Where do I even begin to share with you how everything in my life has changed since having kids? Do I start with how my time becomes more precious? Particularly the time I have for myself, which being a WAHM does not come very often. Or do I talk about the ever-changing relationships I have in my life from my parents, siblings, husband and my friends. How about the love I never imagined I’d ever feel for another human being (besides my husband of course!) Or EVEN about how having kids has made me begin to reflect on some of the things that I have AND haven’t had a chance to do in life (or done enough of).
To make this easy, well… easiER, I think I’m going to start off with a short list of things that have definitely changed for me.
- Traveling is Tougher. Remember those times when you wanted to do a weekend get-away with your friends and you could just book a ticket tomorrow and be there whenever you wanted? Yah, I don’t either. HA! But seriously, those times seem so far away. Now my traveling includes a lot more baggage with car seats, travel cribs, extra suitcases, and a plethora of activities to keep the kids entertained. It also includes consideration about what times to take off and land and if they coordinate with your little’s sleeping and eating schedules (red-eyes are really a thing of the past).
- Date Nights Are Fewer. Before I became a parent I told myself that I would never forego date night (wishful thinking on my end for sure). But with the continual milestones, to pregnancies, to cancellations from babysitters, to sickness, and God knows what else; date night has in fact been too far and few between. If you have parents or siblings that ever offer to watch your kids for a date night GO DO IT! Go do it right now! What are you waiting for?!
- Friends Change. Ahh it’s the sad truth.You’re friendships with any individual seem to change. Some for the better, but I’d have to say most of them take a nosedive. I don’t know what it is, but you just become a different person, and so do your friends. Sometimes it’s just a mere interest in different activities you want your children to do (which take a lot of your time) so it leaves you less time to try and coordinate schedules. Other times you’ve moved on and found another mom friend with kids the same age that can entertain each other so you can catch a breather (and have an adult conversation).
- Re-live Your Childhood Though Them. Remember how Halloween used to be so exciting? Going on the hunt for the cutest costume, and then trying to go to as many houses as possible to fill up that trick-or-treat bucket. Now I get to re-live those exciting memories by watching my kids do the same thing. Or how about that super tall Christmas tree you remember putting up every year. Remember how it used to just tower over you as you prepared for Santa Claus to come? It’s so exciting to see how events like that light up my little’s faces.
- The Ever-Growing Love. I never imagined how much I could love someone until I had a child. I never thought I was capable of loving anyone so much until I had a child. AND then, I never imagined I could love another person so much until I had a second child. It’s like your capacity for love multiplies once your little is born. Suddenly you have something priceless to live for.
- Parents Don’t Seem Like Such A Drag. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to just run away as a child because I felt like my parents came down so hard on me at times. Or even how annoyed I would get with them in making simple decisions like furniture for my bedroom. Now, in hindsight, after having kids, it was because they always watched out for me, wanted the best for me and damn they love(d) me so much!
- Intelligence Grows. I know what you’re thinking – isn’t there mommy brain that inhibits intelligence? And all I have to say to that is nope, they’re two totally different things. All of those things that you learned in grade school, high school, or even at home somehow make their way into your daily routine! Its nuts. For example, you take your littles to a museum to learn about outer space, and then all of a sudden you’re reminded of that acronym to memorize the planets (My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas). And then you take it a step further remembering things like the Milky Way, Supernovas and so much more. Now that you’re older, you have the capacity to remember more, and you not only remember what you learned before, but you learn even more from taking your kids to the museum (there's something to that 'older and wiser' saying, right?).
- Hands are Full, But Heart Is Fuller. There are some days when I want to just scream. I want to scream how I want a much deserved break, and how burnt out I am. Then once the little ones are asleep I actually miss them and can’t wait to hug them in the morning. There’s nothing I would change in the blessings I’ve been given as a mom (well, maybe more breaks?). But I do have to say that my heart has never been so full and I am forever grateful.
Whether these things have changed for you or not, they are some things that have changed for me. If you are thinking about having kids, take a peek at the list above; because having a child is not just an 18-year commitment to someone who is depending on you, but also a lifetime commitment not to be taken lightly. Lastly, think about the things that you’ve always wanted to do, or even bucket-list things… AND GO DO THEM! Don’t wait until having kids to do them, because in all honesty, you may never have the time to do them (or may not get to do them until the kids are much older).