Children change everything. I know we hear this all of the time, especially from advertisers looking to sell newer, safer vehicles and softer, gentler laundry detergents. The sentiment is captured in all sorts of Hallmark moments too. It’s said and heard time and time again because it is so damn true: children change everything.
If you’re having a shitty day, so what? Suck it up because there are shitty diapers to be changed and that is so much more important – and oddly wonderful. My children are hands down the greatest gifts in my life, but there’s also some realities that new mothers must accept. To begin, the dishes will not always get done when you want, and the laundry might be backed up. Housework basically becomes an exercise in futility. Earlier this week, I managed to scrub, mop, dust, vacuum, and even clean the sliding screen doors. While my daughter napped, I had an immaculate home. Now, I have handprints on the glass and Lego Duplos scattered all over the living room floor; however, I also have a very happy little child.
With young children, one must also accept that sleep and sex are going to become infrequent activities. Oh, the joy of being moments away from orgasm to hear the wailing of a child coming loud and clear across the baby monitor. It’s over; accept it. (Baby Mommas – I know you know what I’m talking about.) Sleep is also often interrupted and time to accomplish your own tasks is quite rare. Yesterday, however, I did find some time to work on my son’s baby memory book. At the back of the book is a page for both the mother and father to write a note to their child. I’m not going to lie; I was a bit tempted to record the following message: “Dear Son, I would really like a nap. Love, your mother.”
Your friends and family are no longer interested in you; they just want to see the babies. They will ignore your new hair cut or recent weight loss, but will notice things like, “Oh, did you just trim his fingernails?” If you have a difficult time dealing with this and view this particular problem as the most serious concern of raising children, then you really need to get over yourself bitch. Why did you have babies?
Here are a few other facts: If you leave the dog food where your daughter can reach it, she will participate in a Purina taste test. Sometimes your children will be so proud of their poop that they will remove a piece from their diapers and try passing it to you. Little boys will most definitely pee on you during diaper changes.
You might also have to accept the fact that some mornings you will find a hot dog in your shower. This morning, upon entering the shower (a luxury you can also no longer expect every day), I stepped upon something small. I looked down to find that my daughter had thrown some of her plastic food into the shower stall, and there lay a hot dog and a red pepper. “Honey, why is there a hot dog in the shower?” is a phrase I have never before uttered in my life. Children absolutely change everything, and I so absolutely love those children.