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Before Kids vs After — How Becoming a Parent Changes Our Lives

Before Kids vs After Becoming a Parent NMB

I’ve only been a parent for five and a half years, but it’s hard to remember what life was like before our daughter. I did things, had good times (and bad), and was as carefree as a married woman with a mortgage could be. Our lives have changed completely since she came into the world. While I wouldn’t change a thing, I do like to think (and laugh) about how much things have changed.

After Work

Before Becoming A Parent: “I’m going to go to the gym right after work. I can get a good hour and a half workout in, shower and change, and be ready for a late dinner. Then maybe we can catch a 9 pm movie.”

After Becoming A Parent: “I’ve got to cook dinner, help with homework, do bath time, meal prep for tomorrow, and—oh, crap! I have to go to the grocery store today! Is there a field trip tomorrow? What day is it?” (Also: There are 9 pm movies?)

Shopping

Before Becoming A Parent: Browse the aisles in a leisurely manner. Pick out some clothes to try on in the fitting room. Skip toys, children’s clothes, and brightly colored cereal boxes (unless they’re FOR YOU).

After Becoming A Parent: Remember the TV show “Supermarket Sweep” where contestants had seconds to get as much merchandise into their carts as possible? Now shopping is like that—except you also have little “helpers” throwing things in the cart too. You may or may not find out about their purchases before you get home. “Why was my bill $230?! Oh, because we bought 14 boxes of fruit snacks. Wait…why did we buy 14 boxes of fruit snacks? And where’d this dinosaur toy come from?”                                                                                       supermarket sweep

Date Night

Before Becoming A Parent: “Put on something really pretty. I made surprise reservations for us downtown!” Oh, the spontaneity!

 After Becoming A Parent: “Hey, Babe? You think we could try to find a babysitter three weeks from Tuesday?”

The Weekend

Before Becoming A Parent: Sleep in until noon—because you stayed out late the night before. Make plans on the fly.

 After Becoming A Parent: Wake up at 5—like usual. Make breakfast, clean, do the laundry. Take one or more kids to one or more weekend event: soccer, gymnastics tournament, etc. Grocery shop. Whine about the weekend being too short.

crazy-mom

Note: This clip-art is actually named “Crazy Mom”

Hanging Out With Friends

Before Becoming A Parent: “Come over for wine and a Lifetime movie marathon? I’m in. I’ll bring ice cream!”

 After Becoming A Parent: “Can we postpone until next week? I have to find a baby sitter; and it’s a school night, so I can only watch one movie. And we’ll have to fast forward through the commercials.”

Getting Ready In the Mornings

Before Becoming A Parent: Shower, shave, put on makeup, watch the news, drink a coffee. Wake up at 6, be out the door by 7.

 After Becoming A Parent: Spend 25 minutes searching for a missing shoe. Repeat, “We’re going to be late,” at least 297 times. Pour a coffee—only to leave it sitting on the counter. Wake up at 5, barely get out the door by 7, and even then, you’ve probably forgotten YOUR lunch, or you’ll get to work and remember you didn’t brush your teeth.

lost shoes Nashville Moms Blog

We looked for these for 20 minutes today.

Netflix and Chill

It’s important to note here that I’m apparently also old, because I didn’t know what this meant at first.

Before Becoming A Parent: Well…YOU know.

After Becoming A Parent: Spend a half hour deciding what movie to watch, since it doesn’t have to come from the “Kid’s Section.” Twenty minutes into the movie, one or both parents are asleep on the couch.

Vacation

Before Becoming a ParentPack 6 different bikinis, SPF 8, a couple of books, and your favorite Koozie. “I’m going to relax and tan FOR A WHOLE WEEK!”

before kids vacation

You can tell I’m not a parent here. Look at the size of my purse!

After Becoming A ParentPack a full coverage “mom suit,” SPF 70 (because, skin cancer!), three bags of beach toys, a cooler full of Capri Suns, sixteen beach towels, four boxes of goldfish crackers, and spend a majority of the time worried that your child is going to get sunburned and/or swept away into the ocean.

Eating At a Restaurant

Before Becoming a Parent:Swanky restaurant, dim lighting, fancy appetizers—possibly sushi. “This place was noted in an article I read recently as the ‘IT’ restaurant!”

 After Becoming A Parent: Bright lights. Generally features a placemat that can be colored. Chicken strips or mac and cheese on the menu are typical. “This place was featured on the Nashville Mom’s Blog as a family-friendly patio restaurant/place kids eat free for dinner!”

grilled cheese after becoming a parent Nashville Moms Blog

Grilled cheese and a staring contest. But there WAS hummus!

Parenting

Before Becoming A Parent: “Oh my gosh. Can you believe that woman over there doing {insert parenting here}. I would NEVER do that.”

 After Becoming A Parent: “While I wouldn’t personally choose {insert parenting here}, I totally get why that Mom is doing it. I’m going to smile at her and hope she understands my ‘I feel you, Mama’ vibe that I’m sending her.”

Starbucks

Before Becoming A Parent: Leisurely enjoy your coffee while reading the paper or having adult conversation. Ocassionally glance at the “noisy” children running around.

After Becoming A Parent: Try to drink your coffee while it’s hot while simultaneously wrangling children and hoping they don’t interrupt the adult conversation going on at the next table. Wonder when the last time was that YOU had adult conversation in a Starbucks. Answer a question about a Pokemon or the latest episode of Sheriff Callie.

Parents

Before Becoming A Parent: “I can’t believe {parent/s} can’t come hang out tonight! Something about a school night or something.”

After Becoming A Parent: “I totally understand. Call me in six months, and we’ll catch up again!”

Non-Parents

Before Becoming A Parent: “Friends! My people!! I can count on you guys with all my last minute plan making!!”

 After Becoming A Parent: “I hope one day (that if they want to!) they get to experience this. I miss hanging out with them, but I wouldn’t miss THIS for the world.”

                                                                                                           me and lily

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