6 Things that I Didn’t “Get” Until I Had Kids

  
Before I had kids, I don’t think that I was insensitive to my friends who did have kids. And I definitely had a lot of friends that had kids, when I didn’t. But there were definitely things that I didn’t understand about their lives and I didn’t “get” as someone who didn’t have kids. Not just to my friends though, but people who had kids in general. I mean really you can’t control your kids? Really you can’t come over or go out because of your kids nap time/bed time? And then I had kids. Hello wake up call, nice to see you.

So if you think your friends or just parents in general are crazy because of some of these (or other) things, just wait til you have kids! Here are the 5 things that I didn’t “get” until I had kids –

  1. Moms that cut off all their hair – real talk … I thought “really, how hard could it be to just put it in a ponytail?” OMG. I had NO idea the issues that arise with hair as a mom. Hair pulling. THE PULLING. ALWAYS from the bottom of my head. Post partum hair loss. Handfuls of hair, daily. Every time I wash my hair I think of shaving my head. I get it now Moms, I get it.
  2. Uncontrollable kids in public – I am now the mom with the “uncontrollable kid” in public. He’s 2 but looks like he’s 5. Barely talks, huge. Gets very frustrated with his inability to communicate, and especially when he can’t do exactly what he wants to do. Melt downs can and do happen when we’re out. And I’m now the one that looks like I have a kid I can’t control in public, and really, I can’t. It’s more like organized chaos. But either way, I GET IT NOW. Seriously. I wanna go hug all the moms I thought couldn’t control their kids before.
  3. Nap Time/Bed Time/ Routine – I didn’t get why friends, family or acquaintances couldn’t do things because it would interrupt nap time or bed time or the kids “routine.” Just bring them with! Just put them to bed late! BOYYYYY do I get this one now. I am Queen Routine. I’m a believer in the routine. I will avoid interruptions to the routine like the plague if I can help it. I do try to be flexible because we have to live our lives, but I generally do so knowing that we will pay the consequences with cranky kids or sleep that will be a little out of whack for a couple of days. But if I can stick to the routine, oh man, I will stick to that routine. I get routines now!
  4. Inability to shower/get dressed/etc – not that I ever saw this in action, but I heard about it … a lot. When you have a baby/kids, it’s so hard to take a shower, or change my clothes, or I don’t wear anything but yoga pants, etc. When I had both babies, I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was super hard to at least get a shower in. Babies sleep a lot … but once babies STOP sleeping a lot. Yup I wouldn’t be able to tell you at most times when the last time I took a shower was. And when I changed my clothes last was probably sometime around then as well. And yes I stay in nursing tanks and PJ/yoga pants or shorts 99.9% of the time. Especially now that I have 2 kids, if by some magical mystical alignment of the stars I get them to both nap at the same time, that time is so sacred and I have so many things I could be doing I have to prioritize and decide if showering is really at the top of that list and it’s usually not. As far as getting dressed, I just don’t see the point if I’m not leaving the house and changing clothes unnecessarily just creates more laundry. Plus, leading into my next point, the clothes I stay in are nursing tanks and yoga pants because I need easy nursing access plus I want to be comfy and because I’m breastfeeding I’m still hanging onto most of my pregnancy weight so those types of clothes are the only things that fit. So yes, I TOTALLY get the shower/clothes thing now.
  5. Messes – Again, not so much amongst my friends but just things I heard generally about messy houses and cars. I didn’t understand how they could become such a mess and how it could be so hard to clean them up. Well, now with my kids in tow in the car, ONE TRIP out to run errands can look like we’ve been living in the car for a week and raccoons were rummaging through our stuff for food. It’s ridiculous. And the house – my gosh – not just the toys but EVERYTHING now ends up on the floor ALWAYS. Like that’s where everything is meant to be, on the floor. I could pick it up 10 times a day and it would still end up back there because that’s where it’s meant to be. So I give up. I pick up at the end of the day just so Dad or I don’t break a foot on a Lego in the middle of the night otherwise I say forget it! The car I will clean after each trip just so it doesn’t get too out of control and because it’s a small space (for now) it’s pretty easy to clean up quickly. But regardless, I GET why messes cannot be contained or controlled with kids.
  6. Shopping Alone = Vacation – I always thought moms were exaggerating when they talked about a solo grocery trip or trip to Target being like a vacation. I’m so sorry moms, I get it now. I had a lovely trip to paradise the other day – Target alone. I found myself staring at the ingredients on a shampoo bottle for over 5 minutes. And then I stood there in awe that I was actually able to read the shampoo bottle and not tend to a crying baby or try to keep my toddler in the stroller or cart. When my husband says I need a break, I tell him this is basically the #1 thing I need, besides a pedicure of course.

Looking back, I don’t think I’d change anything even if I could because there’s no way I would’ve really known any of these things until I had kids myself. But it definitely gives me a new perspective and I roll my eyes at myself sometimes now when I find myself on the other side of the fence talking to my friends who don’t have kids. It gives me a good laugh. And I try to maintain as much balance as I can, as a mom of 2 small kids – as I said I try to stick to the routine but sometimes we go astray, I haven’t cut my hair, but I do rock my mom wardrobe and shower only as much as necessary.

What are some of the things that you didn’t “get” until you became a parent?

Is Easter the new Christmas? And other holiday social media competitions

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Going through my social media feeds this past Easter, I started to wonder to myself, when did Easter become Christmas? Since when do you get big Christmas like gifts or overflowing baskets with toys and games and clothes and so many things? I even saw pictures of elaborate “bunny prints” in the hallways at homes. Pinterest has made people crazy. KUH-RAY-ZY.
I feel like it’s a case of social media one upsmanship. We see something on Pinterest, or Facebook that another Mom or family has done and we gotta do one better. I don’t think it matters really to the kids. I believe when I was a kid I got maybe some books and a little bit of candy and maybe a tape or CD if I was lucky in my easter basket. See – I can’t even fully remember what I got in my basket. But you know what I do remember? The time I spent with my family.
You know what makes me smile and what I miss more than anything when I think about those holidays as a kid? That time spent with my family. We had so much fun! Whether it was just my siblings, or our extended family with the cousins, THAT is what I remember and think fondly of, not what was in my basket or under the Christmas tree.
My oldest son is 2 and I have yet to do any basket or anything on Easter. He’s gotten gifts the last couple of Christmases but we didn’t go all out. However, in contrast I saw the unofficial “under the tree” competition on Christmas morning on Facebook and Instagram – the photo of all of your gifts wrapped and stacked. No gifts under the tree photo from us. Hell we didn’t even have a tree. Ain’t nobody got time to keep toddlers and babies off of a Christmas tree. Our son really had no clue how many gifts he got or what they were for, and his birthday is right before Christmas.
Speaking of birthdays, those are getting just as bad! In my birth club for my youngest son, they are already planning 1 year parties. 6 months ahead of time, and I’m pretty sure some of them have started before now. Not just planning. Some have rented venues, and booked photographers, and already have boards they are pinning to regularly on Pinterest for this elaborate shin dig they are going to throw for this little munchkin who is going to have NO IDEA what is going on.
I don’t get that. We had a party for my oldest son, sure. I planned it maybe a month ahead of time? Bought a few decorations, invited some family, and voila we’re celebrating his 1st birthday. He’s not going to remember. Might he see pics of it one day? Sure. Is he going to pitch a fit because it wasn’t at the right venue, or the photographer didn’t capture his good side, or the decorations weren’t DIY? Nope, He’s not going to give a shit. If he even looks at the pics.
I just think that with much of our lives broadcast on and influenced by social media, Pinterest and other social media have become the fuel that lights the bigger better parties and gifts competitive flame. However, knowing what meant most to me as a kid, the time with my family, I plan to continue to blow up my followers feed with pics of family times spent together at these special occasions, and not the giant Easter basket, stacks of gifts, or elaborately decorated and planned parties.

8 Things I Learned Going From 1 Kid to 2

 Before I had my second son, I was terrified. I was mostly terrified at how it would affect him, and how I could possibly have the time and love for two when I felt like I already had so much to give to my first son. I was worried about how I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him because I’d be caring for or feeding the baby. I was definitely right, at least in the beginning, it was very hard for me to spend any time with him because a newborn baby needs so much from mom. That was hard for me because I was used to spending all my time with my oldest and now we hardly got any time.

But as baby got older, and started to nap and things regulated, and my body healed from my c section, I was able to spend more time with my older son again and it was great. I was actually surprised that as I adjusted, caring for two wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The hardest part was when they were both crying or both needed me. There were times that my baby had to cry and I hated it because I can’t stand listening to him cry. But those times were few and far between thankfully.

I did want to share some of the things that surprised me and that I learned as a new mom of 2. I hear in terms of transitions when adding kids to the family that 1 to 2 is the hardest. Here’s hoping!

  • When you need to go somewhere, with both, say to the store, give yourself HOURS to get ready. So if I wanted to leave by 11 or noon, I needed to start getting ready the second I got up. Between dressing me, dressing the oldest, feeding the oldest, dressing youngest, feeding youngest, getting the bag ready, changing both diapers, it is a several hour affair. As long as I planned on having several hours to get ready, I would get out the door without a hitch and (mostly) on time.
  • This one took me a while to find a routine that works – bed time – bathe older one first. That way he’s ready for bed, and if baby starts to melt down, I can send oldest to his room to read or play or whatever and then eventually fall asleep. Or let him watch Mickey, whatever, but at least he’s ready for bed if it takes me longer than expected to get the younger one ready and down for bed.
  • Playing alone is okay! For both of them! It helps them learn and explore on their own and it helps me give (almost) undivided attention to the other …. or get some shit done around the house.
  • Get out of the house. Whether it’s for a walk, go to the store, whatever. I feel more like a human and less like a hormonal zombie if I get out and breathe some fresh air. My kids feel it too. They’re less fussy when they get out of the house too.

  • Going to the store – not as bad as I thought! But the whole thing will take a while. Getting two small kids in and out of the store is a feat in and of itself. Car seats, strollers, carts, loading and unloading, crying, feeding, snacks, pitching a fit… it’ll take a while. But as long as you’re prepared and know that going in, it’s not so bad!
  • Speaking of the store and errands – be prepared to abandon ship! And know your limits! Generally speaking you won’t be able to fit in maybe more than 2 stores or 3 total stops with 2 small kids. At least mine. They get over it pretty quick. Sometimes they surprise me and I can get more out of them than that, but I always go in expecting it not to last more than 2-3 stops so I prioritize. Whatever is most important to get done is first and second, and anything else is less important and can be done another day and often if we’re melting down, it is scrapped for another day. As much as I’d like to knock everything out in one trip that I need to do to save time, money and gas – with 2 small kids in tow it’s not going to happen anymore.
  • Don’t forget to take pics of the bigger one. I noticed my phone is a lot of pics of the little one whereas it used to be all pics of my toddler. He’s still young too I try to make myself remember to take pics of him as well.

  • Let it go – the clean house. Sing it if you want to (thankfully I haven’t seen that movie yet) but seriously I had to learn to let the idea of a clean house go. I came to accept that my house won’t be clean for the next 18 years and that’s okay! I have kids! I’m sure no one, if they did come to our house, would expect it to look spotless with two small kids. I do basic cleaning and I clean up toys at the end of the day. That’s it. You’ll have more time for the kids, or just to lay around with your feet up, but clutter and toys doesn’t really matter right now.

What were some of the big things you learned as your family expanded?

Boy Stuff

When you get pregnant you’re so excited to go shopping for baby things. Once you find out you’re having a boy, and you head to the store, you soon realize there are not near as many cute things to buy for boys as there is girls – especially when it comes to clothes. I also can’t bring myself to spend much more than $5 on a piece of baby or kids clothing since they grow out of them SO FAST so that’s a factor in what and where I buy as well. Here’s what I’ve come across after shopping for now a second boy.

Newborn – 12 months: I prefer Carter’s brand. I like the styles and the fit. They’re also great in that you can return/exchange nearly anything – been washed, no tags, any length of time, Etc. I actually prefer gender neutral for the newborn stage personally I just don’t like the color blue so much. Haha. I like the fit but both of my boys have been very tall for their age. My youngest is thicker, but even the wider onesies from other companies still look odd on him. I do like the onesies with the cute/funny sayings on them from Walmart as well.

12 months+ : I don’t use onesies anymore, I go strictly with tshirts and pants/shorts. I also don’t like Carter’s anymore. Seems like everything has a character, animal or saying on it. I don’t find if as cute for every piece of clothing to have that once they start looking like little men. My favorite brands at this stage have been Old Navy, Circo (Target) and Garanimals (Walmart). You can’t beat the price of the Walmart pants and shirts. However sale or clearance prices of Circo can get close. Also catching a good Old Navy sale can get some good prices also.

Socks: I just like to get big packs of Hanes from Target or Walmart, even when they’re small. I started buying them when my son was 6-12 months I believe. Otherwise Targets Circo baby socks were my favorite and I had a few pair from Old Navy that I liked also.

Shoes: I’ve liked Target (either Cherokee or Circo) when they’re on sale or Walmart – Avia or Starter. Again they outgrow them so fast I can’t bring myself to spend more than $20/pair. I also don’t buy shoes until they can walk. No point!

Pajamas: always seemed to be outgrown first, size wise, so I always had to size up on these first. With my tall skinny kids, I had to buy the “skinny” fit type of pajamas. I did the zip up sleep n plays up til 12mo, after that I went to the two piece type. I get my skinny two piece pajamas either from Target (their Carter’s brand), Walmart (the character ones), or Kohls character ones.

Pants: I’ve heard from others (and with my sons) about having a hard time finding pants that fit and the sizing not matching up with shirt size. Ever since 6-9 months my sons pants/shorts sizes fall behind a size or two. Also being skinny I try to go with elastic waist. I don’t do jeans really. They just seem uncomfy for baby or toddler. I get cotton elastic waist shorts and pants. For the pants, I get the ones that don’t have elastic at the bottom. I think they look good and comfy. I’m blessed in that where I live we can get away with shorts most of the year but this winter I found exactly what I was looking for in pants at Target (Circo lounge pants – $5) and Walmart (Garamimals -$4).

After my second time of shopping for boys now, I actually enjoy it and I like dressing them and finding good looking but inexpensive boys clothes. I just wish manufacturers would make and stores would stock equal amounts of both genders clothes. I am kinda glad I don’t have to worry about headbands, bows, tights, skirts or tutus … Just yet. I am having plenty of fun scouting out stuff for my boys – and I buy what I can because I do plenty of laundry with boys!