The Way Your Life Changes After Kids
Before I got married, people used to tell me (all the time) that “marriage was going to change everything”. Well I can tell you, for a fact, that marriage changed nothing with us. We lived in the same house we were in, before we were married. Slept in the same bed. Cooked the same meals. The only difference for us was I suddenly had another ring on my finger, and my last name changed. I know marriage is more than that – it’s a commitment to someone else; but in the scheme of things, NO my life did not change after getting married.
After kids, however, our life changed incredibly:
1. You will suddenly know the meaning of being exhausted
That feeling will probably never go away. To start with it’s the millions of wake ups during the night. Then it’s the early morning starts. Making breakfast. Making lunches. Making dinner. CLEANING THE F’ING HOUSE. And of course, because you’re a machine, you won’t take a nap, because when you slow down, it feels like something is wrong. When you finally do go to sleep, or at least try to, the phantom crying takes over and you imagine you hear a kid crying. This will happen at random points during the day too – especially if you’re trying to relax (shower, bath, etc etc).
2. You will discover your emotions
Those tear ducts will kick into overdrive and you will suddenly know what it means to cry. Probably at every given moment, you’ll cry. When your baby is crying: you’ll cry. When your baby isn’t crying: you’ll cry. When asked what’s for dinner: you’ll cry. Your heart will swell with tears when you look at your baby – either for good OR bad. You’ll probably need to invest shares in Kleenex …
3. Small noises will piss you off
When your baby is born, suddenly your hearing is super sensitive and you hear EVERYTHING that might wake a baby. Creaky floorboards, squeaky doors, the flushing of a toilet, a phone ringing, someone sneezing; you’ll hear it all. God save the soul who dares ring the doorbell when your baby is sleeping. Hell hath no fury like a tired mother!
4. Daily showers will become a thing of the past
Because who needs that 5 minutes of sanity time, cleaning yourself, when you could be cleaning the house?! Or cooking breakfast for yourself. Often before you even realise, your parenting life has consumed your day and it’s bed time and you haven’t even stepped foot in a bathroom.
5. Your relationship will be tested
Having a baby to “save a relationship” is the worst advice in the world. Relationships are tested beyond belief when you have kids. Sleep deprivation drives everyone crazy. Suddenly that person you love the most in the world becomes an annoying, walking, talking, pain in the ass. Sometimes you feel like nothing they do is right, and that it’s easier if you just do it yourself. Time will heal that, because kids grow up. Work through it – it does change.
6. You will suddenly be more aware of judgemental assholes
For some reason, becoming a parent opens the door to so many walks of life. People suddenly think it’s ok to tell you what they deem right and wrong when it comes to parenting. You need to build a barrier up and remember that THERE IS NO RIGHT AND WRONG. You are allowed to bottle feed. You are allowed to breast feed. You are allowed to co-sleep. You are allowed to baby wear. You are allowed to do whatever the f*k you want. But unfortunately every man and his dog will offer his opinion on the matter.
7. You will miss your old life
Going to bed at 10pm, and waking up at 6am annoyed you have to go to work will seem like a dream. Sleeping in on the weekend will seem amazing. Curling up on the couch with your partner will seem like a distant memory. Going out to dinner with friends, or even a movie AND dinner (whoa what a treat). You will miss your old life. You’ve spent 20 odd years building that old life, so there are a lot of memories; so it’s ok to miss it. You’re building a new life now, one that is even richer than before. You’ll be able to do all of those things again, it just takes time.
8. You will envy your partner / friends
When your partner / friends leave for work each day, you will envy them. Envy them because they get to leave the madness behind and have a moment of sanity. Even if they think their job is the hardest in the world, you’ll still wish you were in their position.
Just like anything in life, it will change. New borns grow up (thank God). Relationships evolve. What you do in life also changes; meaning NOTHING stays the same. Your life after kids may feel like a mistake to start with. Or an overwhelming mess of poo and tears, but eventually you will realise your life is richer with children in them. It may take time, but you’ll get there.
How has your life changed since having kids?