I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mother. That being said, I’ve never particularly enjoyed spending time with children. I hated babysitting, holding newborns was terrifying, and I had no earthly idea what to do with toddlers. But, with the confidence of the ignorant, and the determination of a twenty something with a “life plan,” I knew I would like my own kids. My husband has younger siblings, his family loved children, and we did a kick ass job raising our dog, so how hard could it be?
Before kids, I knew there would be problems. I loved (LOVED) to sleep. Our hobbies were drinking every weekend, and lying on the couch. I recall some wholesome activities, and some productive house projects, but overall we lived blissful, unproductive, child free days. I wasn’t a complete idiot (my SAT scores suggest an intelligence that my grades never supported), I knew things would change. What surprised me is how spot on my expectations were. Our house was messier, our sleep (mostly mine) was interrupted, our bank account took a hit, and we couldn’t go to the bar as frequently. No surprises there. I knew that other kids’ parents would annoy me, that I would have a hard time going back to work, and that we would adopt a low key, relaxed parenting style (remember our hobbies?). These things also held true.
But there were surprises. Things that I didn’t expect and that no one warned me about. Like how your heart tightens up when your child is mistreated by a friend, or how you never really know the “right time” to start sleep training, weaning, or potty training. That when you have kids, you enjoy and appreciate other people’s kids. Or, most importantly, how after giving birth, the hospital gives you these monstrous pads with even more monstrous mesh underwear to keep them in place.
Having kids has changed me, but not that much. I still love beer, I can’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of life, and adore lying on the couch.