If you’re considering parenthood, also consider how life changes after having children.
Before kids, Brandon and I had a few ideas of how our lives would change once we had children. Real life experiences with little nephews and cousins, plus first-hand accounts from my brother and sister in law, gave us a sneak peek into our future as parents.
Truth be told, parenthood has been a lot more intense than we imagined in so many different ways. One way in particular is a favorite topic of conversation among my friends and I lately. I like to call it: What have you surrendered lately?
I, for example, surrender the idea of clean clothes. Since babies spit up a lot and toddlers like to touch their Mommies with grubby hands, it’s usually pointless for me to wear any article of clothing that I value. Whatever I put on will eventually end up dirty and smelling of breastmilk.
Parents surrender watching anything remotely “adult” on television between the hours of 6am and 8pm. Then, if you’re lucky, you might be able to watch a show Live. I resort to catching up on shows since my baby somehow always wakes up as soon as The Walking Dead begins every Sunday night.
Parents give up hot coffee. Raise your hand if you have to warm your morning coffee in the microwave multiple times before it’s finished. I can’t remember the last time I drank an entire cup of hot coffee at my house (in restaurants sometimes I manage to chug it down before it gets cold).
We surrender fancy meals. I usually eat whatever remnants my child has not finished for breakfast and lunch because it’s the easiest thing to shove in my mouth between dirty baby diapers and laundry. Brandon and I enjoy making big dinners on the weekends at home, but often I only get to inhale a few bites while it’s hot.
Parents surrender their bodies.
Obviously, all women can relate to this… but men, think about it too. Do you have time to go to the gym to make up for the beer and pizza you consume on football Sunday?
As parents, we surrender quite a bit for our children.
We give up a clean home. No one has a clean house 24/7 when you have children. No. One. Unless you have a live-in maid, so don’t lie.
Parents surrender guilt-free, stress-free ME time. A simple request for a bubble bath away from the girls is usually interrupted by a toddler who wants to visit Mommy. Even when Brandon and I went to Napa last year for our anniversary, I couldn’t relax entirely. I missed Annabelle and worried about her every couple of hours. Now that we have another little girl to think about, I know our trips away from them will be even more stressful.
We surrender our play money. I used to spend my saved blogging cash on Tory Burch flats. I now buy my daughters matching pajamas or another new toy for going pee pee on the potty. Or a cute pair of shoes that she HAS to have for Christmas pictures. A lot of unnecessary purchases are made on my daughters and not myself. But it’s okay. My new jeans would end up covered in spit up anyways.
Moms relinquish getting all dolled up. I don’t know about you, but if I have time to take a shower and put on makeup, my hair is usually not done. If I have time to do my hair, my makeup is usually not done. We have to pick one or the other. The practicality of having more than an hour to get ready when you are home alone with two kids is unrealistic.
We surrender modesty/privacy. Once you have a child you will rarely go to the bathroom in your own home alone. Get used to questions about your body parts and why Daddy stands up when he goes to the bathroom. How about dancing in public? If you never liked it before, try taking your toddler anywhere music plays. You WILL bust a move and not think twice about it.
We surrender sleep.
Well, that’s an obvious one that doesn’t need explanation. Sleep is number one when it comes to what parents surrender for children.
All that we surrender for our children is worth it. For the smiles, kisses, snuggles, the “I Love Yous” and unconditional love; being a Mom and Dad is better than anything else. We would not trade anything we’ve given up for our daughters… but it is still fun to talk about.