We have all been there.
You know those lovely moments when we were able to sleep in if we wanted to do, go out to the store whenever we wanted and most importantly, PEE alone!
We have all been there.
The times we looked at the crazy parents at Applebee’s and said- “I swear if I have kids, they will never be allowed to that.” And- “why don’t they take their kid elsewhere when they are screaming”. Or, the best one- we can still do all the same things we did before, with just a little adjusting. HA.
The time when we didn’t have kids, when we weren’t parents.
Here is the sad thing though, everyone thinks they know they best parenting advice, and have ALL the answers for us who have kids. Believe me, I know this, because I have done it before.
As a former non-parent, I totally can see all sides, but I truly DIDN’T understand things that I thought I did. When people would say to me then, “you don’t understand because you don’t have kids” I wanted to tell them where to shove it. I mean seriously, I didn’t come from a different planet did I?
BUT, suddenly I see why I didn’t understand… you really don’t get some of this crap until you truly have a kid.
And I say crap, because some of it is. It’s the small things that people don’t see, because they can’t yet. Their brains aren’t programmed to think that way. Mine certainly wasn’t.
Parenting is not so simple, and it is different for everyone.
So- parents don’t hate on them when they just don’t get it… but non-parents, just remember that some day you might be telling others what I am about to tell you.
Not all things can be solved with- “well, just find a babysitter.”
Doing things individually from your significant other happens more when you become a parent. One of you needs to stay home with the kids if you one have to be somewhere or want a night to themselves. As a work at home mom- there are days when my child is not in daycare, and needs to be watched my our parents. So, here’s the thing, if they watch them twice a week, I am certainly not going to impose her on them again on the weekend. So, finding a babysitter isn’t always the answer, and certainly not the easiest thing to do.
Leaving the house presents a whole new challenge in life.
Before I had her, I could leave and walk out the door in under 20 minutes.
Now, when I say that I will be there in 20 minutes, please understand and give me 40. Leaving the house, if going out alone, has to be done in the most secretive way, so the kid doesn’t scream bloody murder that I am leaving. If this is not done in a proper manner, screw it, give me another 30 minutes.
If I am leaving with her, well that is always fun 🙂 We scream to put clothes on, then we scream to take them off. We want shoes, then we don’t want shoes. This banter goes on for about 15 mins. Then we can leave.
So, yes, when I say I can meet, just know that I WILL always be later than expected. Kids have too much stuff to pack up.
The Terrible Two’s- Are Really a Thing
Let’s say 16-18 months are when things get really interesting. Suddenly your child, who yes, the one you would always see me gallivanting around town with, now hates to go anywhere with you. They even fight you in the happiest place on earth, Target. So when you see me, please don’t judge when I have to give her a packet of food from the baby food aisle to keep her quite for another 10 mins while I try to shop.
Do you know how much energy it takes to keep someone alive?
I say this with the most kindest heart. But in all seriousness, understand that every 3 seconds you are wondering where the kid is, what closet did they break into now, and hopefully they are not drinking anything toxic.
Kids, especially toddlers, keep us on our feet, and some days, it’s just exhausting.
Did I forget to mention the word ma, ma, ma, (that I so love hearing, truly) but hearing it 40 times a day, well you get my point.
So when I have bags under my eyes, or I just don’t feel like talking, that’s why…
But guess what, it’s the best kind of exhaustion there is…
Having nice things, has to wait sometimes.
That being said, with a new and bigger house, comes the process of buying things to fill up the house.
Well- after shopping for weeks and weeks- I still don’t have living room furniture or a few other pieces that I would have liked.
Know why? Because they will get ruined. Kids are dirty, and as much as I wash my kiddo, and keep her dirty hands clean, stuff gets ruined.
Spills, puke, and other unidentified kids stuff gives them a short shelf life.
Vacations? What were those?
Ahhh.. I can barely remember the days that vacations were so easy. I see all your lovely pictures of you laying in the sand with a beer, and partying it up like we are 21.
Yeah, well those days are gone, for a while at least.
Please remember, kids things take up so much space, that I couldn’t even start to share with you what you need to leave for a week, or weekend for that matter!
But, the one thing you do get to cherish, is the first time they see the ocean and sand, now that my friends I will take any day over drinking a beer at the beach.
You are not allowed to be selfish anymore.
Bottom line, it is not just about you, or you and your significant other anymore. It’s about the kids.
Yes, I am all for you having date nights, and spa days with your girlfriends, but does it work for your family?
For me, yes it works. Dave and I are very supportive of each others space, and want allow that time for each other to spend with our friends, or by ourselves if we choose.
For some, it’s not as easy. Give us a weeks notice, and we can make it happen, for others not so much.
Also, the simplest things like going out and buying a new outfit for yourself, turns into shopping for diapers, or new clothes for your ever-growing child.
Remember for once in your life, it is not all about you.
It’s YOUR life as a parent, the best, the most exhausting and trying time in your life, BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I was definitely meant to be a parent.
Author: Nicole Mildren
Nicole Mildren is the author of Champagne To Crayons, first time mom, and celebrates motherhood in the best way she knows how; by remembering she is just not a mom. Owning her own business, and Marketing Director of the Pittsburgh MomCon helps her stay sane in the world of motherhood.