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Everyday I’m Shufflin’: 8 Ways Life Changes on ‘Parent Time’

parenting time, pop culture, making time for your kids

Children take up space in our hearts and minds once used for other things.

There’s a phenomenon I’ve been trying to name that I think all parents, no matter how savvy, can relate to. It has to do with the way parenting simultaneously slows life down and speeds life up. The way getting sucked into the vortex of diaper changes, breastfeeding, playdates and school life prevents us from keeping pace with our former selves, no matter how hard we try. I’m a pretty savvy person: I’m not someone who subscribes to the idea that we must all become crazed, harried people who haven’t showered in days and are always on the edge of a nervous breakdown. What kills me, though, is that no matter how diligent I am about trying to stay one step ahead in life, I still feel like I’m showing up a day late and a dollar short. Life changes when you run on “parent time.” Here’s how:

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  • You get the news 3 days late 1 of 8
    You get the news 3 days late
    Or in my case, two weeks late sometimes. I swear that for the most part I know what's going on in the world (thank you, Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert/Mark Zuckerberg), but yesterday I read an interesting article about something that I thought just happened, then I saw the date in the corner: January 19. Sigh.
    Photo via Flickr
  • You see movies from 2 years ago for the first time 2 of 8
    You see movies from 2 years ago for the first time
    Anybody wanna come over and watch Dinner for Schmucks?
    Photo via Flickr
  • By the time you read a book, it’s an Oscar-nominated film 3 of 8
    By the time you read a book, it's an Oscar-nominated film
    Bought a copy of this several months ago. The spine is still uncracked.
    Photo via Flickr
  • You “catch up” with your favorite band’s last 4 releases 4 of 8
    You "catch up" with your favorite band's last 4 releases
    I listen to Top 40 in my car, but the last indie tunes I knew anything about were played at Lilith Fair.
    Photo via Flickr
  • You still have CDs (and other antiquated technology) 5 of 8
    You still have CDs (and other antiquated technology)
    My daughter was born at the dawn of the digital revolution, which means I never transferred my CDs to digital files. I don't really download music. I have an iPod but it's just a Shuffle, and my TV is not a flatscreen.
    Photo via Flickr
  • It’s harder to keep track of all your friends 6 of 8
    It's harder to keep track of all your friends
    I'm a social bee and I do pretty well in this arena thanks to the fact that I get to see people at shows and events, but I realized yesterday that though I can remember who I've called recently, I have trouble remembering who I've told what. I'm going to become that annoying friend who repeats herself! Please love me anyway.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Housework feels neverending 7 of 8
    Housework feels neverending
    Dishes, laundry, putting toys away, changing sheets, dusting, vacuuming. I put a lot of effort into this stuff, but it's never all done at the same time. Never. No matter how hard I try.
    Photo via Flickr
  • You have no idea who these people are 8 of 8
    You have no idea who these people are
    I mean, I know who they are. They are the cast of Twilight. But I don't know their names or their character names, and, blissfully, I don't care.

I know a lot of these changes come with adulthood whether or not you have children, which actually gives me some solace. I’m not the only gal in my social circle who stopped buying music after Mirrorball came out and I’m not the only child of the ’90s who still has all of their CDs. But I may be the last person in America under the age of 80 with a TV that’s 15 inches deep.

How has running on “parent time” changed you?

Main photo via Flickr

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