When I made the choice to become a parent I knew that it was going to come at a cost, hence the reason I waited until I was older (in Utah 31 is old). I knew that if I wanted to still have a life where I would be going to New York and California regularly, then maybe it wasn’t time to have kids. I had already lived my wild and crazy life and was ready to settle down and start a family. Those things no longer mattered to me, but have you ever thought about all the things you lose when you become a parent?
Besides the typical things (keys, wallet, your mind) you lose a lot of things when you become a parent. This list could probably go on forever about what you lose becoming a parent, but I figured I would narrow it down to five:
1. Kiss privacy goodbye! Growing up with only one sister we had our own bathrooms and privacy became something that I guess I took that for granted because going to the bathroom or taking a shower can’t ever be done without someone walking in asking if I want to watch a show. Sometimes my son is there to hand me toilet paper, then flush and put the seat down too. I never thought that would be a normal occurrence but if you lock the door you would think the house were on fire with all the screaming and pounding that happens on the door.
2. A good night sleep is no longer a thing. I had surgery about four years ago on my knee and I remember taking an Ambien which made me “sleep like a baby”, but now being a parent I take back that saying. Who ever thought that sleeping like a baby was a good thing was a complete liar. If sleeping like a baby means waking up every two hours, screaming in the middle of the night because you just puked everywhere or getting up at 5:00 am to start your day, then yes. We are always sleeping like a baby at our house. I will say this, when my son was recently sick and I went in his room to a bed covered in puke all I wanted to do was make him feel better. We went in the bathroom and he got a bubble bath, watched a show to calm him down and laid in his toddler bed with him until he fell back to sleep in his freshly changed bedding. Sometimes when things like this happen, I could care less about that fact that it’s 2:34 am and more that my child is feeling better and gets some good sleep. Also you will never sleep in again! We have live in alarms, one at 5 am and another at 7am. You can’t hit snooze on a child no matter how tired you are.
3. No longer is something yours. Again, growing up with only one sister we would go to places to eat and what we ordered was what we ate. It was never I would order something, but eat off everyone else’s plates. Now, if I order fries, my son wants them. If I order a Diet Coke, he wants that too. I order him a corn dog and he won’t touch that (even though that is what he wanted when we were ordering our dinner), but he will eat all my food. I will say there is a plus side to this, I don’t eat as much because my son now eats a portion of my meal which has helped me greatly with portion control. Let’s not get started on the chocolate- they have built in senses that know exactly when you are eating something they would like too.
4. OCD cleaning goes out the window. I have always loved vacuum lines in the carpet and no finger prints on the TV. These were general norms in my house growing up. It’s funny that you don’t remember how you were as a young child or I think you would do things a lot differently. I just know that now I really just let the cleaning go. I can put away my son’s guys 47 times a day and it will never be clean. The second I clean up one mess, he has something else out. I have just learned that if I want to have a clean house either do it right before guests come over or do it during naps or at night when everyone is sleeping so no one can mess up what you are doing (at least for a few hours).
5. Free time now comes at a cost. Before having kids you can come and go as you please. You never have to worry about a little person and if they are taken care of. If you want free time you need to pay someone to watch the little ones for you, but I would rather have them with me. I honestly love my kids and just love taking them with me everywhere I go. Yeah, it’s a complete nightmare trying to go to the grocery store with a toddler and four month old, but I love spending every moment with them.
When you make the choice to become a parent people will say that you are missing out on so much, but I say I am loving that I get to miss out on all those things because of the memories that I get to make with my children. When I won the trip to New York to see the Duke vs Utah game (which wasn’t that crazy?) all I could think about was how I could go and take my kids. I thought ‘why not take our kids and enjoy a trip to New York’, but it would just be hard with little ones.
Just know, these things you lose becoming a parent are temporary. You will get them back eventually and when that time comes you will want them back because then your kids won’t want to be around you like they do now. I love these moments and have become better (at least that’s what they say) for getting through them.