Allison and I don’t have any kiddos yet (besides our always mentioned fur-babies), and we’re both at that age where older relatives often ask “When are you getting married? When are you having kids? When? When? When?” I think I can speak for us both when I say we just don’t know. I DO know that when I make some mini-me’s, I want to be as prepared as possible! That’s where our friends at Play Eat Grow come into view! These ladies have their hands full with jobs and children, but also have their minds full of wisdom! Thanks to my sister-in-law Tiffany for collaborating! Here is some of the much appreciated advice related to the subject:
Eight Things that Changed When I Had Kids…
- Traveling. Once upon a time, I could just throw a bag together and head off to another state for the weekend. And what’s stopping me from using my hard-earned vacation to take a two-week trip to Europe? That began to change when having kids. With one kid traveling requires a bit of planning, but a spontaneous trip here and there is not out of the question. Add another few kids, and going to the grocery store is a planned for event. I was really glad that I was able to see so much of the world before having a lot of kids—I would recommend getting that travel time in now so that you don’t regret it later!
- Cooking extravagantly. I LOVE to cook. Even as a teenager, I’d collect recipes and try them out on my family. As I grew older, I liked to include the occasional recipe that took a LONG time to make and that included a lot of ingredients. These days, I look for the recipes with the shortest prep time and minimal amount of ingredients packed with the most nutritious value. With 3 little cooks in the kitchen, I’ve learned that simple is good. I do still cook something interesting from time to time (only on a weekend when the hubby is home to entertain the kids), but am excited to one day re-discover my love for cooking! Break out your cookbooks and try something fancy tonight!
- Sleeping In. I know, I know, this is something that you already totally knew. But seriously, sleep has become something that I totally covet. I used to think that 7:00 was such an EARLY time. Now that’s sleeping in. So enjoy those mornings of not rolling out of bed until noon and don’t feel bad about it at all!
- Become a picture person now. I wasn’t much into taking pictures when it was just my hubby and me thinking I didn’t need to (although now I realize I missed out on some good memories), but once we had kids, I really wanted to become a picture taking person so that I could capture every sweet moment, every tiny finger everything. But, because I hadn’t trained myself, I often missed out on photo opportunities because I wasn’t prepared or I wasn’t thinking. So train yourself now. You’ll not only appreciate the pictures of your life b.c. (before children) but you’ll also be ready to document in photographs when they come along.
- Being Quick to Judge Parents. It’s really easy to look at parents and think, “If I ever have kids they will never _____” or “they will always _____”. Trust me, the less words you have to eat in this area, the better. Feel free to support and encourage (even offer to babysit!) for your friends with children, but leave the judgment at home.
- Going on Dates. Before our children were born, my husband and I went out to dinner once a week. Lots of times it was someplace inexpensive (like IHOP with a coupon!), but it still a time for us to connect and it was a nice break from cooking. Our income drastically changed after our kids came along, so I’m glad we did this when we had the chance.
- Having Me Time. Before I was married I really enjoyed hanging out at Starbucks or a nice bookstore. Now, “me time” is when I’m in the bathroom (if I’m lucky!), so enjoy it while you can.
- Working through My Issues. Having children (and lack of the sleep, and increased stress) has brought out the worst in me in some ways. It might have been helpful if I had recognized and worked on those areas earlier in my journey! Once the kids start coming, it is easy to be caught up in the myriad of “things to do” that I forget to work on my own issues. If there’s a certain area where you know you really struggle (anger, impatience, perfectionism), you might want to take steps to address it now. Making an action plan, reaching out to others for accountability, praying – these are all great ways to start to address an area where you need to grow.