Enough Already with the Lists of What You Can’t Do After Kids

Enough AlreadyI get it. You’re trying to be funny with your lists of what you can’t do after having kids. You’ll never sleep again! You’ll never watch another movie! You’ll never go out to dinner!

I get that parenting is difficult, but why the defeatist attitude?

I was reading an article over on Yahoo Shine titled 7 Things You Won’t Get to Do Once You Have Children, and while I realize that the writer’s intention is to be funny, I’m not laughing. Jenny From The Blog writes about how now that she’s a parent she never has “crazy sex” or gets a good night’s sleep; she can never be selfish or walk around naked at home. “Nudity may seem like no big deal … until your toddler compares your boobs to cow bells, then it’s clothes on for the long haul. No walking to the laundry room to look for a clean bra. No blowing your hair or putting on make up, sans robe. No birthday suit appearances at ALL, without worrying that your body may be the cause of their therapy in later life.”

Yes, she’s kidding to some degree. I understand. But here’s my issue: these kinds of lists are a disservice to new parents everywhere, those contemplating parenthood and those of us parents who haven’t given up and are giving living a fulfilled life our best shot.

Yes, if you choose to be a parent it’s probably the hardest thing you will ever do in your life but it doesn’t mean you should expect not to be able to do the same things you did before children, you just have to try a little harder to make those things happen.

You create your own parenting path and if you choose to sit back and say I’ll never have a wild night again then you won’t. If you say you’ll never get to be selfish again then you won’t try to make time for yourself to do the things you want to do.

The trick is to make that stuff happen. Make sure you designate time once a week that is for you only. If you want to sit on a couch and stare at the wall, do it. If you want to go to a movie, make it happen. I’m a mother of three children and I make sure I get time to do the things that make me happy and this, as a result, makes me a better mother. I go to the gym every day and utilize their childcare. I make sure my kids go to bed at 8 p.m. because after that it’s my time to watch movies, paint my toenails or read. Yeah, it doesn’t always go down the way I’d like it to but, for the most part, I feel like I have the time to do things for me because I work hard to create a routine that allows for that.

And yes, I still walk around naked in front of my children because nudity ain’t no thing, and I want to teach them that I feel beautiful in my own skin, “cow bell boobs” or no.


Image credit: Monica Bielanko

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