Saturday, June 25, 2011

10 things I miss

I knew when I had kids that things were going to change.  Every parent-to-be knows that they are going to miss getting an uninterrupted night of sleep, but there are a few other things I really miss.  Some I was expecting, but a lot I was not.  So here's a list of 10 12 things I miss since having kids.  If you haven’t had kids yet, here’s a glimpse at things to come.  If you have kids already, well, at least you know you’re not alone!

#1 My brain
Don’t laugh, it is so true.  Ask any mom out there, a little part of our brain must come out during the birth of each child.  So if you think “pregnancy brain” is bad, just wait!

#2 A “normal” living area
If you haven’t noticed, babies come with a lot of stuff.  As they grow, they get other stuff and stuff ends up in just about every corner of the house.  And if you have more than one child, you get to add big kid stuff to the baby stuff and it gets even more interesting!

#3 A real purse
I never liked carrying purses before kids and now I wish I could carry a purse!  But purses are small and light and can’t possibly carry the amount of stuff you need when traveling with kids.

#4 Alone time
No, I am not talking about alone time with my husband, I’m too tired to worry too much about that.  I am referring to alone time in general.  I’m not even asking to have time to drink coffee and check e-mail in the morning, I’d settle for just being able to go to the bathroom without an audience or someone knocking on the door!

#5 Eating hot food
At least when we only had one baby, my husband and I could alternate who got to eat dinner first.  I thought once my baby got older though it would be easier.  Boy was I wrong!  And now with three kids, I am lucky if I get to sit down before everyone else is finished eating.  I also miss tasting food.  When I do finally sit down, I eat as fast as I can because I know someone is going to need me before I can finish.

#6 A clean floor
Even if you are one of those super parents that can keep their house clean (I am not one of those), kiss clean floors goodbye.  No matter how neat and careful your kids are, and most are not, you will constantly have food on the floor.  And to make it more interesting, add a crawling baby that puts everything in their mouth to the mix!  It is a full time job to keep your floors clean.  There has been much success reported when using a dog, but that also leads to more messes that have to be cleaned, so you pretty much break even.

#7 A long shower
I really miss those.  If I actually do manage to get a shower alone, I am usually rushing through it as fast as possible because I know I am on a count down.  Someone at some point is going to need me before I am ready.  It may be the baby is hungry or tired, someone fell and busted their head open, or maybe someone just stole someone else’s toy.  But I promise, before I can shower, dry off, and actually get dressed, someone is going to need me.  So I really miss those days when I could just stand in the shower forever and not worry about anything.  Although for some reason, my husband can still manage to do it.

#8 Watching TV
First, you just don’t have time to watch tv.  But if you do find time, you will find that there is very little that you want to watch that you are okay with your children also watching.  So tv time gets mostly limited to after kids go to bed and by then, you are tired and will probably end up there soon.  Long movies can be even harder to squeeze in, but these work well when broken into parts that can be watched on different days.

#9 Swear words
Not an important one, but I still miss them.  Or at least the ability to use them without having a parrot ready to repeat it 20 times for the next week after you accidentally spill the milk.  And FYI, toddlers learn words before they know how to say them.  So just a little piece of advice, you might want to clean up your language before they start talking.  Take it or leave it, but you’ve been warned.

#10 A day off
A day off is pretty much impossible once you have kids.  If you can manage to pull one of these off, it will be the last one you get for a long time, so treasure every second!  And don’t even think about a vacation.  Vacationing with kids is fun, but it’s actually more work than staying home.

UPDATED:  I thought of a couple more and had to add them...

#11 Talking on the phone
Children are part of some kind of conspiracy to keep their parents from talking on the phone.  Babies are born with special skills that allow them to cry the moment you put the phone to your ear.  Then as soon as your child is old enough to reach, it's really over.  I don't know what it is about phones and remotes, but babies must have them!  And as they get older, they develop a sixth sense that allows them to hear you dial a number from anywhere in the house.  The most affective tactic is to be as loud and distracting as possible so that it becomes more work than it is worth to try to continue your conversation and you give up.

#12 The snooze buttonThere isn't a morning that I don't wake up wanting just 5 more minutes.  But unfortunately, kids do not come with snooze buttons.  They also do not come with pause buttons, on/off switches, or volume controls.  What they do come with is the uncanny ability to push every button that you do have.  Oh, and they also NEVER run out of batteries!

Are the parents-to-be totally freaked out yet?  Don’t be.  I promise, it is ALL worth it!  Don’t believe me?  How about this: even after learning all this with the first baby, I still chose to do it two more times.  If that doesn’t convince you… just wait, you’ll see!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My daughter likes pink

When I would see all the adorable pink baby dresses at the store, I always complained how much cuter the girl clothes were compared to the boy clothes.  Then, when my daughter was born, she wasn't a day old before friends and family started showing up with cute little pink outfits.  But something strange happened that I hadn’t been expecting… I got so sick of PINK!

Actually, to say I was sick of it is not putting it right.  I got upset about pink, everything it represented, and the fact that it was everywhere.  Just walk into a store, any store, and you will find isles where it looks like a pink sparkly princess puked all over EVERYTHING!  The clothes, dolls, toys, there are even special Lincoln Log and Lego sets for girls in appropriate girly colors!  Made me sick!

Gender wasn’t something I had thought much about when my son was born.  Though we don’t have a gender neutral household, we didn’t believe in silly gender rolls either.  I wasn’t concerned about raising my son to “be a man”.  I knew there was nothing wrong with a boy that needed to cry or wanted to play dress up.  Whether he chose to participate in sports or not would be his choice and if he wanted his toenails painted like mommy, that was okay.

So I was surprised how strongly I reacted when my daughter was born.  It wasn’t the color itself that had me so upset, it was the fact that from birth, my daughter was being pushed into being a cute little frilly princess whether that's who she wanted to be or not and it pissed me off.

So I told myself (and everyone else) that my daughter didn't have to be a princess.  I went on a huge rant about how we weren't going to buy her dolls or Barbies unless SHE asked for them, and not one day sooner.  We would let her be who she wanted to be and decide what she was interested in without pressure from us.

As she got older, her spunky personality came shining though.  She ran around with her short bob haircut and never wore dresses.  Instead she wore stained pants and tennis shoes since you don't put a frilly dress on a 2 year old that wants to play in the mud.  She was naturally interested in cars and trains just like her brother and I secretly felt proud of my little "Tom girl" and felt like I must be doing something right.

And then, something strange started happening, again.  Before I realized it, my little girl started becoming girly!  She started picking out the pinkest, most sparkly stickers at the store.  She chose a dress when I let her pick out anything she wanted while we shopped with her brother.  And then one day, she announced that her favorite color was pink!

Pink?!  How could she do this to me?!  I was shocked and upset when I realized just how girly she was becoming.  I felt like I had failed her, let society tell her what she should like and who she should be.  I didn’t do enough or go far enough to keep this from happening.  I was so disappointed.  But then I had an epiphany.

Yes, one year for Christmas my daughter got 5 dolls from people as gifts (apparently that is what you buy little girls).  Yes, she currently has six pink shirts in her closet from my mother.  And yes, society does tell our girls they should be proper little princesses.  But then I realized that the problem was not princesses, sparkles, ruffles or the color pink.  The fact that my daughter liked these things did not mean that she had to stop being herself.  She still enjoyed playing in the mud after all.  She could still go on to be who ever she wanted to be, she would just be someone that also happened to like pink!

It also helped to remind myself that my son also loves pink and things that sparkle!