6 Things I’ve Given Up Since Having Kids
When I asked my husband what he feels he's given up since having children, he got very reflective and serious for a minute.
“Well, I guess it's hard to say,” he replied, looking off into the distance with a dreamy look on his face. “They have just given us so much, it's hard to even think what we have had to give up.”
And also, ahem, with all due respect sweetie, what in the world are you talking about? Of course we are more grateful for our children than words will ever be able to explain and I genuinely do look at my children in awe about 19,057 million times a day that they are here and healthy and happy, but surely we can all still take a minute to laugh a little at what parenting has forced us to give up, right?
Shows I want to watch
I'm not a huge TV person. I much prefer the quiet peace of a good book, but I have to admit that every now and then, I enjoy completely zoning out in front of the boob tube. (A term that has taken on a lot more meaning now that I've nursed a few babies within the light of my favorite shows …)
But now that my children have learned how to navigate a remote and Netflix, it feels like I have absolutely no say to what I get to watch anymore. Even getting up early, the little stinkers manage to outwit me. Case in point: this morning, my eight-year-old got up at 6 AM on purpose, just to try to sneak down and watch cartoons. Nice try, kid.
My ability to walk up the stairs empty-handed
It sounds absolutely silly and that's because it is, but having kids means that I am never not thinking about how to maximize my efficiency around the house. Which means that each and every time I go up or down my stairs, I have to cast around for what items need to go up or down with me. I am notorious for piling stuff by the stairs just for this purpose and there is always, always a laundry basket in motion going on in my house.
Side note: two seconds before I sat down to write this article, I completely fell down my stairs while carrying an armload of stuff, so I don't recommend this method at all.
If I can be serious for a moment, being a mom has forever changed me and one of the biggest ways motherhood has affected me is in my ability to really appreciate and enjoy life. While I feel like I am so much more grateful and appreciative of all the beauty and kindness in the world, I also feel like I am more aware of the hurt and the pain and the loss and the downright evil.
There is no such thing as being carefree anymore for me. Even in moments when I am just enjoying the world and loving on my kids, a little part of me is thinking about all the mothers out there who are hurting and whose babies are hurting.
My skinny jeans
I mean, this should be self-explanatory, right?
Honestly, motherhood has turned me into a monster. Whether consciously or subconsciously, I have learned to scarf down each and every meal, snack, drink, or secretly squirreled away desert before some small child will need something from me. I've never met a meal as a parent that didn't require me stopping before the first delicious bite to tend to my children. Hence, I view mealtimes as a race against the clock. And hence, let's remember what I had to give up in the previous entry.
Privacy in the bathroom
Look at that bathroom, would ya? It looks so clean and peaceful and serene — and coincidentally, all things I've also given up in any bathroom in my home, let alone the fact that I rarely get to use a bathroom alone. I feel like this is one of those things that my husband just doesn't understand. He's all like, ‘Just close the door, how hard is it?' and I'm like IF ONLY IT WERE REALLY THAT SIMPLE.
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