DIZMOMMY > "Having Kids Changes Everything," And Other Things I Didn't Pay Attention To

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March 1, 2017

"Having Kids Changes Everything," And Other Things I Didn't Pay Attention To

My husband and I are pretty tight. We're going on our 12th year of marriage, the first 7 of which was just the two of us, and it was a lot of fun. But now we've doubled ourselves by adding two young children. "Everything changes once you have kids," they all said. And that's quite alright, I mean, we did elect to become parents by our own free will so I have to assume we considered that notion. However, when you're elbow deep in baby shit, trying to unstick the wipe from the diaper strap while holding baby legs in the air as a 4 year old continuously asks you to put spiderman's head back on the junk toy he intentionally decapitated, one cant help but look at the other and question how sober they each were when they decided having children was a good way to spend ones time. And not just a child, we actually agreed to do this on TWO separate occasions. Clearly we must enjoy penal labor. 

I do love my children and that's no disclosure. But who knew parenting would break down every expectation for personal dignities my husband and I had spent seven years fostering? I had no idea we were coexisting as a married couple on such a highly expert level. Then poof, we gave it up. Just yesterday I literally hid all the croutons in my salad under a bed of lettuce so that I wouldn't have preschool fingers picking over my first chance at a meal. It was 2pm. Call me silly, petty, whatever, but I know the opportunistic vulture that is my child, who claims my food as his own. I wasn't surprised when he approached me with his, "Oh I want to see what's in that bowl," instead, I was prepared. And when he grimaced at my greens and said, "No thank you, I don't want any" to the food I never actually offered him, I squealed inside. It worked! I won. A meal sans grubby hands, aka an expectation I'd be foolish to believe I was still afforded. 

Lost dignities can be found in affections, too. These days, it seems as if I'm loving on everyone in the family other than my spouse. But it's not because I don't try. It's just that hugs and kisses are no longer under my jurisdiction. Affection has become community property and any special attention is instantly noticed by my son who has a heightened sense of awareness for that sort of thing, causing him to transform from boy, to wedge. And he obstructs it all; conversations, hugs, kisses, his sister's playtime, whatever. So it's no surprise that our daughter is now performing all the same tricks. They learn fast.

And it ain't just food and affection. After seven years of assuming life as an individual, I became Mom. And Mom doesn't get the freedom of choice like she used to. It's a big world with a lot of options, unless you're like me. My options get reduced by a "what kind of parent do I want to be" filter, resulting in playing a censored version (ew) of Bad and Boujee, and as if that wasn't bad enough, I'm also subjected to my kins' choosiness. This means I'm pretty much always listening to one song on repeat, and it's more than likely from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. I only have myself to blame.

I can almost remember the olden days when I only got myself ready, when skipping breakfast also meant not having to cook breakfast, when my alarm clock wasn't someone shouting, "I'M DONE MOMMY" from a toilet at 5:30 a.m. Who knew past monotonies I took for granted would later look like a vacation when recalled in these present times?

Again, I do love my kids and accept their needy ways, even if I failed to fully anticipate having so little of myself left for myself at the end of each day. This doesn't mean I regret becoming a parent (twice), it just means I didn't forget the sweet taste of freedom and I get cravings. Like during diaper changes. And tantrums. It also means I'm honest. Some parents will publicly fawn through childrearing, claiming they "could never imagine a life without their kids." But don't buy it. They either have a lot of paid help, or no imagination. The truth is that you're either giving up everything or you're hiding the croutons in your salad. And that's okay.