Of course you know that having a baby will change your life. You expect that your body will be a bit different, that there will now be one more of you in the home and that you may hear the sound of crying frequently. And all of those things are true but there are many other changes that you will find when you become a parent. Some of them are not welcome changes but most of them are heartwarming changes that will make you wonder what you ever did before you became a parent.
#1 No More Fancy Dinners
Let’s talk about one of the most unwelcome changes first; the days of going out to nice, swanky restaurants are over, at least for several years. Of course, you will have those times when you hire a sitter or grandparents want some time with your little one but for the most part, you can kiss the fine china and cloth napkins goodbye. But you won’t miss it too terribly. It turns out that you quickly grow to enjoy take out and drive throughs.
#2 Your Idea Of Fun Drastically Changes
Before baby, your idea of fun included things like dancing late into the night or meeting your friends for drinks after work. After baby, you still want to have fun but those plans will include your little one. You will find yourself wanting to take your child places that you know they will enjoy. Places that never interested you before suddenly become a great option to take part in because you want to see your child enjoy them. You want to trade in your dancing shoes for a year round pass to the local zoo and aquarium.
#3 You Think About Money Differently
Some people become more conservative when they have a baby because the cost of raising a child does take a bite out of your budget. But others find that they have a greater desire to save money so that they can provide a more secure life for their child. Also, the things that you want to spend money on change. Instead of buying those designer shoes you always wore, you find that you want to save for a trip to Disney or spend the money on that once in a lifetime photography shoot of your baby crawling through the tulips.
#4 You Appreciate Your Own Parents More
When you have a child of your own, you finally realize what all your parents did to raise you. The enormenty of all that they spent to give you things and take care of you is one part of that equation. The other part is you realize how very difficult it is to raise a child and you appreciate that your parents stayed the course and nursed you through all your earaches and broken bones. You appreciate the sleepless nights they went through for you. It is very common for your bond with your own parents to strengthen after you become a parent yourself. You now have something deeper in common. Besides the fact that you both share the experience of raising a child with them, you both deeply love this new little person.
#5 You Realize Sleep Is A Precious Commodity
Before baby, you knew you needed your sleep and enjoyed it. But you can’t completely appreciate sleep until you have missed enough of it to become a walking zombie. There is nothing like getting only snatches of sleep for weeks on end because you spend your nights feeding, changing and rocking to make you appreciate sleep as a true need. You find yourself envying those that get uninteruppted sleep. You despeartely wish for a day to sleep till noon. And when Grandma offers to babysit, your first desire is to catch up on your zzz’s.
#6 You Think Of Someone Else Before Yourself
Your first thought is no longer of your own wants and your desires. While you still have things you want to do and have, those desires come behind what your child wants and needs. You care for someone more than you do yourself. You consider your baby and how each decision in your life will impact them. This includes decisions in your career, your friendships, and all of your life. Every decision you make must also be considered in how it will impact your child.
#7 You Get To Have Kid Food Again
Come on, admit it. You have always had a fondness for mac & cheese, Koolaid and all those sugary kids cereal. Now that you have children, you have a reason to buy them. You don’t have to be to be a completely responsible adult when it comes to grocery shopping. All those years of aquiring your taste buds to enjoying asparagus and spinach pasta can take a vacation. The best part about it; you can always blame those junky foods on being there for the kids sake. No one need know you ate Oreos for breakfast.
#8 You Have A Deeper Bond With Your Partner
While you have always loved one another and your baby is living proof of that fact, you find that your love deepens as you raise your child together. You look at this beautiful little one and know that you created him or her together. You also have a love for your child that bonds you closer. No one will ever know how much you love your child like your partner. No one else will ever appreciate the cute faces and funny things they say like your partner can.
#9 You Join A New Club
The Mommy Club, that is. That elite bond that seemed to tie mothers together across the world now includes you. You find that you can meet another mother and feel like you could talk for hours. You understand each other and what you are going through. You can open up to women that you would have considered total strangers before having a baby. But the fact that you both are pushing strollers or carrying toddlers seems to open up the channels of conversation between you.
#10 Your Taste In Television And Movies Expands
While you still love your old favorites and look forward to the next chick flick, you are quickly reminded why you loved Disney Movies so much in the first place. When a new children’s movie comes out, you are excited to watch it and look forward to it as much as your child does. You find you can sing the opening song to your child’s favorite cartoon and that it is quite a catchy little tune.
#11 Your Friendships Change
It is not unusual for there to be a shift in your relationship with your friends when you become a parent. After all, you aren’t the same person you once were. Your identity isn’t just you, yourself any longer. It is you, the Mommy. If your friends don’t have children, they may have trouble accepting that you aren’t completely absorbed in the story of their disaster date because you have a baby screaming with colic. This doesn’t mean that those friendships will end. Sometimes they just shift a bit. You will probably find yourself making new friends, too. It becomes easy to bond with women at the pediatrician’s office or in the baby food aisle.
#12 The World Is Magical Again
While you were growing up, you somehow forgot how magical it was to catch fireflies or reach out to touch a water fountain. But when you have a child, you see the world through their eyes and everything is magical again. If you don’t enjoy those things for yourself, you enjoy watching your child experience them for the first time. There is something very simplistic and sweet about watching your child squeal with joy as they try to catch a wiggling puppy or smelling the flower they reach you.
#13 Worry Has A Whole New Meaning
Those things that you used to worry about seem so trivial after you have a child. The worries over things like if your tablecloth would be permanently stained or how your next evaluation at work would go pale in comparison to what you now know is real worry. There isn’t a deeper worry than when your child is sick or screaming in pain and you don’t know what is wrong or where they are hurting. You might even worry about things that could happen in the future to your child, such as if they will make friends in school or if they will follow the path of right and wrong you have tried to teach them. Your worries are completely different.
#14 You Want To Be A Better Person
Your actions don’t just affect you anymore. You now have a little person that will be watching your every move and learning from you whether you are choosing to do right or choosing to do wrong. You want to set the right example by living honestly and being kind to others. You try to be the kind of person that you want your baby to grow up to become. You want your child to grow up and be proud of the person you are and the life you lived before them.
#15 You Love Deeper Than You Ever Knew You Could
You have loved others in your life, your parents and family, your partner and a host of others. But you have never loved someone the way you love this small person you carried and sheltered in your body. You didn’t realize that the love you have for your baby even existed, let alone that you would someday have it in your heart. And that love is what makes up for all of the things that you are giving up when you have a baby. You won’t care how many fancy dinners and nights out you miss when you hold this very special little person in your arms.