Here are 5 things I never wondered about before I had kids.
Number 1. Will I ever be able to use the bathroom by myself again?
Growing up, my brother would always accuse me of rushing to use the bathroom when we got home from the store to avoid having to bring in groceries. Now that I have kids, the restroom has become a breakroom. Before kids, if one of us had to use the restroom, it was no problem. Now that we have kids, if my husband says he has to go to the restroom, I sometimes ask “Again?” or “Seriously? You just went”. Inconsiderate, I know. It is really just another way of saying, it’s my turn to go to the restroom or don’t leave me alone with the kids for too long because I am tired too. But, when I see him reach for his cell phone, I know he’s clocking out for his 10 minutes break. The kids, however, do not seem to care. It doesn’t matter which of us it is., they follow us into the bathroom. They sit on our laps, play in the sink or tub, or just sit on the ground. Sometimes they will have full on conversations, and they never seem to hear us when we ask to just use the restroom in peace. If we manage to go and lock the door so they cannot come in, they sit outside and proceed to wait, sometimes they’ll whine or cry, or they’ll ask 101 questions from the other side of the door. I know that this too is something I will miss when they get older, but for now, I cannot help but wonder – will I ever be able to use the bathroom by myself again?
Number 2. Why do people sit/stand right next to me when there is so much room?
Before kids, I was a stickler for personal space, but more so along the lines of don’t get in my face. Now, I enjoy having space. My personal zone has increased by at least 5 inches. If there is room, give me some room. Why? Because kids do not believe in personal space. They get in your face. They climb all over you. They hang all over you. They pull you here and there…I love it! Even when we are out in public and my son decides to just pull my top down because he is hungry makes me giggle. But, because of how little personal space I have when I am with my kids, I really appreciate my space when I am not.
Last week at work, we had a department meeting in the largest conference room that can sometimes be split into two different rooms, each easily holding at least 200 people. So, I’m sitting in this massive room that can easily hold 400 people and there are about 400 chairs set up. The department has just under 100 people. I sit on the end seat of a row by the door, just in case I need to get up to use the restroom or take an emergency call. People are spread out throughout. My co-worker (someone I’ve seen around but never spoken to except for maybe in passing by the restrooms) walks in and sits in the seat directly beside me. She says nothing. I don’t either. I do however proceed to lean forward and look to the right of her to count all of the empty seats between her and the next person. There were 11 empty seats.
I don’t know why, and maybe it’s just me, but this really annoyed me. Just as I was opening my mouth to say something, the meeting started and my attention was re-directed. So, I sat in this seat rubbing elbows with someone who had 11 invisible people sitting to the right of her, wondering why. Who does that?
Number 3. Why don’t more large families buy Mini Vans?
Before I had kids, if I saw someone driving a minivan, 1 of 4 things came to mind:
1. Soccer Mom
2. Mom Mobile
3. Family wagon
4. I am not EVER driving a minivan.
Then I met my husband and he talked about how he always wanted a Mini Van. As I’ve mentioned, my husband is a big guy, so he loves spacious vehicles. He was adamant about getting a minivan when we had kids and I was adamantly against it…Enter baby number 2.
With 2 little ones in car seats who hated sitting in the car, I have always had to sit next to my kids until about 18 mos. Before we got our minivan, we had a Chevy Equinox and loved it! It was perfect when it was just us and our oldest, but when we had our second daughter and I found myself squished between two car seats, I fell out of love quick. Mama needed more hip and leg room. I remember to this day the night we left a doctor’s appointment and drove straight to the dealership (at my request) to look at minivans. A few hours later we were transferring our stuff from the Equinox to our new Chrysler Town and Country and I was so excited! It had 3 rows so even if we did have a third child (which we did) there was more than enough room for 3 car seats and a chair just for me so I wouldn’t have to be squished anymore. I know many of today’s families prefer SUV’s to minivans, but I love our minivan. Best of all it has a monitor in the middle so the kids can watch movies on long trips and at this age, anything trip over 5 min is considered a long trip! We had to put the van in the shop following an accident a few weeks back, and I it was horrible. The rental minivan did not have a TV and the girls entertained themselves by annoying each other. They played the age-old game where you put your finger as close to someone’s face without touching them, the say “I’m not touching you, don’t touch me.” Of course, this ended in arguing. After I put a stop to that, they decided to scream at the top of their lungs to see who could scream the loudest. This made my little guy crack up which only encouraged them. It became one of those moments that reminded me to appreciate my parents because they didn’t have TV’s in cars back then.
Number 4. Why don’t kids just go to sleep if they are tired?
If you are out and you see a child throwing an uncontrollable tantrum, the first thing you think (especially if you are parents) is – wow, he/she must be tired. And they don’t just throw any tantrum, it is the mother of all tantrums. They have big gator tears rolling don their face, mucus flowing from their nose, they breath heavy and uncontrollably…It’s crazy. And you can’t get mad because as a parent you know they are tired. All you can do is hold them and tell them “it’s okay” and to “go to sleep.” There is one plus side to this, after all this drama, when they finally go to sleep, they sleep long and hard.
So grab a bottle of wine and charcuterie, pick a movie on Netflix, and go ahead and have a much-needed impromptu date night next time your kids do this. They’ll be sleeping for a while. Maybe even work on making the next baby!
Number 5. Why didn’t I ever notice this before?
Being a parent is life-changing. A total game changer. You can live in the same city your whole life doing the same things and finding new things to do. But, the moment you become a parent, it becomes a whole new city. I’m doing stuff I either did as a child and forgot about, or stuff I never did or cared to do until I had kids and had to find ways to keep them interested. This has been awesome. I’m getting to do and see so many things I never thought to do before.
Kids are game changers for sure but in the best way possible!
The P.I. Mom