People say your life changes once you have kids.
But seriously. FOR REAL. It changes everything in pretty much every way.
Nothing is the same. None of it. For starters, you’ll be sleepy all the time, except at 3 a.m. when you suddenly feel like you need to make lists for every aspect of your life. You’ll need to make sure everything is washable because your toddler sees your house as his personal canvas. Coffee and dry shampoo will become your best friends.
Here are some things to know about sharing your home with a tiny version of you. Forewarned is forearmed, right? You got this.
1. You’ll have the kind of bedtime energy that screams: Remember to do ALL the things right now.
Ahhh, remember sleep? That was really the best, huh? One of the most baffling things about being a parent is that even though you can’t wait to fall into bed at the end of the day, every night your Mom Brain kicks in. It’s like as soon as you get comfy, you suddenly think about all the things on your to-do list that need to be done RIGHT THIS SECOND. But here’s the thing: it’s a trap. Because the reality is that you never finish all the stuff on the list. Joke’s on you, brain!
2. Everything in your house needs to be washable, from your walls to your rugs, because toddler.
A neighbor once suggested that a white canvas sofa would look great in our living room. Before I could pick my jaw up off the floor, she added that a matte finish on the walls would “really pop.” You know what else would really pop? My sanity. Matte finishes don’t work with kids. What does work are Ruggable rugs — they’re not only stain-resistant, non-toxic, and stay in place; they’re also machine-washable. Yes, washable like, throw that rug in like a blanket, washable.
3. You’ll bond with your partner over poop. Seriously, so many conversations.
It’s pretty remarkable how quickly you find yourself talking about poop in a casual way. A topic that probably didn’t come up much before kids will suddenly weave its way into daily conversations. We all talk about what’s going on in our lives, right? When you have kids, there’s just a lot of poop – literal and figurative – going on in our lives. Get used to it, sister!
4. “How Many Adults Does It Take To Figure Out Baby Proofing?” is a fun game you didn’t know existed.
So much fun, right? You’ll also learn to play classics like “What Is This All Over the Floor?” and “Can I Get By On Two Hours Of Sleep?” But seriously, baby proofing can be tricky. It’s not just cabinet latches and baby gates. Ruggable just released a new kids’ collection with rugs specifically designed for bedrooms and playrooms, featuring colorful and playful motifs. Like all Ruggable rugs, they’re made in the U.S. with recycled materials, and with sustainability in mind. Did I mention they go in the washing machine? Not a commercial washer – your very own home washer. Game-changer.
5. You’ll discover what it truly means to rush home.
Whether it’s getting them into the crib before they drift off in the car seat (“Let’s sing Baby Shark one more time, OK??”) or realizing you left the snacks at home and this meltdown will only end with an offer of cheese sticks, rushing home takes on a whole new meaning with kids. One of my kids once rolled down the car window and yelled – just to the general public – “Attention! This is a doo-doo emergency! We NEED to get home!”
6. Watching a horror movie doesn’t even remotely compare to the terror of clipping tiny fingernails.
I’m going on record right now to say that clipping an infant’s fingernails is one of life’s most stressful experiences. Fight me. You will hold your breath almost to the point of passing out, silently praying that you don’t clip even the tiniest bit of that tender, soft baby skin. I would rather cross a rotting wooden bridge over a nest of vipers than clip baby nails. That sounds over-dramatic but come on! It really feels like some Indiana Jones ish.
7. You’ll figure out the only time to throw away artwork is under the cover of darkness.
Yes, everything your little one creates is precious and wonderful. And there’s no doubt you’ll want to hold on to those first little scribbles forever. But there comes a time when there’s just no more room for construction paper with glued-on macaroni. Don’t be silly enough to toss it out while they’re still awake! They’ll come wheeling around the corner just as you’re dropping it in the kitchen trash and you’re a goner. Wait until you hear little snores and take the whole stack to the outdoor bin. And hurry!
8. Your priorities – all of them – will change.
Even if you consider yourself pretty low-maintenance before kids, after kids you really get how important it is to rid your home (and your life) of things that are fussy. Or that require constant monitoring. And also anything that requires dry cleaning. (Dry cleaning is pretty awful for a number of reasons.) You’ve got to simplify. You don’t want to hover over your kids, worried they might spill juice on the rug.
Changes are inevitable. They’re going to happen in ways big and small when you’re a parent. The key is to find ways to free up time and eliminate stress so that you can truly enjoy your kids.