1. You’ll drink more.
I don’t necessarily mean alcohol. I mean, you just drink more in general. This happens for several reasons, I think. When your kids are babies, you have to eat with one hand most of the time. It’s easier to just grab a drink – water, tea, coke, coffee, whatever. As they become older, you guzzle your drink because you don’t want to share it with your back-washing little love muffin.
Now, when we were first married, we didn’t consume caffeine or alcohol. We didn’t (and still don’t) drink soft drinks and we didn’t like coffee. However…child number one came along and so did the occasional glass of wine with my parents. Then, we’d take a bottle home for mommy emergency nights. Then came child #2.
We now have a coffee machine, an espresso machine, and a fully stocked bar. Enough said.
2. Your schedule is not your own.
Daycare drop-off/pick-up times. Time to be at work. Time to be at school in the morning. Time to be at school in the afternoon. Practices of various sports, instruments, and activities. Games. Events. Birthday parties. Slumber parties. Bedtimes. Doctor appointments. Dentist appointments. Meetings.
And that was just today. Time to have a nervous breakdown.
3. You’ll Play a LOT of Games. A LOT.
Games are an all day thing. There are normal games, like Candy Land and Tic Tac Toe. There are the “Find Your Nose”, “What Color is This?”, “What Noise Does a Cow Make?”, and the most fun “Did You Make a Poopy?” game. There are other game, like “Where is Mommy Hiding Now?” and “Wouldn’t It Be Fun to Take a Nap Now?” games. Games like “Stack the Candy Land Cards to Make the Game Over in 3 Moves” and “I’ll Get You a Sucker From the Nice Bank Teller If You Won’t Throw a Fit in This Store” are also high on the list of mommy and daddy favorites.
4. Sleep is like an imaginary friend.
Oh, sleep…how I love you so. I remember the days before kids when we would take three hour (3 HOUR!!!) naps and still sleep all night long. I took that for granted, and now…oh…I’m just too tired to finish that sentence. I’ve never been a wonderful sleeper, but from pregnancy on, it has not been a great experience. Try to get comfortable with a bowling ball rolling around inside you – it’s just not going to happen. Then the baby is born, and it’s all over. From that point on you will never sleep again. Even if you do get to sleep, you worry about them WHILE you are sleeping!! It’s the craziest thing ever.
“Oh my gosh!! I’ve been asleep for 3 whole hours and the baby hasn’t woken up!! Is she alive?! “
5. Your parents become alien beings.
Your parents become baby hogs who seem to have forgotten your name. Suddenly, candy replaces vegetables and money is no object. What the hell happened? You want to tell them to be strong, and get their act together, but you can’t. You need them to watch the baby while you try to sleep. Your child has more clothes than Paris Hilton and if he/she whimpers even a little, he will get fed, changed, or snuggled.
You start to whimper, hoping to get fed, and are ignored. Who ARE these people?!
6. You’ll never have “extra” money again.
Ever. Never. Ever. Clothes, food, fees, equipment, toys, cleaning supplies, vacations, cars, computers, insurance, injuries, appointments, college, weddings, etc…it’s gone. And that doesn’t even include medication for dealing with your crazy schedule. OR the coffee and alcohol you have to consume to deal with the lack of sleep and the alien parents. The board games add up, too…
7. You’ll learn what love really is.
Despite all the above, when you look at your child, none of it matters. You’d take a bullet for that little man or tiny princess without hesitation. They are yours and no one in the world better mess with them or they’ll have to deal with your sleepless, over-caffeinated, broke, slightly-crazed self. (And your alien parents.)
Being a parent isn’t something you can prepare for, because the love you have can’t be expressed in words. You have to experience it for yourself, and everyone’s experience is slightly different. My kids make me mad, proud, sad, happy, frustrated, and content all in a fifteen-minute time frame. You can’t bottle it up and if you could, it wouldn’t sell. It is priceless. Love is not something you “feel”. Love is something you do.
Someone once told me that when you have kids “the days go by so slow, but the years go by so fast”. I think that’s it exactly. The days can be so long and filled with so much drama and head butting, but you look back and wonder where the time went.
I think know where it went. We were playing. We were arguing. We were learning. We were loving. We were living.
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