Friday, May 13, 2016

10 Things People Without Kids Totally Take for Granted

On the day I was born (March 1), Jimmy Carter was President, Laverne and Shirley were #1 on TV, a gallon of gas cost 65 cents, and the average price of a new house was just under $50,000. According to Billboard, the number one song on that day was "Evergreen" by Barbara Streisand, the theme song from a movie called "A Star Is Born." Coincidence? Perhaps. (Especially since one website says there were 374,000 babies born worldwide on my birthdate.) 
In the years since that day, I have learned a lot of things, but nothing has taught me more than motherhood. Parenting has changed my perspective and taught me about an extraordinary level of frustration, fear, joy, and love that, previously, I never knew existed. It has also made me realize that, in the years before I became a mom, there were many things I completely took for granted.  

Alone time - Before kids, being alone is usually negative. We try to avoid being alone by filling our calendars with activities and friends. After kids, we are NEVER alone. If by some miracle it happens, it becomes a guilt-inducing luxury that requires careful planning and/or sheer luck.

Silence - Ah, the blissful sound of silence! Before kids, we fill our atmosphere with sounds of TV, music, people, etc. After kids, we would give just about anything to turn it (and them!) all off and just soak in the quiet for a minute or two.
SILENCE and 9 other things we take for granted before kids. #FTSF #PARENTING @TheGoldenSpoons

Schedule flexibility - A friend calls at the last minute and says, "Hey! Want to meet me for coffee?" Before kids, you say, "Sure!", grab your purse, and head out the door. After kids, you have to consider how the coffee date will disrupt your kids' nap schedule or mealtime; secure a baby-sitter if you don't want to take the kid; pack the diaper bag/snack bag/all-the-things-to-keep-kids-occupied bag; and- oh yeah - take a shower because you haven't had one in a couple of days. Most of the time, it's almost not even worth the effort.

Food- Before kids, food is a secondary thing to consider when you go out. If you eat at home, you just have to please yourself and, maybe, a spouse. You can run to the grocery store just about whenever you need. After kids, you have to deal with picky eaters and kids hanging off your leg while you cook. We all know taking kids to a restaurant or the grocery store can end up being a total disaster and don't even get me started on the grocery bill!

Cleanliness- I am so tired of cleaning. Having kids means more humans in the house which also means more dishes, more laundry, and more dirt. As soon as I clean something, it gets trashed again the minute the kids walk in. Earlier this week, my middle daughter complained because she didn't have any clean clothes. When I went to her room to help her find something, this was the scene in her closet . . . . .
I rest my case. I'm pretty much convinced that my house will never be really clean again until my kids move out.  

"Adult" tv/movies - Get your minds out of the gutter - I'm not talking about those kind of movies. I'm talking about the basic stuff. My girls are getting older, so we have moved beyond Dora and Caillou (Thank goodness!), but I still don't want them watching shows full of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Since our daughters are bound to walk through the room unannounced at some point, my husband and I have to be careful what we watch, too. Even shows that seem innocent, like The Big Bang Theory,  have some very adult concepts/jokes/etc. when you view it through the eyes of an elementary school kid.

Your own parents - My parents must have had it easy because my brother and I were pretty good kids! (OK - stop laughing, mom!) Really, I'm just kidding. It doesn't matter if the kids are "good" or not, parenting is HARD!!! Just the volume of stuff you have to think about and stuff you have to do is overwhelming. Throw in a healthy dose of worry and guilt on top of all that and it's a miracle any of us survive. 

Sleep/sleeping in - This one doesn't require much explanation. However, I will point out one thing. We all know that parents of newborns don't get much sleep - that's a given. As kids get older, though, it doesn't get too much better. My kids are 13, 11, and 8, but we're up at the crack of dawn to get to school and up late doing extracurriculars and homework. Plus - that whole "sleep while the baby sleeps" thing? These days, naps are only a memory somewhere in a very distant past. 

Perky boobs/svelt physique - Have you seen this meme? Yeah. That.

Doing anything without being interrupted - Sleeping. Peeing. Folding Laundry. Watching TV. Eating. Hiding. Doesn't matter what I'm doing, chances are someone is going to need something and/or start shouting "Mooooooom!" when I'm right in the middle of whatever it is. 

How about you? What did you take for granted before you had kids that you would really like to get back now?

This post was written as part of the Finish the Sentence Linkup hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninee. 

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