I found myself doing something the other day that I realized I hadn’t had done in nearly six years, since my daughter was born: I ironed one of my husband’s shirts. I basically have a policy regarding ironing that goes something like this: I don’t iron. It occurred to me though that I used to do it, back when I had time to spare. Every couple of weeks or so when the stack of hanging shirts got so big and filled all the door handles in our tiny apartment, I would bring out the ironing board and put on a good movie and just do it. The one shirt I ironed the other day had been laying in a crumpled ball in our room for probably 6 months.
A lot has changed since those days when I had hours of “free time.” We happened to find these great wrinkle free shirts that requiring no ironing a few years back. But even if we hadn’t made this discovery, there still would be no ironing in my home. Who has the time? This got me to thinking about all the things that have changed since I had kids. So, here is my top ten list of things that complete the sentence “Before I had kids, I…” Feel free to write in comments with how you would complete the sentence.
10. Gave little thought to child-free travelers who got on the airplane and, without any need to provide constant entertainment in a confined space, just closed their eyes and took a nap. Now I stare at them with envy.
9. Never really enjoyed the moments alone in the car listening to “grown-up music” without hearing a constant whine of “I no like this song!”
8. Never really knew the true meaning of multitasking.
7. Hadn’t ever fallen into bed at night truly exhausted, only to be woken up a few hours later.
6. Never knew that one could be covered in so many bodily fluids in just one day.
5. Never knew that sheer heart stopping panicked feeling when I blinked and couldn’t locate my toddler in the park, even for just one second.
4. Also never knew the relief that comes from seeing said toddler running towards me with the dandelions he was picking from behind a big tree for me.
3. Never knew the value of shared experiences among mothers and how much sanity they can provide.
2. Never truly appreciated my own mother.
1. Never knew it was possible to love someone so much despite the fact that they often make me crazy.
So there you have it. What has changed for you since you’ve become a parent? What do you know now that you never did before?