How has your life changed since having kids? I documented a few things that are different with kids vs without kids. But we wouldn’t change anything for the world. With Kids vs. Without Kids
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.
So life at home has definitely changed but I think the biggest change since having kids is how hard it is to do ANYTHING outside the house. So let’s say we do decide to venture out.
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:
And surprisingly, it’s not always our baby who ends up with a face and head full of food left over from dinner. Yep, I think we’ll keep that mess at home.
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?
Too funny and oh so true! Sometimes when it is just the two of us at a restaurant, I don’t know what do with myself!
lol! Right? Just like the times when you are home alone and just stare at the clock wondering when everyone will be home because it just doesn’t feel right. 🙂
LOL- I’m totally rolling here! So true- I’m the boy mom pacing outside the men’s restroom and hollering inside too 😛 And yes, there is no such thing as aiming in real life. My boys’ favorite seems to be the little trash can beside the toilet- nasty!! Thanks for a good laugh tonight, Kara! Hope you get a real date night sometime soon 🙂
Haha! Thanks Sky! I know you can probably relate to everything in this post. 🙂 I’m still considering building an outhouse. 😉
Jess C says
This post made me laugh so much!!!! I guess you have to be super ready for children… To know you have done everything you have wanted to that you wouldn’t be able to do with kids…
Well, nothing really prepares you for parenthood. You just have to figure it out as you go. 🙂 But that’s part of the fun. Your priorities definitely change.
FUNNY!! It is definitely a huge difference from not having to having kids!
Yep, nothing can really prepare you for it. 🙂 Always an adventure!
Lexie Lane says
Love this cartoon! I’m posting it on my Facebook page! Way too funny!
So funny, huh? It definitely describes our life. 🙂
Jayne Townsley says
I’ve had kids since I was 19 so there wasn’t really a difference for me back there. It’s more having been without any small children after the left the nest and now having my son and granddaughter here. I didn’t have girls and I don’t know what to do with all the frilly stuff sometimes.
Oh, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with girlie, frilly things. lol!
OMG that date night comic is SO FUNNY! And TRUE! I can relate to everything in it!!! Wow! O_o
Haha! I love it.
LOL!! So funny! I also have 2 boys one that is still learning how to be a big boy with the potty and I understand the bathroom thing. So gross, I didnt have a brother so I am still getting used to this one. 🙂
I don’t know if they ever grow out of the grossness. 🙂 I only had one older brother and sisters so it was new to me too.
Candy Hoehn says
Oh boy! what a mess! That’s pretty funny
Lisa Nelson says
My husband and I were just talking about this tonight. We just need a movie together. One movie. It’s been so long.
Life certainly changes when you have children – for me, it’s been enriched!
My baby totally tears up the toilet paper. I have to close the bathroom door, or else the whole floor is covered in it!
So nice to connect again, Kara!
Thanks for stopping by Lisa! My husband and I will try and watch movies at night together and without fail one of us falls asleep. I’m not sure I remember the last non-kid show we saw in the theater. But I agree with you. My life is definitely better because of my kids.
Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey says
As a mom of all boys for last 16 years I have to tell you it doesn’t get any better, lol, but worth every second of it 🙂 Love all the photos. It’s like seeing my boys.
I agree Bibi. It is definitely worth every second. They grow up so fast.
Jennifer Williams says
We never had behavior issues with our oldest, he was our easiest child. Our youngest however is terrified of people, even ones he has known for years will send him screaming and hiding. Before and after becoming a parent life is different but so is life after each child.
My oldest was terrified of people when he was younger and I remember how hard it was. Good luck! My son eventually grew out of it.
i really enjoyed looking at these pictures. it’s fun and seems like no dull moments. I had my own share of baby naughtiness. The grew so really fast and im sure you had more fun moment in the with kids than without.
Absolutely more fun with kids than without kids. I just want them to stop growing so fast!
Summer Davis says
OOOOH my gosh, Kara! FOUR boys? I have two boys, one girl. I really wouldn’t mind having all boys, but four? That fourth one just adds a new dimension. I love the musical chairs at the restaurant thing. My youngest does that too. I often tell him if he doesn’t find a seat he’s going to go sit with the people at *that* table. It works for about 48 seconds. SO glad I’m not the only one. SO, SO glad. #client
lol! Definitely not the only one. My oldest still tries to get up and walk around while we’re eating. I’m always catching them trying to “escape” the booth by climbing under the nasty table. Boys!
Love the cartoon! I have three girls and one boy. My one boy is fun, I can imagine how fun (hhmm….messy) it would be to have all boys. I have two teenage girls who can watch the little ones ( after bed time) while my husband and I go see a movie or go out to dinner. It’s such a nice feeling connecting with your spouse on that level again after years of not having that time. We love it so much we wake up early on the weekends so that we can sneak out before anyone wakes to go have coffee!
Paula Adams says
My husband is one of four boys, so my wonderful mom-in-law always has lots of fun stories about raising her boys!