As I have grown from childhood to adulthood, I have heard many times, “Your life changes forever when you have children”. I think most people accept this statement as truth. However, until you are a parent, it is hard to image how deep this change goes. Intellectually, I knew that I would get less sleep and be wholly responsible for a new tiny human, but I really didn’t understand what that would mean.
Here are some examples of how your life changes when you go from being a non-parent (A.K.A. singlehood) to parenthood:
EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER
It takes longer to do EVERYTHING. Before I had my son, I got myself ready (in 45 minutes tops, including putting on make-up) and reminded my husband when it was time to leave (but he was responsible for himself). Pretty easy. Then I had my son, and it took a minimum of 2 hours to get ready with a tiny 7 pound baby!
Everything takes longer, except personal time. That is something you have to fight for, or it won’t happen. This tiny human wants to be with you continuously, just like when pregnant. So, instead, he joins me during bathroom breaks, bath-time, and any other time.
Before my son’s arrival to the world, I worked as a nurse, so I generally worked 3-4 twelve hour shifts a week, and the other days I could schedule appointments. I now work from home, so you would think that it would be even easier for me to schedule appointments. WRONG! I now have to remember and consider all my potential babysitter’s (A.K.A. family) schedules, in addition to my own, when making appointments because if they are not available, I’m not either.
Smart, normal brain, turned to pregnancy-brain, and then transferred to mommy-brain. My phone calendar is the only way I can keep track and organize my life.
I try to save those babysitters for when absolutely needed; so that means I have a companion for most of my appointments. There’s nothing quite like getting a pap smear or a skin check by your doctor while also chasing, breastfeeding, or trying to distract your child at the same time.
If you ask most of my family, I have some issues with germs, or at least had. My husband was amazed the first time I shared my food with my son, but still wouldn’t with him. The relationship between a parent and child is so intimate that body fluids (A.K.A. poop, snot, vomit, saliva) don’t bother me like they would with anyone else.
I’m Cajun, so I like my food spicy. I was never willing to adjust my seasoning when cooking for anyone. Well, that was until I had my son. I cook blander so that my son’s mouth is not on fire when he eats. I also buy food that I don’t like because I know my son does. I’m not sure if I ever purchased a tomato before I had my son. Now I purchase many every time I go to a grocery store.
Your body shape changes so much from pregnancy to postpartum. It took me almost 17 months before I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. Besides the obvious of getting clothes that fit your body, there are also other considerations when breastfeeding. You need a bra that is conducive to nursing. Some women use nursing bras, sports bras, or even regular bras that they can pull up. You also need a top (whether shirt or dress) that allows easy access. If you buy a shirt, or dress, or even a bra that is hard to use when breastfeeding, chances are it’s going to get little wear because lets face it breastfeeding is a 24 hour job, and our little baby (or toddler) is counting on us to feed him.
My days are always short. There is never enough time to accomplish everything on my to-do-list. This will probably always be the case now that I am a mom, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How did your life change when going from singlehood to parenthood? Leave your comments below!
I am a certified Positive Discipline parenting and Birth Boot Camp childbirth educator. I teach classes in Lafayette and Eunice, Louisiana. I am also a breastfeeding and cloth diapering mother. For more information about me and my services, visit M.Y. Birth & Baby. You can also read the latest on my Facebook page at MY Birth & Baby.