me before kids

it's amazing how much becoming a parent can change a person.  there are the big things and the countless more little things.

we change because we not only need to keep these little beings alive and safe, but we also need to teach them life skills, and then instill morals and manners.  these days, it's not even just about that.  we worry about things like BPA in their bottles and toys, organic vs non-organic, sleep train or cosleep, pacifier or no pacifier, Ergo or Bjorn, montessori or waldolf ...i could seriously go on forever.  

sometimes i chuckle when i think back to the Me before kids...

the Me before kids swore to never buy those ugly primary colored plastic toys for my children.  why would i buy those cheap looking ones and ruin the aesthetic of my house when i can buy those pretty neutral colored wooden toys that can last a lifetime?  i used to visit friends/relatives with kids and wonder why they would let their children make such a mess and take over the entire house.  oh, how little did i know.  

the Me now cleans our house on a daily basis and yet my living room seems to perpetually look like it was hit by a tornado of primary colors.  we have those expensive neutral colored toys....but you know what?  my kids don't touch them.  it's boring.  the only thing that entertains them long enough for me to cook dinner or get ready in the morning is exactly those loud brightly colored toys that i swore would never enter my house.  

the Me before kids used to secretly judge those moms of toddlers that would throw tantrums at the market. why don't they just discipline their children?  HA. the joke is on me.  i am now that mom at the market that gets the stink eye from strangers because everly is screaming at the top of her lungs.  she thinks her tantrums will convince me to allow her to pull another apple from the bottom of the pile and cause an avalanche of rolling apples across the aisle.  and mind you, i DO discipline my kids...fairly strictly I might add.  

the Me before kids swore i would NEVER feed my kids fast food before the age of ten. never EVER. i even declared it to eric while i was pregnant with jaden:  "our kid will not know the taste of Mcdonald's until he's at least ten years old." hahaha.  jaden had his first McDonald's french fry before he was two and everly's been eating fries for months now.  does that make me an irresponsible parent who doesn't care about my children's health?  i think not.  when you stay out longer than expected and your children have long devoured their healthy packed lunch and snacks and you're dead beat from chasing two toddlers all day long, the last thing you want to do is go home and cook. or even worse, go to a sit down restaurant with two hungry, cranky toddlers by yourself. Mcdonald's drive-thru to the rescue!  i've come to terms with the fact that my children eating the occasional happy meal won't kill them.  

the Me before kids used to take hour long showers on a daily basis.  these days i consider myself lucky if i can get a ten minute shower once every two days.  i can't remember the last time i took a shower for longer than fifteen minutes.  

and then there are those moments of desperation. the Me before kids would have never even fathomed a situation where i would ever need to pee in a cup in the car. of course this is all "hypothetical". ;)  sometimes desperate times calls for desperate measures.  and when you successfully get two cranky toddlers to synchronize nap, there's no way you're going to wake them up, unbuckle and carry one kid in each arm (along with a heavy diaper bag), and take them into a public bathroom just so you can go pee.  risk forty five minutes of peace to urinate?  no thanks. trust me when i say that i've become a pro at holding my pee but when it's gotten to the point where you're afraid to exhale lest you have some leakage, you will empty your coffee cup and use it as a porta potty.  all hypothetical though of course!  (*insert flushed cheeks emoticon here).

and so you ask, do i long for the days of Me before kids?  nope.  not at all.  the Me before kids was incomplete, immature, and lost.  the day to day struggles of being a mom are challenging at times, but when i look at the big picture i feel blessed.  

so, to the Me before kids i tell you this:  please don't judge that mom with the terrible twos toddler at the market. give her a warm smile instead knowing that in just a few years, you'll be walking in her shoes. 

were your expectations before kids different from reality?  mine certainly were!