Don't get me wrong, children are wonderful and miraculous additions to mom's life. They enrich life in so many ways. If, however, mom is someone that relishes uninterrupted time to herself, she may be in for a rude awakening. Some things she may not mind giving up and will barely notice their absence in her life. Some things she just moves to the back burner with plans to get back to them someday. Others she will long for, dream of, and will never ever take for granted again.
Whether these things mom won't be able to do any more are cherished hobbies, simple fashion choices, or ultra feminine indulgences, they will vanish into thin air. They might return someday, but they might not either. Mom should take advantage of a friend or family member that is willing and able to watch the children while she indulges in some of these things she is missing. Many women do not have that luxury.
Just in case mom is not aware of what she will be giving up for years when she decides to have a baby (or two or three), here is a list to enlighten or remind her. Try not to dwell on them too long though, there isn't energy or the time to spare.
15 Mani-Pedis And Make Up
Mani-pedis are one of the things you now might find frivolous or over indulgent. Either that or a completely luxurious and well deserved treat. Whether it's the expense involved or the time commitment or both, you probably won't be getting too many mani-pedis. Unless you count the ones performed by your three year old.
Your makeup regime will undoubtedly change too when you have babies and small children. The time commitment involved in applying the make up (uninterrupted) and the expense of purchasing it will be your greatest deterrents. Think of how much time and money you are saving. Your skin will be better off too. Get used to the new, fresh faced look you are sporting. If you barely wore any make up before you had children, you may still be recognizable.
14 Throwing Fancy Dinner Parties
The last fancy dinner party you hosted was probably way back before you were ever pregnant. If you were ever into that kind of thing. Believe it or not, some people are into throwing dinner parties. During your pregnancy you most likely won't have the energy for such things. After your baby is born you still don't have the energy, in fact you probably have less. Not to mention now you no longer have the time either.
When you have a baby or young children or both, the best you can manage is a play date with other moms and their children. Maybe a birthday party or two with cake and munchies. If you are feeling a bit more ambitious you may try organizing a potluck. If you are, all the more power to you. If not, don't worry about it, no one expects you to.
13 Spending Lots Of Time On Your Hair
Your hair is your crowning glory and so most women try to hang on to their style for as long as possible. However, with a new baby, gone too are the days when you had loads of time to spend washing, drying and styling your hair. If you are one of these women whose hair always looks great with little effort, lucky you, because you are not the norm.
With a new baby in your arms or young children at your heels, some days you barely have a chance to shower, let alone worry about how your hair looks. Ponytails, braids and clips make a comeback for long hair. Styling gel for short hair can make the bed head look intentional, some times. Depending on who you are trying to fool.
Some mothers even go as far as to get a “mommy hair cut” that is short and maintenance free, although finding time for a good hair cut is rare also. And don't even think about taking the time away from your kids to get your hair coloured. That will probably have to wait a bit longer than the hair styling and cut.
12 Golf And Other Sports
You might still be able to watch lots of sports on TV. The advantage of watching them as opposed to a movie is that you can leave the room for a few minutes without missing much. Participating in the sport yourself is quite a different matter. Golfing is one of those hobbies you may be giving up for a long while. Unfortunately it is one sport that requires a lot of time and expense, neither of which you will have a lot of to spare when your children are young.
Other sports that don't require quite as much time away from your beloved (but all consuming) children are soccer and hockey. Your new forms of exercise will now be carrying your baby around (for upper body strength) and chasing your toddlers around (for cardiovascular activity). Use these new forms of exercise as training for the old forms. Some day you might get back to the golf, soccer and hockey, so you need to stay in shape.
11 Long Relaxing Bubble Baths
Long, relaxing bubble baths will be a thing of the past, at least for many years. Especially if you are talking about the ones you shared with your partner. There is an advantage to family bubble baths however, it's like getting two (or more) birds with one stone. However, if you do get some bubble baths in with the company of your children, they will be anything but relaxing. Slippery, splashing kids are not relaxing and neither is the mess to clean up afterwards.
Bubble baths are not the only thing you will miss doing alone in the bathroom. As soon as you head that way for a few seconds of privacy, your kids will hone in on your need for privacy and follow. It's almost like magic, or more like reverse psychology, as soon as you want to be alone you won't be. Even closing the bathroom door will not work, they will be banging on it within seconds, so you might as well leave it open.
10 Having Healthy House Plants
Just like mom's jewellery seems to be a magnet drawing the fascination of babies and young children, so too are house plants. For some reason, kids love to pull the leaves, knock over the pots, pour their drinks into the pots, pee in the pots and even eat the soil. The more you try to keep your kids away from the plants, the more they seem to want to destroy them.
If the kids were allowed to play with your house plants, they probably would not want to. Because some plants are toxic to children and pets they should not be allowed near them. That's the reverse psychology theory again that seems so relevant with the behaviour of small children. You could switch to fake house plants until your kids are older or relocate all the live ones to a room in your house the children do not frequent as often. The good news is they are replaceable. The plants I mean.
9 Long Phone Conversations
Have you ever heard the saying “if you want to get your child's attention, sit down, put your feet up and chat on the phone?” This works like a charm. For some reason, as soon as your child notices you are not paying attention to them they will be all over you. It's like radar. And if they are not all over you, clamouring for your attention, they will be up to something they know they shouldn't be doing.
As soon as you have a baby you moments of chatting on the phone with friends or family are limited. Very limited. Quick calls, emails, texts or messages will take over. You just won't have the time for more lengthy communication. At least until your children are old enough to create their own texts or email messages.
8 Reading, Sewing, and Knitting
These three hobbies and many others are also too time consuming to include in your busy schedule when you have young children. Your sewing and knitting supplies, fabric and needles will be relegated to buckets in your storage area. Those skills will never be lost though. They will come back into play years down the road when the grandchildren arrive.
You won't be reading romance or science fiction or anything else you would choose for yourself anytime soon. The only thing you will be reading is instructions and labels for baby care items. Oh, and kids books, lots of kids books. Your child's favourites will get read over and over again until you know them off by heart. Don't ever try to skip a few pages or even a few lines of a favourite though, because you are not the only one that will learn every word off by heart.
7 Watching Anything Other Than Cartoons On TV
When you bring home a new baby, your days in general of being entertained by your TV are limited. Time is not your own any more and your new baby will now be your main source of entertainment. The TV may be turned on and your baby may even appear to respond to it, but most times it will just be background noise. That will change again when your baby starts to seek their own entertainment.
When that happens, if it hasn't happened already, your days of binge watching your favourite series are gone, at least for a while. If you are into watching sporting events you may be lucky enough to see bits and pieces of them, but rarely the whole event. Not that it matters much because you won't be able to stay awake watching TV for any length of time anyway. Also gone are the shows rated anything higher than PG because you won't see any part of them. You can however watch lots of cartoons, if they are your thing, over and over and over again.
6 Evenings Out With Friends
Most moms have a few girl friends they have enjoyed getting together with once in a while over the years. And chances are they are probably going through similar experiences with a new baby at the same time as you are. Give or take a few years.
At first you don't mind getting together with these friends and all the children (theirs and yours) in what we refer to as play dates today. After a while though, these play dates get too child oriented and most moms long for and deserve an evening out with their girlfriends, sans children. The funny part is, on these evenings out we women will still probably spend most of our time talking about our children and sharing pictures of them. Regardless, an evening out with girlfriends is still a much longed for luxury.
5 Romantic Weekend Getaways
If you and your partner used to take long romantic weekend getaways together, I hope you have the memories stored away. These getaways, in fact romance in general, are hard to come by when your family contains babies and small children. Once again, time away from your growing family and the expense involved puts these romantic adventures low on your priority list.
However, if you have the luxury of a family member or close friend willing and able to babysit so you can enjoy an evening out with your partner, go for it. They will be few and far between. Both the evenings out and the people you can count on to enjoy watching your kids. Grandparents are great for this responsibility and will most likely step up to the plate when asked. They love spending time with their grandchildren and want to support and nurture their children's relationships too.
4 Ordering What You Really Want At Restaurants
Gone too are the days of ordering what your really want at restaurants. Unless you are on one of the romantic dates mentioned above where the kids are home with a sitter. If the family is in tow, you know you will probably end up finishing the food left on your kids' plates. To compensate you will end up choosing your own food accordingly. A small salad for you to go with the chicken fingers and fries.
Doggy bags are always an option offered at most family friendly restaurants though, so don't be too shy to request one (or several). Doggy bags must have been invented by a mother. We are always planning ahead and recognize that they are great for a quick and convenient lunch or dinner the next day. Forget about a glass of wine or a fancy cocktail with dinner though, especially if you are still breastfeeding.
3 Wearing Silk, Cashmere And High Heels
When is the last time you wore a nice silk or cashmere blouse or sweater? If you are the mother of a baby or young child, I bet not for a while! Babies are notorious for spitting up and toddlers for spills and sticky fingers. The fact that silk and cashmere cannot be thrown in the washing machine make them risky to wear around your children. That and the fact that clothes made from either of these fabrics are a little more expensive than cotton or polyester to replace if (when) they get ruined.
Wearing high heels when carrying a baby or running after toddlers is downright dangerous. For you and them both. Luckily there are lots of stylish flat shoes and boots on the market today. These options are probably invented by women too, out of necessity. Save your silk, cashmere, and high heels for all the romantic getaways with your partner or girlfriends that you might have again. Some day.
2 Wearing Jewellery
Long necklaces and dangling earrings are a thing of the past too. You may take some pleasure in the small consolation that you will not be wearing clothing that requires the addition of jewellery for a while anyway. When you do start wearing your jewellery again, regardless of whether you upgrade your clothing too, you will have to choose the jewellery carefully.
Long necklaces and dangling earrings seem to be magnets for babies and young children. Especially when these pretty toys are on display hanging on mommy's neck and ears. Kids love to yank on them, breaking the necklaces and hurting (potentially ripping) mom's ears when they pull on the earrings. Bracelets might be a safer option if you feel the need to accessorize. Just choose cheap ones in case they too get wrecked by curious fingers.
1 Carrying A Small Purse
You can usually pick out a mother of young children by the size of her purse. New moms and mothers of young children carry purses large enough to accommodate everything but the kitchen sink. By the time all the toys, snacks, extra clothes, diapers, wipes, first aid items, lotions and such are thrown into the purse, there is not much room left for mom's necessities like her phone, keys and wallet. The purse will start to feel like the kitchen sink is in there after all!
Gone are the days of the cute, small purses you can colour coordinate with your outfit. Switching the contents back and forth between purses was easy when the purses were small and only needed to hold your own necessities and not those of your children too. Don't throw out the small purses though, you will get back to using them, eventually.