Kids change your life, in more ways than I could ever put in one post here. I think we all know that, even before we have them.
But I was still surprised by some of the habits I developed when I was pregnant and when I had a baby, habits that never went away. I kept waiting…but now that it’s been more than 5 years, I figure they’re here to stay. Here are 7 things I never did before kids, and now I can’t stop.
You know the side-to-side sway you do when you pick up a baby? It doesn’t go away. I still do it every time. And sometimes when I’m watching someone else hold a baby. I was once with a group of parents — only one of us was holding a baby but all of us were swaying.
2. Waking up to go to the bathroom
When I was first pregnant, and started waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I remember thinking, “Once I have this baby, I’ll be able to sleep through the night again.” (Stop laughing.) And of course as the baby got bigger and better at using my bladder as a punching bag, I got up even more often at night. And then he was born, and every night since I’ve still had to get up. Every. Single. Night.
3. Talking to strangers
Before I had kids, my grocery shopping was quick and purposeful. I don’t think I was rude, but I kept to myself, got what I needed, and got out. I’m not an outgoing person, really. But then I had kids and realized babies are kind of community property. Strangers talk to you about them. People make faces at them in the checkout line. They ask personal questions they would never ask adults (“How old is he?” “She’s so chubby! How much does she weigh?”) I don’t mind the comments, and after a day being around a baby that doesn’t talk, I found my answers getting longer and longer. I went from introverted to not shutting up. People got stuck in conversations with me and started looking panicked and trying to politely get away. I definitely strike up more conversations now with random people (and to anyone ever behind me in a grocery store line: I’m sorry. I’m trying to stop.)
4. The c-section situp
The morning after I had my c-section, the nurse spent about 10 minutes helping me practice getting out of bed. For those of you who know, you roll to one side, push up with your hands, slide your legs down and slowly stand up. The point is to use your stomach muscles as little as possible. Five years later, I still get out of bed this way. I even do situps at the gym–not regularly, mind you, but I can do them–but I still roll out of bed without sitting up. Weird.
5. Crying during cheesy commercials
I used to love cheesy commercials…because it’s such fun to mock them. I like mocking stuff. And now? Now I’m a sucker for every commercial where the son comes home dressed in his fatigues on Christmas Eve and it’s snowing and there’s a puppy. Shut up. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
My kids are all out of diapers, and no longer have sippy cups, and half of them are cutting their own meat with actual steak knives. But I still move glasses away from the edge of the table, and put breakable stuff up high when we visit people, and sometimes I forget myself and try to cut up the kids’ food for them. It’s possible I’ll be doing this for them when they’re 20.
I remember, when my babies were sick, thinking it would be nice when they were older and I wouldn’t worry so much. Wrong. I still worry so much. About some of the same things, and some new things I hadn’t realized I’d worry about. Shoot, I even still worry every time they’re sick. I’m pretty sure the worrying isn’t ever going to stop.
Did you develop any habits after having babies that never went away?