It’s pretty common knowledge that having children is a huge adjustment both physically and emotionally. Once I decided to start having kids, I knew there were going to be some major changes in my life and I was prepared to let some things go and kind of “role with the punches.” What I didn’t realize is that motherhood was going to completely knock me on my butt and all my so called “needs” would become secondary or nonexistent. So here is my list of things that motherhood forced me to give up on
Showering. When I had my first baby, showering was the first thing I gave up on. If I managed to get my little one to sleep and not pass out myself, it often came down to a choice of eat, sleep, completely zone out or shower. Usually one of the first 3 won out because frankly, why shower when you are guaranteed to get either spit up, pee or poop on you 15 minutes later. When I did finally shower, I would hear phantom cries and feel a terrible combination of anxiety and mom guilt if my shower went longer than a couple of minutes. I have since mastered the art of showering in 5 minutes or less and baby wipes have become a regular part of my hygiene regimen. When I do manage to get a hot 15-minute shower by myself it feels like a trip to the day spa.
Sleep. While showering is something I chose to give up on for a while, sleep was just flat out taken from me. None of my babies liked to sleep at night and to this day, if I let them, they can stay up longer than I can. Combine that with night feedings, sick kids, nightmares, peeing the bed and random 3 am scares of waking up to a kid staring me in the face and that adds up to constantly interrupted sleep for at least 10 years. And when I do manage to sleep through the night, I wake up in a panic not quite clear what day it is and sure that something had to have happened to one of the kids. I am not even going to get started on the sleep you lose when they become teenagers.
Romance. Before kids, there were candles and music, regular dinner dates, lots of foreplay and plenty of time for spooning. I had nice lingerie and shaved legs. And now our version of romance is an eyebrow arch and a wink that leads to a quickie behind a locked bathroom door while some random cartoon plays on the T.V. in the living room. This may be t.m.i. but you know it’s true.
Folded Laundry. Like most people, I don’t like participating in chores but I actually did enjoy folding loads of laundry while watching movies and having all clothes folded and put away on the same day they were washed. However, that is a luxury that rarely occurs in this house anymore. It is impossible to fold laundry surrounded by a kid that thinks he is a professional ninja and a toddler that thinks it’s hilarious to unfold everything in her path. And folding clothes after the kids go to bed is just not going to happen. So, to be honest, clean laundry just hangs out in my crib that none of my kids have ever slept in until somebody wears it and it needs to be washed again. And so goes my never-ending laundry cycle.
Silence. I never knew how much I appreciated silence until it was no longer a regular part of my day. Before having kids, I took quiet morning walks with my dog, could completely engross myself in a book in a quiet corner of the house and sometimes drove in silence after a long day. It was just something I could choose at any moment of the day. Now… It’s almost never quiet and when it is there is probably trouble brewing and mom radar goes off. My ears have become so accustomed to noise that they ring when I sit in silence but I have a new understanding of how sitting in silence contributes to my sanity. For the most part, it’s the joyful noises of kids and I love it but sometimes I just need 5 minutes…please…be quiet…for just 5 minutes.
Personal Space. Kids don’t understand the concept of personal space at all. I haven’t enjoyed much personal space since the day I realized I was pregnant and the little body invaders haven’t stopped since. In the beginning, I can’t get enough of snuggles and I could spend all day under the warm weight of a sleeping baby. Suddenly they start to wiggle and squirm and the next thing you know they are kicking you in your sleep and climbing up your limbs while you try to make dinner. Then they just become hot clingy leeches that will not leave you alone. I have to remind myself I should probably enjoy all these moments because I know the day is coming when I will beg, barter and steal just for hugs and kisses from them.
Did I miss something or did I cover it all? What have you given up on for now?
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum. For more of her mom truth, you can follow her on Instagram or tweet her on Twitter.
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