As a kid, we know nothing. As a teen, we think we know everything. In our 20’s, we’re convinced that every decision we make it the most brilliant decision ever. In our 30’s, when most of my friends and I decided to have babies, we quickly learn that all the knowledge we acquired over the past couple of decades goes completely down the drain. After childbirth, we return to Square One, quickly schooled by an 8-pound bundle of joy that completely rules the rest of our life.
Sure, I knew after having kids, my life would never be the same. But no one warned me about all this!
1. Sleep ~ Such a necessary part of life, and a talent that I perfected well into my 20’s. Until I had kids. I threw out my alarm clock in 2002, because why bother wasting batteries when you have children that wake up at the ass-crack of dawn, full of energy and ready to go. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than body-slamming your ribcage and a kick to the taco first thing in the morning. Sleep is no longer an option, and even while in REM stage, you still have one eye and ear open, which completely defeats the purpose. The saying ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ now becomes a motto.
2. Prep Time ~ I use to bitch about the lack of time to get ready in the morning, mostly because I would over-sleep. But now, after I’ve had kids, I now realize how easy I had it back then. I may have been dragging my ass, but never had to drag as much as I do now. When I worked a full time job, my professional clothing options would be picked out the night before, hair prep and make-up application were given endless time to perfect before I walked out the door. Until I had kids. Now, I can’t shower without 4 eyes watching me or poop without feeling like a German judge is about to flash a scorecard. When I leave any room, I hear the echo of MAMAAAAAA throughout the house, as if my children were descendants of Marlon Brando. Nowadays, I’m lucky to leave the house with pants. My hair hasn’t had a “hairstyle” in 3 years, and the only time my expensive make-up is on my face is when I’m on that ever elusive date with my husband.
3. Dress Code ~ As a kid, you wore what your mama dressed you in. As a teen, you slowly voiced your opinion. In your early adulthood, you pick out a wardrobe that is consistent with whom we want to be. I was taught early to dress for the position I wanted, and wear it well. And so I did. Until I had kids. 8 weeks after Dude was born, I went back to work. I had a fabulous job with one of the most respectful companies in my industry, so I had to dress the part. But nothing kills your mojo than when your newborn throws up on your $100 Banana Republic blouse, smears your Bobbi Brown makeup across your face or messes the hair that you paid $75 to blow out. After the crazy morning routine getting 4 people dressed and out the door, it was a miracle if I arrived at work without something stained or askew (including one day when I wore my bra inside out and half of my left breast was hanging out. Fun times!)
4. Shopping ~ As a singleton, nothing gave me greater pleasure than a relaxing day at the mall. Call me crazy, but even a couple hours at the grocery store were rewarding. But after having kids, shopping has turned into a game of Beat The Clock. Between screaming fits and potty breaks, grocery shopping now takes almost an entire afternoon. And that’s just me. Once kids become involved, it goes from a pleasant activity to a full out Olympic sport. The shiny, colorful boxes that are at my daughter’s eye-level immediately distract her; aisle after aisle of glamorous animation that promise great taste, multivitamins and FREE toy inside. Damn those marketers! At this age, she doesn’t even bother to ask my permission. After a quick grab and dump, it’s in the cart, whether I notice or not. Which of course I don’t, because 2 minutes into this excursion, my son then decides to throw a temper tantrum, insisting I let him out of his grocery store cart bondage and set him free. It’s at that moment I pick up the pace and warn my daughter that we need to hurry through this arduous task before my son has a complete mental breakdown that could result in nasty stares and possible eviction.
5. Free Time ~ HAHAHA! Sorry, I just had to laugh while typing that, because the term ‘free time’ hasn’t applied to my life for 11 years now, so the concept makes me chuckle. HOWEVER – there was a time, before kids, when I could spend the entire day engaging in whatever ridiculous scenario I could possibly imagine. I remember glorious days of reading 4 magazines and a complete novel in one afternoon. Life was simple, and shit got done. After kids, it’s a totally different. Free time is almost non-existent. Now that I am a work-at-home-mom, I can’t shower, eat nor roam my own house without being followed by a creature under 5 feet tall. The fruit of my loins, the blessings of my heart. Mama loves you more than you will ever know, but DAMN – Can I get 5 seconds to myself without hearing ‘Mama I Want!’ while taking a pleasant piss or beloved bowel movement? Really? Is that so much to friggin’ ask?! For the love of all that is holy?!?! And locked door? Yea, they are NOT a deterrent. For the kids in my house, they are a challenge. Whether I can complete my business before my kids’ break in is an every day challenge. A challenge I’ve perfected for almost 11 years now. It is what it is, and so it is.
Any challenges or brilliant ideas you wish to share? Go ahead, I dare you!