Top 10 Changes in My Life Since I became a Parent

This week my twins turn two.  I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by.  It seems like just yesterday I was bringing them home from the hospital.  It’s been a wild ride.  Looking back, my life is very different that it was a few years ago.  Here are the Top 10 changes I seen in my life since becoming a parent.

10.  Red Lights
Red lights use to be these obstacles in my day that just slowed me down.  Whenever I was in a hurry (which was always), the traffic light would turn red.  Now I’m looking for red lights as opposed to avoiding them.  Why?  Red lights are an opportunity for me.  They are an opportunity to pick up whatever toys the twins have dropped.  It’s a chance to stop the fights between the twins in the back seat.  And did I mention the naps I take at red lights? 😉

9.  Car Contents
Speaking of my car, the contents of my car have really changed.  In the past my car has been know to house numerous work files that I carried home to work on after hours, extra change of clothes in case I went out directly from work, and an extra jacket.  Nowadays, my car is home to two car eats, window shades, and a gazillion toys.  You’ll find french fries all over the back seat, along with some juice stains.  My trunk, which once only carried my emergency kit, now houses a double stroller, an extra diaper bag, portable booster seats and more toys.

8.  Multi-tasking
Before children, I considered one of my greatest assets at the office to be my ability to multi-task.  I could work on two or three critical projects at the same time, meeting all my deadlines.  I didn’t know what multi-tasking was until I became a mother.  Now I can simultaneous prepare lunch, find a missing toy, stop a fight, let the dogs out, answer the phone and clean up at least two messes.  Occasionally, I even get a chance to eat.

7.  Dining Out
Although I’m a finicky eater, my husband and I have always been up for trying new restaurants.  At the drop of a hat, we could meet friends for dinner.  Now, we don’t go to any restaurant unless they have a children’s menu.  The restaurants where the kids eat free are even better.  Not to mention it takes us a good half hour to 45 minutes to leave the house once we’ve decided that we are going to eat out.  And let’s not even talk about gear.  Dining out requires us to bring diapers and wipes of course, but also bibs, snacks (in case there’s a wait), toys (we don’t want the twins to be bored, other patrons hate us then) and juice in sippy cups (in case the restaurant doesn’t have kid-friendly cups).

6.  Vacations
My husband and I used to take very active, outdoorsy vacations like cycling in Santa Fe, kayaking in Alaska or hiking in the mountains.  We liked romantic little inns or luxury hotels.  We didn’t mind if they were a little out of the way, we’d just enjoy the drive.  As I planned our vacation this summer I was focusing on hotels that offered lots of things for toddlers to do.  The hotel must be centrally located to everything we plan to do.  No sense keeping the twins in the car any longer than we have to.  We are actively seeking out activities focused on the children — children’s museums,  hands-on activities, theme parks.  And we must be in close proximity to some of those child-friendly dining establishments.  Did I mention we’ll be having breakfast with Elmo this year?

 5.  Music
In the past you’d find me cruising along in my car rocking to Aerosmith or George Thorogood.  You might have even caught me in the house dancing around to Shania Twain or Brian Setzer.  Today if you check my stereo, you’ll find Playhouse Disney or the CDs from my children’s music class.  I ride down the road jamming to nursery rhymes and Dan Zanes.  Long gone are the days when I stood in line for Bon Jovi tickets or tailgated at a Jimmy Buffet concert.  This week I ordered tickets for The Wiggles and next weekend we are going to see Sesame Street Live.

4.  Must See TV
Must See TV used to mean that my friends and I would gather at one of our houses to catch the latest episode of our favorite show.  In college, I remember having drinking games to 90210 or Melrose Place.  After college, Must See TV meant that we tried to not to got out on the nights of our favorite shows or, if we did, we taped/DVRed them.  Nowadays, Must See TV means the DVR is full and we must see it now or delete it so I can record Little Einsteins for the twins.

3.  Bleary-Eyed Mornings
I’ve had my fair share of bleary-eyed mornings.  Sometimes I was up all night cramming for an exam or finishing a big project for work.  Sometimes my husband and I had a “blockbuster night” and stayed up watching all our favorite movies.  More often, my husband and I had been out late with friends enjoying good conversations and very good cocktails. These days my bleary eyes are directly related to the four little feet in our house.  First the middle of the night feedings were the cause, then came the nighttime waking and night terrors.  Now that the twins are in toddler beds, we hear the patter of little feet as they head into our room for comfort in the middle of the night.

2.  Sex Life
Before children, for my husband and I, sex was very spontaneous (I’ll spare you the details).  Now, we have moved to “quickie sex,” as in quick before I fall asleep or quick before the kids wake up.  And it always seems like the kids know just when we’re in the mood, because that’s when they don’t want to fall asleep or stay asleep.  And even worse, they’ll tag team us.  First my daughter will be up and just when we get her settled in, my son will wake up.

1.  Enjoying Life
When I was in high school, I worked my butt off to get good grades and get into college.  In college, I worked three jobs to pay for school.  All the while, keeping my grades up and working on any project/internship that might help me get a good job.  Once I was out of college and had the job, I continued to work hard trying to climb the corporate ladder.  My husband and I waited nine years after we were married to have kids so that we both had good jobs and a house and everything we needed to provide for them.  But now that I’ve had my children, they’ve given me the opportunity to stop and really enjoy life.  I can spend a hour just working on puzzles or stacking blocks with the twins.  The other day we went for a walk and stopped to pick daffodils, the kind you blow the little seeds off.  While we wait for daddy to pay for groceries, the twins and I stop in the florist department to smell the flowers. 

The twins have reminded my husband and I why we’ve been working so hard.  So now we are taking time out to enjoy life more.  We get to see the world again through the eyes of a child.  And that by far is the biggest and best change I’ve had since becoming a parent.

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9 Responses to Top 10 Changes in My Life Since I became a Parent

  1. Ivan Minic says:

    And just after kid grows up enoughs comes another one 🙂

  2. Robin says:

    Wow – that list was great and I have to admit that #1 made me cry.

    I guess one of mine that isn’t on your list is that now ABSOLUTELY
    NOTHING grosses me out. After 2 1/2 years of spit up, throw up,
    poopie diapers, poop on the floor, poop in the tub, poop in the crib,
    getting thrown up on, having to give enemas, snot, boogers, picking
    boogers out of noses, finding boogers and snot on my work clothes
    after I’m already at work, etc. (not to mention all the grossness
    involved in pregnancy, birth and after that) – there is just about
    nothing that can gross me out now.

    And another one – early morning giggles – I hate the early mornings
    but this one I am writing just because it happened this morning. My
    early guy (Daniel – 5am) usually will just call out for mommy or daddy
    when he wakes up. Well, this morning he was in there yelling at the
    top of his lungs “Daddy, weh ah oo? I poo poo?” After three or four
    times, daddy handled it but I had a huge case of the giggles after
    that!

  3. Heather says:

    Definitely my sleep pattern. I used to never be a morning person
    growing up, and now I definitely am. Nothing like the most adorable
    baby looking up at me and smiling at 5am…just happy that I am up
    with him.

    Also the odd feeling of protection, or being a protector. I never
    thought I could ever feel this strong and passionate about someone
    else, but I would do anything for my two little boys.

  4. Mrs. D says:

    Great blog. I laughed the entire time. Especially about the “quickie sex… quick before the kids wake up”

    My #1 change since mommyhood… The things that come out of my mouth! Like “Please don’t wipe boogies on sissy, it’s not nice.” OR My all time favorite “Honey, you can’t keep going outside naked.”

  5. vacelts says:

    Ivan, I don’t plan on anymore, especially since for me, they come in pairs.

  6. vacelts says:

    Robin, the one about nothing grossing you out is a great one. What about the fact that we freely talk about poop and throw up now too.

    Heather, Yeah I was amazed at my ability to wake from a dead sleep when I hear the kids. I’m such a hard sleeper. I was afraid that I’d never hear the kids, but it just happened naturally.

    Mrs. D, I haven’t really worked up to those phrases yet. Guess I have something to look forward to. 🙂

  7. Nakia says:

    I would say at 19 becoming a single mom nothing changed but at 26 when I became a mom again, my life completely changed. Its amazing how different life is with two kids. My second daughter has ADHD and its completely exhausting and rewarding at the same time.

  8. vacelts says:

    Nakia, I would have thought the second child would have been easier and cause less change, but I guess the ADHD makes a difference.

  9. […] duty.”  I only wish I had neighbors that close to share “scone duty” with.  Parenthood does have its […]

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