It’s true what they say: when you have a baby, everything changes. If you have more than one child, things keep on changing. But if you’re wondering what life after a baby will look like and feel anxiety about losing the life you have now, don’t be discouraged. It’s perfectly normal to experience trepidation about this new stage of your life. Parenting is tough, and there’s no point pretending otherwise. You might even be looking back on your days of babysitting and wondering, “How on earth could I do that full-time?” What people forget to mention, however, is the immense bond you’ll feel with your little one, and the incomparable reward it brings.
Having kids is hard work, but raising a family could be the most fulfilling task you’ve encountered yet. If you’re wondering how different life will look, take a look at the following list.
You’ll Take More Naps
Once you start parenting, you’ll be tired. Waking up to feed your little one in the night will be exhausting, and for the first few months, you might try to sleep every chance you get. In fact, if your baby falls asleep on you, you may be reluctant–or simply too exhausted–to move. And after sleeping in sun glare at 3 p.m., you might start wondering, “how much do custom plantation shutters cost?” As long as you work out a sleeping pattern, a window treatment solution, a designated nap time, and get help from your partner, you can learn how to nap like a pro.
You’ll Value Your Spouse Even More
A baby can definitely change the dynamic of your marriage, but it doesn’t have to be for the worse. Before you had a kid, your marriage was probably easier to navigate. You had more time to spend together, and more time to work conflicts out. With a baby, however, you have to arrange your schedules more carefully. It may sound intimidating, but this new tiny person in your house can actually help you and your spouse put minor issues in perspective since you’ll need to focus as a team on the one major task of raising your child. The help of your partner will mean even more, and since every moment is precious, you’ll end up valuing your time together like never before.
You’ll Say Yes to Crazy Things
Once your kids are a little older, you’ll find that you say yes to things you’d never have considered before. Before kids, you might have been adamant about never getting a dog. By the time your kids are older, however, you could find yourself saying yes to a dog, contacting pool builders in Brisbane, and doing all sorts of things to make your kids smile. Their joy will become one of your top priorities.
You’ll Stop Watching Normal Movies
As an adult, you like to enjoy sophisticated movies. Or at least, movies made for adults. With a kid or two, however, you might find that you’re watching Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy on a Friday night. Your kiddos won’t be able to watch most of the movies you would typically choose, whether it’s because of violence, language, or something scary, so you’ll have to enjoy something else together. While it might sound like a miserable sacrifice, you’d be surprised at how mesmerizing Winnie the Pooh can be on three hours of sleep.
You’ll Value Your Time Even More
Once you have a kid or two, you won’t have as much opportunity for alone time. Things you used to do for yourself will be harder to come by, and you’ll have to be more intentional about making time for yourself. It’s okay to temporarily give up some of your hobbies or routines: you can exercise differently, clean less, and refuse to craft if you’d rather take a nap. You’ll value your time a lot more once you have kids, and you can easily make the best use of it if you simply listen to yourself and do whatever you most want to do during those special moments alone.
You’ll Care About Your Ancestry
You might not have cared much about your ancestry or family history before having a kid, but after you start a family, you might find yourself caring about it a great deal. You might talk to older relatives, look up your ancestry online, and even get dna testing in Syracuse, NY, to learn more about your family backgrounds. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to pass on to your kids, and you might treasure the chance to tell those stories.
Your House Won’t Look as Clean
Did we mention you won’t have as much time? Even if you spend the same amount of time cleaning as you did before, your house will still be messier after you have kids, because your kids will be making a mess. Cheerios will end up under the table, and toys will be all over the floor. The best thing to remember about life with a baby or toddler is: nothing has to be perfect. Let your cleaning standards slide a little. It’s more than okay.
You’ll Need a Bigger Car
With just one kid, or even two, you might be able to keep a small car. Once you have more than two, or once you need to travel anywhere with luggage, a bigger car becomes a necessity. You can head to a local Volkswagen dealership and start looking for a bigger car, or even a van. And when it’s time for a road trip, you’ll be glad you did. You might have to trade in something small and sleek for that soccer mom van, but trips with your kids make it worth it.
You’ll Take Longer to Leave Your House
It might seem like a small adjustment at first, but one of the biggest changes a baby will make to your life is departure time. When it was just you, you were able to whip out the door in five or ten minutes. With kids, you can multiply your departure time: 30 minutes per child. When hats and coats and shoes and car seats and snacks and diapers and everything else has to get packed, getting out of the house on time becomes complicated!
You’ll See the Bigger Picture
Perhaps the biggest thing that will change once you have kids is perspective. Your kids will remind you of the future, and of what you’re working for. When a child or two comes along, you’ll probably find you take better care of your finances, put more into your 401k, and start college trust funds for all your kids. You might also glean a better sense of meaning from everyday life. The love and connection you feel with your child will help you appreciate what really matters, and you’ll find that you’re much more well-equipped to not sweat the small stuff.
Even though it’s clear that your life will never be the same again after kids, the list above probably shows you that the change–as unknown and scary as it may seem–will absolutely make everything in your life better.