Things that change after children

I keep in frequent contact with my sister-in-law. (Hi, Jess! You’re practically famous now!!

Beyond venting about the long days we spend with our children, we love to make each other laugh. We also give one another status updates throughout the day: 

“Why do mornings keep happening???

“Why don’t I have chocolate in the house? Rookie move.”

“My child is standing on the table…. “

And so on. 

I love venting with her because not only do I get things off my chest, (my disdain Dora the Explorer and skepticism of Gwyneth Paltrow, for instance) she can also be my inner voice.

We constantly inspire the other to do some of the things we have forgotten how to do now that children have come into the equation.

Things like having fun. Relaxing. Enjoying free time. Do you remember any of those things? Me neither.

Things change, that’s the one thing that stays the same. 

 

1.) Sleep

Or I should say, not sleeping.

In fact, is it possible to sleep in reverse? Where you wake up more tired than you were before the kids went to sleep? Like, instead of recharging you, it actually sucks more energy from you?

Going to sleep and then having to get up again is just too. much. work.  

There’s the taking off of the pants and the putting on of the pajamas pants, and then the having to put the regular pants back on, lest people furrow their brows at you in public or when you’re standing on the porch, waving to the school bus in the morning.

We all know that sleep is the first thing that goes out the window when kids are involved. You’re supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, right? Sounds great….except what happens when the baby doesn’t sleep? I know a little about babies, and that tends to happen to a lot of people.

Suddenly, your sage advisors out of ideas. Just kidding, no they aren’t. You’re probably doing everything wrong. Yay!

And every time that baby sleeps is an opportunity to catch up on the laundry, because you’re starting to worry about whether or not your husband has worn the same pair of socks for the last week and you’ve been wearing the same nursing bra since…you don’t know when. You don’t even know where you are.

Sleep might be the most desirable thing, yes, but sometimes, it just isn’t the most practical.

Even when you reach the years where your children are regularly sleeping through the night, even sleeping 10-12 hours at a time, you still don’t catch up on sleep, do you?

Because going to bed once the kids are in bed means not enjoying the house that’s now quiet. going to bed once the kids are in bed means foregoing the chance to make yourself a big bowl of ice cream and watching grownup shows on the television for a change instead of Doc McStuffins. 

Priorities, people.

2.) Texting/Phone calls

Before children, I never understood why anybody would need to call or text anybody before 8 a.m. unless it was of the utmost importance (you won the lottery), or an emergency (Oh no, One Direction broke up!!!!  Kidding!). Unless it falls under either of those two categories, we don’t need to be speaking that early. 

Now? 

Now it’s a safe bet that I can text any of my mommy friends well before 8 a.m. and promptly receive a response:

“Are you awake??”

“Yes, I’m currently hiding in the kitchen, barefoot and stuffing Froot Loops into my mouth. Whataya want?

It’s also likely that if I update Facebook at 2 a.m., other moms will go, “hey, I’m up, too. Lololol.”

If only you could all drop what you were doing (not literally, don’t ever drop the baby) and go to Denny’s together for some grand slam breakfasts.

3.) Being busy

I am NOT saying that people who don’t have children aren’t busy. Not at all. 

It’s just that I can’t always tell you exactly what happens in my house within the span of an hour. It’s too much to remember, too much to process. 

Have people without children ever been traumatized because they had to dangle one child over the seat (hole) in a porta potty, while balancing their other child on their hip?

Probably not. 

If you have had the luxury of not having to pee while balancing another human being on your lap, then you are doing well in life. And yes, that is a luxury. 

4.) Treats

Treating myself used to mean a fresh haircut, a pedicure and some shopping. IN. ONE. AFTERNOON. 

Now?

A donut, eaten in complete silence. 

Sleeping until after 8. 

Drinking coffee while it’s hot. 

Showering without an audience. 

Showering.

Chewing. 

Silence for 18 minutes. 

Target by myself. 

An empty house. 

Those are my treats now. A pedicure would be great, I would never turn one down. But I would take an hour home alone over a pedicure almost any day of the week. 

5.) Free Time

Should you ever be lucky enough to get some time to yourself….after you’re done doing the Cinderella twirl in your kitchen, you’ll pause and wonder:

Now what?

I could check Facebook….again??

Do I nap or watch a movie?

Do I stay home or go out and get a bite to eat?

Decisions decisions decisions. I don’t know what to do with myself when time alone happens. 

And have you ever chosen wrong, moms? I know I have.

There have been a few times where I have gotten time to myself and decided to take a nap. Only the house phone rang ten times and I couldn’t turn my brain off long enough to fall asleep, and before I knew it, I had accidentally wasted an hour!

Commence with the weeping and gnashing of all the teeth! 

Do you ever do chores the whole time, but then wonder later on why you did that to yourself?? Those dishes will be back right after you make lunch, lest you worry. And your kids will be sure to roll in the dirt outside and make mud pies to make sure that there is never a shortage of laundry.

Time alone: how you spend it is a big deal.

Choose wisely. 

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14 thoughts on “Things that change after children

  1. Nicole Keener says:

    I absolutely loved this post it is so true! Sleep I m currently on a whole week with only a couple hours of sleep this is actually the fault of my snoring husband. Why do kids need to get up at 6 on the weekends??

    Like

    • ashleylecompte says:

      I can’t nag on your husband – I am unfortunately the snorer in these here parts. But I am so sorry that you are only on a few hours of sleep.

      And they get up so that they can catch on you and make sure that you are ok!!

      Like

    • ashleylecompte says:

      Absolutely.

      I recently read that even when us moms sleep, that we are cognitively STILL on a higher plain of awareness, which accounts for why we are turned to hear every tiny cough from the other room. So even when we are sleeping hard, we aren’t fully “asleep” and our brains are still on the lookout for “trouble.” Which explains why, day in and day out, being worried about the welfare of others – even when we are asleep – we are just so. pooped.

      So that means you google that article, show it to your significant other and explain that this is WHY you must sleep in. Yay for science!!

      Like

  2. Melissa says:

    So true! Even though my kids now technically sleep all night, it seems one of them always screams for me in the middle of the night. I can never seem to sleep normally. I completely agree that peeing by yourself is a luxury.

    Like

  3. mrsmuffintop says:

    I love how happy I am after reading this. I am truly not alone, and you’ve confirmed it!! Also, I *really* want to be friends with you and your sister in law!

    Like

  4. Jaya Pandey says:

    Oh so true. Our life just turns up side down. And funny how hard we try to keep it all in control. Life is very different from what it was before but I love it more now. I feel I am a better person than I was before and I am able to accomplish much more than I ever did in past.That is one change I am loving 🙂

    Like

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