Do you remember what it was like before kids? A recent comment from a single friend got me reminiscing about the way things used to be. She had dropped in to say hello and I asked if she would mind watching the kids so I could run take a shower. Alone. Without interruptions. She laughingly agreed and settled in to play with my children. In the meantime, I ran up the stairs, grabbed clean clothes and jumped in the shower. I was dressed, hair combed, contacts in and back down the stairs in less than ten minutes. When she saw me, she blinked.
“Did you really take a shower?” she asked.
“Yes! It was wonderful. Why do you ask?” I replied.
She said, “You were gone less than ten minutes. It takes me that long to get ready to take a shower, much less shower and get ready afterwards.”
“I actually stood under the water and enjoyed it,” I answered. “That is rare for me. Thanks for watching the kids.”
She just shook her head. “Unbelievable. A five minute shower. I don’t know how you do it.”
How do I do it? I don’t know. It just happened out of necessity. When did it change? Before kids, I took long, hot showers that continued until the hot water ran out. Now we have kids AND endless hot water and I take five minute showers. I guess there are just some things that change when you have kids. You get done what has to get done without any frills. And you move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. I don’t even think about it anymore. I just do it.
So, I began thinking about other things that have changed since I had kids:
- I don’t expect to eat hot food at mealtime.
- I drink the leftover juice and milk out of sippy cups.
- I wait until the children are all sleeping before I mop the floors.
- I have to reheat my tea or hot chocolate several times before it is finished.
- I change my clothes at least once a day due to some kind of spill or diaper overflow that would make me socially unacceptable (except that I rarely leave the house).
- I scrub the toilets more that once a week just to keep them from smelling bad. (I have boys.)
- My cats wonder who I am and why I never sit down to snuggle them or why there is no longer any room on my lap for them. (It is THEIR place, after all.)
- I have to leave the house much earlier than before since I have to gather diaper bag, snacks, coats, etc., and get everyone buckled into car seats.
- I never leave the house without a snack bag and a diaper bag and a purse and…
- I have trouble driving a vehicle that seats fewer than seven.
- I have given up on the idea that I will ever be able to fit into my size 4 jeans again!
- I have to re-clean the same room several times a day.
- I vacuum the house more than once a week.
- I either put my debit card and driver’s license in my pocket or carry an entire diaper bag when I go out. There is no in-between.
- I have discussions with other Moms about the color of the stuff in the baby’s diaper.
- I never get to sleep all night long without interruption from someone.
- I can tell my children’s cries from those of other kids.
- I often write notes to myself in crayon.
Do I miss eating hot food, taking long showers, having a clean house, sleeping all night and drinking a cup of tea HOT? Sometimes. But, most of the time I am exceedingly grateful for my children and have to laugh at the way things used to be and the way things are now. Do these things really matter in the face of the adoring smiles, tight hugs and love that I receive from my little darlings? Not really. In fact, I rarely think about them unless someone makes a comment.
So, I would like to know…What things have changed for you since you had kids? Let’s laugh and reminisce together!