It has been 10 years now since I first became a mom. Can you believe that? NickMom recently asked moms to share how life was different before vs after kids so let me share. Even though I love being a mom there are times when I have to stop and laugh about how different times were before we had kids compared to now with 4 boys. In fact, I have a hard time even remembering what it was like. I’m sure it was quiet – really, really quiet.
As you can imagine, life with 4 boys is an adventure. So let’s reminisce for awhile about how much easier life was before vs after kids.
Most moms will say that they miss the days of going to the bathroom alone without a row of spectators right outside the door. But I will have to say that I don’t mind the audience as much as I mind the obstacle course that awaits me every time I enter the bathroom. As a mom of 4 boys I now have to keep an eye out for unidentified fluids on the floor, toilet seat and even walls and hand towels. I will never figure out how a little boy can “aim” in one direction and hit the wall behind him. I guess it is one of life’s greatest mysteries or greatest talents I suppose, depending on how you look at it. 😉 Plus, I’m normally met by towels on the floor, dirty undies, (even though I remind them 3.2 million times a day to put them away), toys swimming in the toilet or the entire roll of toilet paper unrolled and ripped into little pieces.
And let’s just say that you do find a quiet minute to sneak off to the bathroom. That quiet moment typically ends with either cleaning up a mess or breaking up a fight. If there is peace and quiet in my home then I know something is wrong or somebody is up to something. It’s during those “quiet” moments that Ive found my kids have done the naughtiest things. I think they have a secret competition to see who can destroy the most in the smallest amount of time.
A quick 10 minute trip to the store turns in to an all-day event. First it takes us at least 30 minutes to all find our shoes and just when we think we are heading out the door someone without fail has to use the bathroom. So, after 30 minutes I get the kids to the garage only to find that they have all climbed into the back of the mini-van and refuse to get in their seats. So 10 more minutes goes by just getting the kids loaded and buckled into their car seats. Then there is that moment of prayer where you pray that the kids didn’t leave the doors open or the lights on in the van and that it will actually start. I actually bought another car just because our battery has been dead more times then I can count and I needed a back-up.
So, you finally make it to the store to purchase the 2 things you need for dinner but before you can make it to the check-out, the cart is full with items you don’t need and have no intention of purchasing. You go back and put items away and after an hour, finally check out of the store make it home and you are too exhausted to make dinner with the items you just purchased so you throw in a frozen pizza. Does this sound familiar or is it just me?
And the days of quick bathroom trips while out shopping are completely over. Now that I have older boys who will no longer go with me into the ladies room, I have resorted to being the crazy lady who has to stand by the door of the men’s room shouting, “Are you okay in there?” or “Do you need any help?” every few minutes. That won’t traumatize my kids for life will it?
One thing we have dreaded since becoming parents is taking our kids out to eat. I think we were traumatized by the magnitude and frequency of the terrible-two tantrums of our oldest son when he was little and plus at least one of our kids ends up looking like this every time:
This cartoon from NickMom pretty much sums up any trip we make to a restaurant with our kids. If you haven’t checked out NickMom.com, you need to. It will make you laugh at motherhood so you won’t completely lose your sanity as a mom and so you know you’re not alone in the madness.
Date nights used to be so simple. We’d jump in my hubby’s pickup truck and I’d sit next to him (so romantic right? haha!) and decide as we drove where we were wanting to go that evening. “Date” nights are now nearly non-existent and have been replaced with family outings. Just this past Friday night, for example, we decided we’d take our boys out for a night of bowling and pizza. Sounds like a pretty perfect night for a family with 4 boys, right? My boys were actually encouraged to hurl heavy objects across the room and are rewarded for knocking things down. Score! Bowling was surprisingly uneventful. We managed to keep all of the balls in our own lane (which is quite an accomplishment considering other outings) and I think we only put one or two dents in the floor as the ball was launched high into the air and landed with a crunch.
The most eventful or uneventful moments were watching my 5-year-old bowl. I’m pretty sure people started and finished their entire games before his ball actually made it to the end of the lane on his first turn. I think this trip was the first time I’ve seen anyone get a gutter ball with the bumpers up. 🙂
We stopped off to get pizza after bowling and thankfully we were the only family in the restaurant because baby C was on a roll! First he couldn’t decide which seat he wanted so he hopped from his booster chair, to high chair to mom’s lap, to dad’s lap and back around again and again and again. And not only could he not decide which chair to sit in, he couldn’t decide which fork he wanted to use. So he tried them all out. We were playing musical chairs, musical forks and then eventually musical straws and bread sticks. Before I had kids I don’t think I could have shared a fork or straw with anyone. But baby C is going through the “screaming phase”, so anything to keep the 22 month-old quiet right? (Please learn to talk baby C!!) You learn to juggle when you are eating with a squirmy toddler. And if you are a parent you know that by the time you get everyone their food and get them settled, you take your first bite and simultaneously, all of the kids are done and ready to go and the boredom whining starts. Am I right?
There was a time in my life where I was in college studying Biology. I graduated Magna Cum Laude and had lots of scholarship opportunities. I don’t say that for you to think that I am some smartie but only to show how far I have fallen. 🙂 I had a brain back then; before I had kids. Now I have “mom” brain which pretty much amounts to mush with an occasional spark that allows me to at least keep the kids alive. Now it seems as though every topic of conversation includes me shouting, “Don’t touch that, Don’t pick that, Don’t hit that, don’t throw that, don’t eat that, don’t lick that, don’t jump on or off that, and some days it seems as though I have no brain at all. If I don’t keep a list of every, and I mean EVERY item I need to do in a day, then it doesn’t get done. Eat breakfast? Check. Shower? Check. Get kids to school? Check. If it’s not on the list then forget it.
Just this week I was making my boys lunch and picked up my 5-year-old, put him in the high chair and started buckling him in before I realized I had the wrong kid! lol! I blame it on the “mom” brain.
So yes, life is more challenging and at times more frustrating since having my 4 boys, but it is also more fulfilling. I wouldn’t trade the chance to be a mommy for anything in the world and each of my unique boys help to make my heart full even if each day I am slowly losing a little more of my mind.
So tell me…how was life different before vs. after kids?