1. On the rare occasion, when I’m driving in a car by myself, I usually have no music playing at all. And I love it.
I never used to crave alone time, in fact I used to dread it. And silence? Never! I ALWAYS had music playing. Even walking from class to class in college was reason enough to put in my earbuds and rock out for a few minutes. But now that my days are filled with two shadows named Adelaide and Cadence, and their non stop, train-of-thought dialogue, alone time and silence have become so much more valuable and appreciated.
2. I never use an alarm clock anymore. Ever.
I saw those cute onesies that read, “Mommy’s little alarm clock” and chucked to myself with my infant in tow thinking, “that’s so true!”. But I always assumed it was reserved for the baby years. I’ve never seen a five-year-old wearing a shirt with the same slogan! The truth is, my little alarm clock has gotten MORE consistent as she’s gotten older. Literally, I never use an alarm clock anymore, because 7am ON THE DOT, she will be by my bedside poking me in the arm and asking to go downstairs (we currently have a baby gate at the top of the stairs because Cadence is prone to wander at night). My actual, REAL alarm clock, who has done a wonderful job over the years of getting me to so many important events and activities on time, is dusty and untouched in the corner of my nightstand.
3. Drive-throughs are a GODSEND
Before kids, I never had much use for drive throughs. I used them almost exclusively at fast food restaurants during road trips. I just preferred to park and go inside.
Now that both of my girls are out of high chairs, there’s only one place left where they are safely constrained and not upset about it—their carseats. It’s almost like a little treat when we go for car rides. They can’t annoy each other with bothersome, unwanted touching, they’re usually entertained by some carefully curated kids music, and I’m in the (very literal) drivers seat, and feeling very much in control (another feeling that I get less of these days than in my pre-kids days).
The only problem comes when we reach our destination and then I have to take them out of their carseats………
Which is why drive-throughs have become my most favoritest thing ever. The bank? HELL YA! The pharmacy? YES PLEASE! The gas station? OG drive-through right there. Carwash? Not only is it drive-through, but it’s toddler entertainment too! Starbucks? There are two Starbucks drive-throughs within two miles of my house and without them I would be SO much grumpier. Now if only Target, the grocery store, and home depot would be so kind as to add a drive through, my life would be complete.
4. I’m less self-conscious of my body now, than I was before having kids
Prior to having kids, I had normal body image issues—like all women do. My tummy wasn’t flat enough, my thighs were too dimply and my skin was too pale. And all too often, these insecurities kept me from really enjoying myself when I had to wear a swimsuit. When I was ready to have kids, everything I was exposed to told me my body would be RUINED by pregnancy. So I mentally prepared for stretch marks, pancake boobs, saggy tummy skin and fat in places I never used to have it. I assumed that I would be SOOOOOOOO much more self-conscious of my body than ever before in my life. Even more than middle school summer camp which, let’s be honest, was the worst.
Strangely though, that uber self-conscious, mumu wearing, never-catch-me-in-a-swimsuit mindset couldn’t be further from my reality. My body is definitely not better looking than it was before my two pregnancies, but I find myself caring less about my imperfections.
I’ve spent SO much time in a TWO-PIECE swimsuit (confession: tankini) this summer than I ever have in my entire life! I don’t know if it’s the profound pride in how this amazing body brought two incredible little people into this world, or the wisdom from (nearly) 30 years on this planet, that looks fade and every body is different so who am I to judge or feel judged, or the overwhelming desire to want to play and have fun with my kids no matter what the required attire looks like. Whatever the reason, I’m going to the pool and thinking less about what my body looks like than ever before in my life. And I’m completely amazed by that.
Parenthood is full of surprises! In what ways has your life changed unexpectedly since becoming a parent?