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Things I Took for Granted Before I Had Kids

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Parenthood has brought me joy like I have never felt before but like many new parents, I had NO IDEA was I was getting into. The constant surprises keep me laughing if I am not crying or asking out loud, “WHY? WHY ME?” Here is my top ten list of the things that I took for granted before having kids.

Gone are the days where I am able to “run in real quick” to do anything. Not going to Ulta for some make-up that I ran out of. Not returning the impulse buy from Target. Something as simple as buying a gallon of milk or package of diapers, takes planning and real effort. Thank goodness for my husband and his Blackberry. If I realize that I need something from the store, I will send him a note with grocery items to buy. He stops on his way home and I don’t have to load three kids into the car, along with everything they need. This brings me to #9-“Leaving the house.”

Before Kids (which I commonly refer to as BK), leaving the house consisted of checking my make-up and hair, finding matching shoes for my outfit and grabbing my purse. Now, with three kids, I make sure everyone is dressed, brush three sets of teeth, find shoes for the kids (and sometimes socks which don’t always match), pack snacks, drinks, books for the car, and search for the Lego figure of choice that day, complete with all his accessories, of course. Then everything gets loaded in the car. It takes about 10 minutes to get all the kids to stop crawling around inside the car and get strapped into their seats. I run into the house at least two more times for items that I have forgotten. By the time that I get back out to the car, someone has to use the bathroom. Finally after everyone is strapped back in, I sit down and start to move the car as sweat drips down my back. This is all for a trip to the post office to mail a package. If it is your birthday and you get a gift in the mail from me, you are very special.

I reference my article last week, “Can Showering Improve Your Mood?” As I explain in that article, “When I became a Mom, I didn’t realize that a shower would turn into a luxury instead of a necessity.”

Add a Comment41 Comments

I loved this article! The only thing I would add is window shopping, which may fall under alone time. I used to go to the mall and walk around by myself taking my time looking at everything. I miss that. I am a proud mother of four children (12, 8, 6, 4). My eight year old is my only girl. I adore all of my children and wouldn't trade them for the world. Each one makes me laugh in their own way at least once a day. Right now my six year old is on a roll and has me crackin' up at least five times a daily!! Love that age!! Things like "what's the army's phone number?" (he still hasn't revealed why he wanted to know that. When I asked him he said "nevermind") or "how did people stay alive if we all started off as babies, because babies can't take care of themselves". It has definitely gotten easier. I sleep alone, shower alone (except for the occasional how life started conversation on the other end of the shower curtain), and potty time well, I lock the door, but I definitely know about the fingers under the door thing! I am the oldest child of my parent's four children. I love having siblings. We are all very close in our adult age and lean on each other for support when it's needed. I wouldn't trade my siblings in for the world either!!

September 20, 2010 - 4:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Anonymous, sleep sums it all up. :-)

July 17, 2010 - 8:17am
EmpowHER Guest


July 17, 2010 - 7:00am
EmpowHER Guest

I've always been an only child, so it must have been a LITTLE bit easier for my mom compared to having three or four children...

and if you're wondering why a fourteen year old is on this page, it's because I Stumbled upon this... StumbleUpon is this great application from Google Chrome :)

June 30, 2010 - 6:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

loved to read your article. It is so funny and true. thanks, cleawalford

May 23, 2010 - 1:57am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm not sure if I am allowed to post given my biology. Oh well. Life's too short. lol.

I am a stay-at-home dad and have been going on 2 and a half years now. My wife and I have 5 children altogether. Luckily we only have one at home full-time (all day) at present. Although they are all little angels I many times can not wait until the majority of them leave for school in the morning just so I can focus (I also try to work from home).

Long story short, I can TOTALLY relate to this post. Thank you SOOOO much Susan. It's nice to meet another parent humble enough to tell it like it is.

April 5, 2010 - 1:05pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for your comment. I am glad you decided to add it.

April 8, 2010 - 10:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yet through all of this madness i wouldn't change anything in the world about having my daughter (2) and being pregnant with our second (34 weeks)

I realized that this has actually made me appreciate all the little things more!!

March 18, 2010 - 9:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm only a nanny, but I've been watching three kids at once and it's ridiculously difficult to get anywhere, or keep the children together once you get there. However, and I know that being a nanny is *nothing* like being a mother, I think of these kids as my own and am delighted by their every adorable antic. (That is, when they're not destroying anything, harassing the animals, or spraying juice boxes on the wall.)

January 25, 2010 - 2:26pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


Your attitude is exactly what I'd look for in a nanny. I'm sure the kids you care for teach you a lot (children are our best teachers when it comes to understanding what really matters in life, in my opinion) but I think they're pretty lucky to have you too.

If you do chose motherhood down the line, I suspect you'll be a great success -

Thanks so much for your comment!

January 25, 2010 - 3:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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