There are so many changes that come along with motherhood. Some – like saggy boobs and exhaustion-induced under-eye bags – you expect. But there are plenty of other things new moms can’t do in the early stages of motherhood that we’re not prepared for – and they have nothing to do with appearance.
I’m talking about the pre-baby luxuries you took for granted before your bundle of joy arrived. Here are 10 of the things I’ve realized – a little over a year into this mom thing (and past my maternity leave diary) – that we just won’t do anytime soon.
1. Eat a warm meal or drink hot coffee.
Hangriness may set in, but your growling stomach is no match for an infant who is screaming his sweet face off. Maybe he’s hungry or wet or just feeling fussy – it doesn’t matter why. He has to eat, be changed or comforted before you can take a bite of breakfast or have a sip of coffee.
2. Have a calm mind.
Even if you weren’t a worrier before your baby’s arrival, you will be now. Thanks to that sweet little creature, your head will constantly be buzzing about his or her needs – even in your sleep.
3. Keep a clean house.
I cleaned once per week before my son’s arrival and it was more than enough to keep our home tidy. Not anymore! Blankets, bottles and toys will clutter your home. Dust piles up even faster, and as much as you’ll want to stay on top of it, you won’t be able to – at least not when your baby is awake. And yes, you could clean while he or she sleeps, but it’s hard to dust when you’re dozing off. Take a nap instead.
4. Shower or poo solo.
Sure, sometimes you don’t mind your partner as an audience – or guest – in the shower, but having your infant blank-stare at your lady bits while you’re washing off is weird. I wonder if I’ve scarred my son for life now that he’s seen me naked daily. And when it comes to pooing, if you aren’t into doing it in front of anyone, it’s time to get used to it. When you gotta go, you gotta go – and sometimes they just have to come along with you and even sit on your lap as you go.
5. Sleep in.
Remember when you could rest till noon? Perhaps you had a bit too much to drink the night before and needed some extra shut-eye – or you had a long work week and just want to catch up on sleep. Well, those days are over. You rise when baby rises.
6. Make an enterprising meal.
Anything that takes more than 15 minutes to prep isn’t happening. Why? Because you’ve got a child glued to you pretty much all day (remember, you can’t even poo alone). What makes you think he or she is going to let you cook for an hour? You might be able to set your little one up in the highchair for a bit, but he or she will inevitably start screaming mid-meal prep. Do yourself a favor and order takeout.
7. Watch a movie or TV show without interruption.
It can be annoying if your spouse is trying to chat with you while you’re catching up on your favorite show, but after a while he or she understands it’s time to be quiet. Babies and toddlers do not. It’s like children know when their parents want to unwind and enjoy something not related to parenting because that’s when they have a meltdown. Pause your show and return to it once baby nods off.
8. Arrive early.
By the time you get the baby ready, get yourself dressed, the diaper bag packed and strap the baby in the car seat, you’re already a minimum of 10 minutes behind schedule. You don’t mean to be, but time goes by so fast and even if you try to beat the clock, you’re going to lose.
Your baby’s not interested in the sale at Nordstrom. He doesn’t care if you want to try on a dozen dresses. He doesn’t want to be strapped in a stroller while you shop – and he’ll scream to let you know that. Plus, navigating a stroller through some stores is a nightmare. Yep: File this one firmly under “things new moms can’t do” (and, frankly, won’t want to).
10. Be spontaneous.
Did your friend invite you to a 10 p.m. movie on a Friday? How about a drink on Saturday night? If you used to go without hesitation, you won’t do that anymore. That’s not your life. Why? You need a babysitter to watch your wee one – and where are you going to find one last minute?
While your pre-baby life might have been simpler, there’s no denying it’s a lot sweeter now. Just because you won’t be doing these things for a long time, doesn’t mean you’ll never do them again. Until then, hang in there.