When I think about life pre-motherhood….well, I almost can’t remember it. In fact, after I pitched this idea to my friends at Well Rounded, I had to consult my friends because, well, I’m a mom… and my brain is gone. Seriously in the biggest case of writer’s block and baby brain (I’m 6 months pregnant) I’ve had thus far, I was stumped. I couldn’t remember why I was in the kitchen, let alone think of a humorous, witty, relatable list of things that have drastically changed post-motherhood, even though I live it on the daily. Thank God for girlfriends. They supplied me with long, laughable emails about their life with kids that not only made me feel normal, but also helped jog my memory of items I’d previously wanted to include, as well as some new ones. Hopefully these will resonate with you mamas too.
Here are 14 things that are totally different now that you’re a mom..
1. YOUR BIRTHDAY
Pre-kids: You celebrate for an entire week (or were you that girl who tortured everyone with a full month?). There’s your actual day and dinner with your closest, weekend drinks with everyone, the mani/pedi pow wow to prep for the party, some shopping for a celebratory outfit, a blowout, makeup… And let’s not forget the day-after boozy brunch. It’s an endless week of events, and it’s all about you.
Post-kids: You’re lucky if you get a card. There’s no week-long celebration and no party, and the sweets are reserved for little ones who think it’s all about them, and then you have to deal with the aftermath of the sugar crash. The thing is, you don’t really care. Cause it’s not about you anymore, and you’re perfectly fine with that. In fact, you would not want to go back to your former, narcissistic self for anything in the world.
Pre-kids: You do brunch every weekend, sometimes twice. After rolling out of bed around 11, you slowly pull yourself together and meet your friends at noon for a long, leisurely hair-of-the-dog, grease sesh and recap about the night before. At least, the parts of it you can recall.
Post-kids: By noon, you’ve had a full day. You’ve been up since 6, breakfast and lunch are over, and you’re trying to figure out how you’ll get through the rest of the endlessly long day. There’s no time for a brunch. And if there is, the times you attempt it, with kid in tow, you regret it with the interrupted conversations, endless activities (crayons, cartoons, crying), complete meltdowns and then wanting but not being able to take a long nap after several drinks.
Pre-kids: You live for them! Life is about just getting through the week so the real fun can begin.
Post-kids: What are those? Downtime? Relaxation? They’re two endlessly long days with no activities and no childcare. Just you and your kiddo who wants to do something new every few minutes. You can’t wait for the weekend to be over so they can get back to school and you, your life.
Pre-kids: What you’ve been looking forward to for months. The morning of, you pack a bag, sip a drink when not napping on the plane, never want to leave but come back relaxed and refreshed.
Post-kids: You’ve been planning it for months, pack a week out and dread the travel. By the time you arrive, you’re already exhausted and can’t wait to head back home to a normal routine.
5. SICK DAYS
Pre-kids: Whether you’re actually sick or not, it doesn’t matter. Staying home from work, sleeping, watching bad TV, ordering in food, it’s all enjoyable.
Post-kids: They don’t exist. Except that they do, and they’re far worse. Caring for a kid while sick is a special kind of torture. You’d rather go to work.
6. HAND BAG
Pre-kids: You save up for a designer one and take immaculate care of it.
Post-kids: It sits in the closet while your diaper bag becomes your go-to carryall saturated with soggy Cheerios, twenty snacks, a random sock and three Trolls.
7. WORKOUT GEAR
Pre-kids: You wear it to work out before showering and putting on a new, cute, cutting-edge outfit.
Post-kids: You wear it 24/7 without actually making it to the gym – or the shower.
8. TRIPS TO TARGET
Pre-kids: An uneventful errand to pick up a few things.
Post-kids: A vacation. You escape there, sans kids, and stroll the aisles like you’re walking on the beach. You go for one thing, come home with twelve. It feels like a little slice of Heaven.
9. YOUR PLAYLIST
Pre-kids: All the latest hits, curated lists for each mood and activity.
Post-kids: Does the Paw Patrol theme song count?
10. HAPPY HOUR
Pre-kids: An entryway into the evening. You’re just getting warmed up, wetting your whistle, look out.
Post-kids: The main event. If you start by 4, finish by 7, in bed by 9, you can function tomorrow morning.
Pre-kids: 9pm? Where should we go? Let’s do some apps for the table. Dessert? Yes, please. Followed by after-dinner drinks.
Post-kids: You finish the kids’ refusals at 5:30, eat a fistful of popcorn and some cookies around 8 and call it a night.
12. GAG REFLEX
Pre-kids: The smell of vomit made you vomit.
Post-kids: You walk around with spit up and other questionable stains on you all day with zero interest in the effort of changing it.
13. HIDE AND SEEK
Pre-kids: A game you played as a child.
Post-kids: A game you play with your child. Except, often, you’re hiding from them in the bathroom, closet, pantry, without their knowledge that there’s even a game going on. Just five minutes of peace is all you need but you’re only gonna get it if you disappear.
Pre-kids: Whenever you’re done binging on your latest Netflix obsession. That is, when you stay in. When out, usually before the sun comes up.
Post-kids: When you fall asleep before yours kids while tucking them in. Then you wake up in the middle of the night, get on your phone, fall into a rabbit hole, go to bed hours later and are exhausted in the morning, when they wake, before the sun comes up.
Natalie Thomas is an Emmy-nominated TV producer, Huffington Post, Today Show, The Bump, Hey Mama, Well Rounded, Cafe Mom and Womanista contributor, and former editor and spokesperson of Us Weekly. She’s traveled the world covering events like the Oscars, Fashion Week, Golden Globes, Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals and interviewed everyone from Brad Pitt and Oprah to Prince William. She’s also a lifestyle and mom blogger at Nat’s Next Adventure.