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Things You Swore You Would Never Do Until You Became a Parent

Life takes us places we don’t normally expect, we all know this. Whether you’re changing your major from psychology to journalism or dreaming about being an artist as a kid before flipping burgers 10 years later, the passage of time incubates a myriad of future possibilities. Budding adults roll their eyes at their similar aged peers who are indulged with their babies, fussing over and cuddling them in gooey ways. 

We think: “Yuck, that’ll never be me!” as we sneer return to our hobbies. Well, as previously mentioned life does not always have in store what we expect. Allow us to regale with a list of relatable things that you did not start doing until you became a parent.

7 Use Wipes for Everything

In college, paper towels were probably your best friend. Rolls of them littered your living space as your unruly roommates caused commotion around you, leaving a mess of likely-alcoholic liquids all over the place in their wake. As a budding parent, you may find yourself taking a different detour as your little one smacks themselves in the mouth with a mesh of baby food. Naturally, you turn to wipes. 

Hey, commercials for wipes advertise that they’re for babies so it’s always good to have them around right? As your little one gets messier and messier, you’ll find yourself keeping an artillery of wipes everywhere from under the kitchen sink to your back pocket. Eventually, they’ll well outnumber the good old rolls of paper towels you knew and loved.

And then it starts. You’re wiping your baby’s face, you notice a smudge next to them and decide to dab it as well. You’re cleaning a spill off the table and out of frustration you pluck a wipe and erase it in one swipe. Once you start using wipes, it’s almost impossible to stop. You’re in the bathroom of all places, ignoring the plump roll of toilet paper next to you in favor of this disposable, sanitary cleanliness. 

As you realize the efficiency and quickness of wipes, you’ll wonder why you let yourself go so long without using them!

6 Become the Mom-Friend

As you dote on your little one, you may find yourself fretting that every step they take can lead to a wrong move. “Don’t touch that!” “Don’t go there!” “Would you like a juice box” might become common phrases in your vocabulary. As a result of this constant state of concern, you just might find yourself implement this behavior onto your friends as well! The mom-friend always asks and listens to their friends. 

The mom friend is always prepared with snacks, movies and other assorted goodies when their friend is having a bad day. The mom friend is the one person who makes you feel at home and always has helpful words of support. If this fits you, then you may just be the mom friend.

If you were already the mom-friend, you have now been promoted to the grandma-friend. A mom friend that transcends all moms. Who watches moms when moms watch everyone else? The grandma friend. Congratulations. I would recommend taking up crocheting. 

5 Ignore the Tantrums of Other Kids in Public

When you’re childless, it’s easy to pick up on the intrusion of a baby’s cry in your every day life. Whether you’re at the mall or in a movie theater, you can’t help but hear even the slightest wail in the distance when it erupts. You cock your head in the direction of the noise, perhaps even giving an unpleasant look at the parent, who is struggling to tie down their wiggling, wailing blob on the floor. 

You might be annoyed, might sneer, might make a comment to your peers along the lines of “Can’t these people just control their kids?!” before briskly moving on your way.

And then you have kids. Maybe they’re quiet, demure kids. Regardless, the tantrum is inevitable (children are still learning, after all) and when it happens, something ‘clicks’ within you. Something that makes you see the tantrums you oh so frowned upon beforehand seem like a passing breeze. The sight, the noise and maybe the smell depending on the context you’re currently in are just a part of scenery. 

You look for once from the child to the parent, they look at you with an embarrassed, crunched up smile, you give them a look of understanding. A new wave of understanding overcomes you. You have successfully ignored a child’s tantrum in public.  

4 Have Cheerios, Macaroni and Spaghetti As A Bulk of Your Diet

If you’re roughly college age you might give a “Feh!” to this point, but trust us, once you depart from the halls of academic and roll into daily life in adulthood all of a sudden your bad dietary decisions melt away. Suddenly, cooking a meal with vegetables, spices and non canned foodery becomes habit. Your stomach and liver are healthy and everything is at ease. Your new lease on life has started and you’re ready to get your high school body again.

And then suddenly, you have kids. Kids whose television shows are smeared between advertisements of macaroni, Cheerios, spaghetti and Count Chocula. Kids who will wake you up in the middle of the night in hopes that you will indulge with them in some hearty packaged pastas and snacks. 

When you arrive home after a long, long day and hope to cook up something healthy, it won’t be the little voice in the back of your head pleading for you to give into your craving, it will be your children telling you that the ad on tv said it looked yummy. So what do you do when you’re not only too tired to cook but also being persuaded to turn to other means? You grab some bowls, turn on your stove top and dig in.

3 Have Wine in the Dead of Night When Nobody is Around

Now, some non-parents may already engage in this spectacle but that doesn’t stop this from becoming an occasional habit that parents squeeze into their busy lives! Any working adult knows the forays of having to work more than 8 hours a day, regardless of how taxing the physical work is. 

Pair that with picking up the kids, feeding them, talking to them, playing with them, helping them with their homework, getting them to go take a bath and one just wants to say……...enough! This emotional labor really is an extra weight atop the physical.

At the end of the day, you love your kids but boy could you really use a load off your mind. So as they lay snug in their beds, dreaming of Transformers and space aliens, you kick back, take a swig and let the sweet buzz of South Carolina diffuse you.  

2 Plaster Social Media with Pictures of Kids

In your earlier years you would sneer at those yuppie parents, always looking for the slightest opportunity to flash a row of photos of their barely-awake newborn mulled through a dozen or so filters. You may be familiar with the remark “And THIS was taken when we were at….” Before the doting parent jumps into their next tangent about an event that is almost identical to the previous one they expelled from their vocal cord. 

You gaze at the squishy infant, barely looking at the camera as it wears an oversize hat and little featy pajamas. What’s the big deal? The kid doesn’t even know what’s going on, leave it alone!

And then it happens to you. The thing that took roughly 9 months to come to fruition is now here. It’s so perfect, innocent, immaculate – did you really make this? From your parental perspective, it’s some kind of miracle! As you live with your baby you find that it blows you away in newer and newer ways. 

All of a sudden you want to snap a photo every time it wows you or every time you wow yourself dressing it up in peculiar baby clothes. Whether it’s yawning or dressed like a pumpkin, the bottom line is: Your baby is cute…..so why not share that reality with a person or twenty?

1 Say: “You just won’t understand until you’re a parent!”

Long before you become a parent, you’ll likely observe the eccentricities of parents in general. Strange mannerisms, an unfamiliar (perhaps even antique) sense of humor and above all: a unique concern for children. 

You may find yourself staring blankly as you watch parents play little games with babies and regale in bizarre stories where their children have made them run out and about. After a while, you break your silence and finally utter: “Why?”. The parent chuckles and replies “Oh, you won’t get it until you have kids”.

And it’s true. It really is true. You don’t know what it’s like until you’re a parent. Maybe you’ve been a doting older sibling or cousin. Maybe you’ve been an aunt or otherwise older relative. Maybe you’ve known responsibility, but until you became one, you never knew what it was like being a parent. 

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