Parenting is hard. Sometimes we need to vent about it and the internet is a great place to do it. But in some ways, life-after-baby is better. Yes, better! Here are some ways my life has improved since I became a parent.
- I laugh more.
Parenting is hilarious. Our baby can do things that make us laugh in a “wow this is so adorable” way but also in a “wow this is terrible/stressful but I’m going laugh anyway” way. We just “get” it now in a way you really can’t until you have children. Louis CK has never been more poignant.
- I get up early every day.
You know that feeling when you wake up and you think: “oh my god what time is it?” And it’s noon. I remember that feeling. These days I wake up between 7-7:30 every day and I can FEEL the length of the day. This is a hard adjustment but you will also surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish in a whole day.
- My baby teaches me stuff.
Me: “John, the baby is so fussy I can’t handle it.”
Husband: “She’s not fussy, she’s teaching you patience. You just aren’t learning.”
Although I had to take a moment after hearing my husband’s comment, he was right. I am a more patient person now.
- I eat breakfast every morning.
In my pre-mom days I had the bad habit of skipping breakfast. But now I have to feed a toddler every morning so I eat too. How did I forget that food = energy? A plate of eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and buttery toast gives me enough energy to chase a toddler until nap time.
- I have the privilege of watching my spouse be a parent.
When I met John I never imagined that we would one day be parents together, but I wouldn’t want to be a parent with anyone but him. He was incredible from the day we found out I was pregnant, through pregnancy pillows and late night cheesecake cravings, through labor pains and the birth of our daughter, to the everyday challenges and wonders of raising a child. Seeing the man you love hold your baby for the first time and be so gentle and tender—amazing.
- She makes me want to come out of my shell.
I’m a bit of an introvert in real life and don’t normally strike up conversations with people I don’t know. But when I’m with our daughter so many people want to chat us up—other moms, the librarian, random old ladies. She is open and friendly and she reminds me to be more open and friendly.
- I value time so much more now.
When you have a lot of free time, it can be easy to take that time for granted. I hardly ever get time that is all to myself so when I do have some, I savor it. Going out with my husband on date night reminds me of when we were first dating—I get so excited when I’m dressing up for our evening out. We have a rule though: no talking about baby. We always break it!
- I joined the secret world of moms.
I’m a mom now so I’m part of mom club. I’ve connected with so many wonderful mothers through my blog and other spaces. Things I’ve learned in mom club: don’t be so quick to judge others. Watch out for each other’s kids when you are in public. Offer help if you can give it. Always bring an extra toy/snack. We love being moms but we are people too and can talk about non-mom stuff as well as anyone.
- My imagination is back.
Are we having a tea party? Dressing up as cowgirl princesses? Making paper mache chickens? I’m exercising that part of my brain that likes to make-believe and every day I see how play leads to learning. I’m trying to be more imaginative in my grown-up life too.
- Adventure is out there.
Last week we spent a day at the LA Zoo. The other day we touched sharks and played with a baby sea lion (through the glass) at the Long Beach Aquarium. We strolled up a long winding path to a lighthouse overlooking the Pacific. We’ve hiked with a baby in a baby carrier. We are planning a family vacation. Seriously, who are we? Before we were parents we used to stay home most weekends. Wanting our daughter to have experiences out in the world has brought us out into the world again.
Of course, the best part of life-after-baby is our baby herself! Feel free to share to your favorite thing about being a parent in the comments below.