The other day, I overheard a phone conversation while sitting in my gynecologist’s waiting room. (Yes, I was eavesdropping.) The woman talking on the phone was sitting directly behind me so I didn’t see her, but she was talking and laughing and making plans for a blowout. And she sounded happy about it.
*cue the gags*
If you’re a mom, you’ve experienced the joys of nuclear-grade projectile shit (and by shit, I mean in the very literal sense) that is too powerful and majestic to be contained by a mere diaper. It squirts out the elastic leg band, seeps through baby’s outfit and onto whatever surface baby happens to be parking her little baby bum on. (Hint: that surface is usually you.) A rite of passage of parenthood for sure, but not something to snicker and giggle about while you’re waiting for the hoo-hah police to perform the annual inspection of your lady garden.
I craned my neck in order to get a good look at this chick who was looking forward to a blowout and got an eyeful of her sleek hairdo, tiny purse, high heels, and lack of under eye baggage, and came to the conclusion that she wasn’t a mom.
Then I remembered the days where blowout meant something different than what I think it means: going to the salon and paying someone to carefully blow dry and straighten your hair so it looks fabulous for whatever fabulous thing you’re doing. This was back in the day when Costco didn’t count as a fabulous thing you were doing. See also: when you washed your hair regularly and didn’t feel something akin to friendship with your big-ass bottle of dry shampoo.
Motherhood is life-changing.
That’s about the most obvious statement on the planet, right? We change after we become parents, even though we probably all have some dim memories from the Land of Pre-kids of telling ourselves we wouldn’t change. We wouldn’t neglect our hygiene. We’d only wear yoga pants to yoga class (this one always makes me snort). We wouldn’t neglect our childless friends. We’d never, ever, ever feed our little darlings macaroni and cheese from the blue box (this one makes me laugh, too).
But everything changes after kids, even our vocabulary. In the spirit of blowouts, here are six more things that mean something different once you become a parent.
Before kids: A party was somewhere you went with other adults where you enjoyed adult conversations and adult beverages. Party was also a verb, as in: “Sheryl, we are so going to party it up when we go on our girls’ vacay.”
After kids: Mention the word “party” to moms of school-aged children and watch them twitch uncomfortably.
This means shopping for a super-unique birthday gift that wasn’t made in a factory overseas that’s just the right combination of educational, environmentally-friendly, and fun. After you purchase said gift, you’ll take your small human to the house of someone you don’t know, where you’ll be held hostage for two to four hours while you make awkward small talk with the other moms while your kids eat too much sugar and cry over a game of Duck, Duck, Goose gone wrong.
Alternatively, said party will be held at an indoor chamber of horrors where gigantic, creepy stuffed animals sing, dance, and play the drums and everything is covered in Nutella and other stickified substances that you can’t (or don’t want to) identify.
2. Sleeping late
Before kids: Sleeping late had a 10 AM minimum rule, as in if you were up before 10, no way did it count as sleeping late.
After kids: Sleeping late is defined as your kid allowing you to snooze until at least 7:02 AM on a weekend. Sheer luxury, until you get up and find they’ve used an entire tube of toothpaste to treat their teddy bear’s owie because they were pretending to be Doc McStuffins.
3. Sleep training
Before kids: Getting an uninterrupted 10 hours of shut-eye before a big athletic event, such as a half-marathon or a sprint triathlon. Wake up refreshed and ready for beast mode.
After kids: Putting your whiny-ass toddler to bed 64 times in the span of a two-hour period. Reading three stories, singing four lullabies, and sitting outside their bedroom door reading about co-sleeping on your phone and feeling inferior. See also: very, very tired. Nobody gets very much actual sleep. Or training.
Before kids: Sex may occur with the door open or closed, for procreation or recreation. Most often occurs after the shaving of the legs and other bits and the brushing of the teeth. Will usually involve lingerie, foreplay, and last more than five minutes.
After kids: Sex most commonly occurs with bedroom door closed, locked, and barricaded by the laundry hamper, a trash can, and the suitcases you still haven’t unpacked from the vacation you took three months ago. Rarely lasts more than five minutes. Frequently interrupted by small humans who need your attention right this minute no matter what.
Prickly legs and bad breath add to the mood … or so you keep telling yourself.
Before kids: You say silly things about people being able to eat off your floors. Towels are clean and fluffy, beds are made, and the condition of your toilet or appliances won’t embarrass you in the event company drops by. You have an impressive stash of cleaning products and you “just can’t relax” unless your abode is spic ‘n’ span.
After kids: You don’t talk about people eating off the floor because people actually do and you prefer not to mention it. The condition of your toilet or appliances won’t embarrass you because no one in their right mind visits you, and you like it that way. You have an impressive stash of organic, eco-friendly cleaning products but you pretty much clean everything with a baby wipe or let the dog lick it up.
Before kids: Coffee is a perk-me-up enjoyed piping hot. Frequently consumed in the company of other adults while speaking in full sentences while wearing shoes and a bra.
After kids: Coffee is usually consumed cold after being forgotten in the microwave for two or more hours.
Parenthood is awesome, but everything changes — even your vocabulary.