When I was pregnant with my first child, people would often say: "Get ready! Your life is about to change!"
I remember thinking, "Of course it is. I'm having a baby."
I'm not sure how I thought life was going to be different, but I do know that I didn't expect it to change in the ways that it has.
Here are a few, less obvious ways your life changes after you have kids.
Foods that have to be eaten quickly (like cereal and ice cream) lose their appeal. You can hear the clock ticking, getting louder and louder, from the moment that you fill the bowl. The silent alarm blasts before you have a chance to enjoy the food you were looking forward to eating.
In the case of cereal, you are left with mush (because by the time that you get around to eating it all of the milk has been absorbed). Grape Nuts is your best bet.
In the case of ice cream, there are two scenarios. Either you don't get a chance to eat it before it melts, or you have children (who don't need any more energy) climbing and clawing all over you begging for a bite.
You do everything at break-neck speed. If I've almost run over you at the grocery store, I'm sorry. I have ticking time bombs (also known as children) in my cart. If the cart stops, we're in for trouble. If we don't get through the store before naptime or snack time, you will know it. I've perfected grabbing things off the shelves without ever stopping. I've memorized the store so that I don' t have to search for things. We don't have time for that.
It takes forever to do anything. Yes, I realize I just said that you do everything quickly. The problem is there are so many more things to be done.
Take getting in and out of the car, for instance. First you have to put your children in their car seats. Even a 13-month-old can make this a nearly impossible task. Then you have to buckle them all in. (Robbin, I don't know how you do it!) Then make sure that you have your purse, diapers, drinks, snacks and toys.
15 minutes later, you pull out of the driveway, and this doesn't even include all the time you spent in the house getting everyone ready.
You become more efficient. During the day, I never leave one room and go to another room without taking something with me. Dishes to the sink, trash to the trashcan, dirty laundry to the utility room, clean laundry to the couch, folded laundry to the bedrooms, toys to the toy box – you get the idea. This isn't because I am an incredibly organized or efficient person, it's just the only way to get anything done.
Your clothes are never clean. I'm not just talking about all the laundry. I'm talking about the clothes you are wearing.
I think the only way to get anywhere with spotless clothing is to get dressed after the children are in the car. Then don't give them anything to eat and hope they don't have runny noses. Maybe have someone else get them out of the car.
None of those ideas are practical, so I'm sorry. When all fails, use a diaper wipe to try and get the spot off.
Your home is filled with life. We had a pretty calm, quiet home before we had children. We would talk quietly, make dinner together and watch a movie. We would get up in the mornings and sit on the couch to drink a cup of coffee while watching the news.
Our home is much louder now and it feels like it is always moving. It's almost like we live in a bounce house. It's never still, but always filled with shrieks and laughter. It's always bending and catching, cushioning our children as they energetically explore life.
Our home is filled with life. That's really what all these little changes are. Life. Good life.
You miss the ice cream and the cereal because a child's life depends on you.
You work hard and never get everything done, but you get sticky little hugs and kisses as a reward.
There are spots on your clothing because you are touching children. Touching their hands, their hearts, their lives.
Does life change in more ways than you could possibly imagine? Yes.
Are the changes sometimes hard? Yes.
Are they worth it? Absolutely.
It\'s almost like we live in a bounce house.