, manners, work ethic, integrity, healthy relationships, ugh the list goes on… My only hope is that I can live up to what my son needs me to be and that in turn, I can guide him on the correct paths in life.
This is where your marriage can be put to the test. Before having a kid you might have already discussed finances, religious upbringing (if applicable), discipline style, work schedules, or who will be the one to take them to their appointments.
Discussing this beforehand is a great idea, but you won’t really be put to the test until that bundle of joy pops out. Be prepared to talk about your ideas on parenting styles as to stay on the same page when certain situations arise.
7. Your love for another
Remember when you fell in love with your husband and told yourself there was no way you’d love anyone else more? Well, enter the baby or babies. What’s amazing is the unconditional love they have back for you.
It’s funny because I honestly wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotions that smack you once you lock eyes with your child for the firsts time. Not to mention the first time he smiled at me on purpose (not the just passed gas smile).
Unless you’re a parent, it’s very hard to explain that type of love. I sometimes have to fight back tears of overwhelming happiness when my son looks at me and smiles or giggles.
This love between us is special, it’s genuine, and it’s strong. It’s a love that makes you want to be anything for your kid or be anything for your kid. Of course, as they get older, they will go through periods where mom is so not cool, but that doesn’t change how you feel about them. Ever.
The world is now different
For me, it also changed my point of view in the world. I’ve become far more alert to my surroundings and just a little more cautious. I wouldn’t call it full-blown paranoia, but with the way the world is now, I’m definitely in momma bear mode 24/7.
Heck, I can’t even watch the same things I used to without having a completely different reaction. If you’re a mom you can totally back me up on this!
So if you’re about to become a parent or already are, having a child is one of the greatest things that will ever happen to you. I can say this because I used to laugh at those who would say that very same cliche phrase and well holy crap they were right all along.
While it may drive us nuts to hear all the “best” advice on parenting from people, I must say many of them know what they are talking about.
What do you think? How has becoming a parent changed you? I would love to hear from you below in the comments!
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