Before having kids, I enjoyed being a night owl. After having kids, I had to be a night owl because those kids weren’t going to nurse and snuggle themselves all night long.
Before having kids, my evenings were my own. After having kids there were messy bath time water fights, with loud giggles and laughter and chasing naked littles down the hall to grab and wrap up in towels and carry off to bed.
Before having kids, I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted. After having kids I was forced to share all of my food with sticky-fingered love bugs who left “fishies” floating in my drinks.
Before having kids, I could sit on the sofa watching anything I wanted. After having kids, it was endless rounds of Barney, Ariel, Beauty and the Beast and the constant noise of singing and “why did they do that, momma?” with a wriggly little tucked under each arm.
Before having kids, I could go out at night and wear fun clothes. After having kids, there were children to be read to, prayers to be prayed and stories to be listened to.
Before having kids, I was carefree and dare devilish and could stay out all night. After having kids, there were sleepless nights of worry and prayer for three little people in my life I would lay mine down for.
Before having kids, I was annoyed by squeals and getting kicked in the seat back and little faces popping up over the backs of booths to say, “Hi”. After having kids, I was apologizing for all of that from my own booth with a laugh and a shrug.
Before having kids, there was quiet and peace and calm throughout the house. After having kids, there was laughter, giggling, and tiny padded feet running across the floors.
Before having kids, I was selfish and self-absorbed, focused on me and what I want. After having kids, I had to let me go and focus on littles screeching “MINE”, “I WANT”, and “I DO IT”.
Before having kids, I had energy and could hold intelligent conversations. After having kids, I collapsed in a heap on the sofa at 8pm and recited to my man every word, step, and poop from the day.
Before having kids, I could sleep soundly through the night. After having kids, I paced the floor and checked my phone certain I had missed a call from the State Police or Hospital because my kids were out with their friends.
Before having kids, vacations were easy, relaxed, and spent lying on the beach with a book. After having kids, I was on high alert, scouring the water line with my binocs, and responding to “look at me, momma!” “Watch THIS, momma!” “Help me swim, momma!” “I need a snack, momma!”
Before having kids, my weekends were lazy and a break from the rat race of the week. After having kids, my weekends were tied up driving kids to games, cheering them on during soccer matches, volleyball matches, baseball games, and football games.
Before having kids, I was so excited to raise them and get them out the door on their own. After the kids moved on to college and marriage and their own lives, and my job was done, I had the clean, quiet, calm, empty, and lonely house I thought I had always wanted.
Before having kids, it was all about me. After having kids, it wasn’t. And it never will be again.
Thank God, kids ruin everything.