How life changes once you're a parent.
Your body has transformed into a baby-feeding-and-comforting machine. Your romantic partner is suddenly someone's Daddy. You've figured out how to line up all the snaps in those onesie pajamas. But here are some things you might not have realized will change forever once you're a parent.
1. You'll never sleep in again
You probably didn't consider this before you were a parent – sure, you can pay a babysitter an exorbitant hourly fee to watch Netflix while your kid sleeps so that you and your husband can go out to dinner and talk about how cute that kid is and how you shouldn't talk about how cute the kid is all night but what can you do with a kid that cute. But you still have to wake up the next morning – or maybe even throughout the post-date-night night – to deal with that cuteness.
Still, while you'll surely miss the days when weekend mornings meant lolling around in bed until it was time for Bloody Marys, post-baby you'll also be introduced to the beauty of sunrises, to the fresh smell of 6 a.m. in the summer, the peace of the park before the big kids descend, and the only-now-understood phenomenon of lunch well before noon.
2. You say ridiculous things every day
When you become a parent you start saying totally parenty things. Everyone kind of expects this, though, so it's no great shock to hear yourself saying "Just one more bite!" Or "You'll understand when you're older." What is a bit surprising is the complete nonsense you hear yourself saying when conversing with toddlers. "But I can't show you the picture until I take it!" is a commonly heard quip around here. As is "If you're cold, put your clothes back on," and "Please get your finger out of your butthole while you're eating."
That said, there is something wonderful about living in a land of whimsy 24/7. Parenting young children means you're bound to find yourself deep in complex conversations about invented animals, the inner lives of dollies, and whether or not wolves/fairies/cookie-trees/mean people are really real. Hey, it's better than discussing Kimye or whatever it is grownups talk about.
3. Everything is terrifying
I used to think my mother was exaggerating her distaste for any form of media that portrayed a child in danger. "I can't watch this," she'd say of the goofiest horror film. Well, guess what. Now that I'm a mother, not only can't I stomach horror films, I get teary at the news. Heck, I get teary at the weather. The world has revealed itself to be a terrible, terrifying place, full of dangers threatening my babies.
Of course, all this means is that parenthood has pumped me up with an adrenaline shot of empathy. Really, slasher movies probably should be a bit hard on the psyche, and really, we probably should cry when we hear about another family's tragedy on the news. Being a parent may leave you a bit raw, but it also makes you incredibly receptive to what the world has to say to you.
4. You have no time for BS
There is no faking anything once you are a parent. You just don't have time anymore. Office politics? Whatever, you have to get home to sing your kiddo to sleep. Blahbedy-Blah's sanctimonious Facebook post that rubbed you the wrong way? You have about 20 seconds to obsess before someone starts crying (not you). Those toxic friends who need too much and give too little? You don't have anything for them anymore.
This can be a little brutal – hobbies get sloughed off like so much old skin. But there's also something very clarifying about parenthood. You focus on the important things – your family, your main passion in life (probably don't have time for more than one, not until kindergarten anyway). You have to. There's just no time or energy for anything else. There is laundry to do, and children to soothe, and the aforementioned imaginary animals to discuss. Lucky you. Lucky all of us.