Everyday Activities I Didn’t Appreciate Before Becoming a Mom

Everyday Activities I Didn’t Appreciate Before Becoming a Mom

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Everyday Activities I Didn't Appreciate Before Becoming a MomGet a group of new moms together and you’ll undoubtedly hear a collective wail of “If only I had known, I would have savored it when I had the chance!”

Savored what, you ask? The many simple, everyday activities that become a million times more complicated as soon as you add a little one to the mix.

What should have taken five minutes now takes an hour due to the fussy baby on your hip. What once seemed like a boring but necessary part of life now seems like an extravagant luxury.

My best advice for all moms-to-be: Enjoy these while you have the chance!

Everyday Activities I Didn’t Appreciate Before Becoming a Mom

Trips to Target

Before my son came along, I had a habit of popping into Target for a random item or two—say, a new stapler and a pack of tennis balls—and emerging hours later with a stupid grin on my face and six bags hanging from my arms. That stapler and pack of tennis balls quickly turned into a scarf, two cardigans, a pair of flats, a bag of granola, three spiral notebooks, a couple of picture frames, and a throw pillow. It was a complete waste of time and money and I loved it.

Today? I’m in and out and don’t stray from my list, for fear that my son will get hungry, whiney, fussy, or all three before I’ve even gotten past the handbag section.

Eating a Meal in Peace

Mealtimes before kids look drastically different than mealtimes after kids. Last night I popped up from the dinner table no fewer than five times—to refill the sippy cup, to grab my son’s vitamins, to wipe baked beans off the floor before they dried up and stuck there, etc. etc.

The idea of sitting quietly through a drawn-out meal—savoring the food and perhaps engaging my husband in some pleasant small talk—sounds lovely but unlikely to happen anytime soon!

Going to the Gym

Why, oh why did I ever complain about going to the gym? Gone are the days of slowly warming up on the treadmill, then hitting up a spin class before fitting in another fifteen minutes of free weights. “I might as well do one more set of bicep curls,” I would say. “Why not?”

The first time I went to the gym after my son was born, it was a mad dash to fly through the door, get my heart rate up, feel the burn, and race back before he was crying for another meal. Forget warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretches; I was timing myself by the second, for pete’s sake.

Blasting Music in the Car

Is there any better stress-buster than cranking up the tunes and singing your heart out on the freeway? I think not. But with my son in the car, I worry that turning the volume on Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” higher than 15  will bust his eardrums or give him permanent hearing damage.

alarmSaturday Mornings

Moms-to-be, remember this: The concept of “sleeping in on the weekend” is totally lost on babies and toddlers.

My days of spending Saturday mornings lingering in bed—catching up on my book, cuddling with my husband, venturing out from under the covers only to brew a pot of hazelnut coffee—are now but distant memories.

These days, this is what my alarm looks like. Note that it doesn’t say “weekdays,” but rather “every day.” Every. single. day. I figure I might as well get up and going since I know my kid will be doing the same!

What did I miss? What everyday activity do you wish you had savored more before your baby came along? 

19 Comments

  1. Wendy (New Moms Talk)
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:36:57

    My pre-Susanna life was filled with many hopes for welcoming her; therefore, I enjoy my Susanna-filled life greatly now.

    The challenge is making “me alone” time. As an incredibly independent person I miss time alone to just sit and doodle, watch the sunrise, go to the grocery store, and take a drive in silence.

    This is why we do our best to implement daily silent and “own activity” time.”

    Reply

  2. Katie
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:46:37

    It’s amazing how much louder our lives become, isn’t it? Daily quiet time sounds like a very useful idea!

    Reply

  3. Emily Schini Cotton
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 09:17:22

    Watching the news!

    Reply

  4. Angela Gilmore
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 12:06:14

    Going to the movies! We used to go to the movies every week. Sometimes we wouldn’t even look up times, we’d just go and see what was playing when we got there. Now we’ve got to get someone to watch Jack and I’m not at the point where we are doing babysitters who aren’t related yet. You are spot on with your list!

    Reply

    • Katie
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 12:12:44

      Ohhhhh yes, the movies is a good one!

      Reply

  5. dishofdailylife
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 13:05:27

    Peace and quiet. It seems like my life is so loud now. With 3 kids and 7 animals, there is constant noise!

    Reply

  6. Holly Williams Urbach
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 18:45:36

    My kids are 19-28 and sometimes I don’t get to sleep in either! Parenting doesn’t end when your kids become adults.

    Reply

    • Katie
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 19:31:04

      I believe it!

      Reply

  7. Cathy Haynes
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 20:01:22

    I went YEARS without a bubble bath! But now that he is a teenager he is more than happy to leave me alone and I miss being the center of his universe.

    Reply

  8. GiGi Eats Celebrities
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 12:05:55

    Let me tell you, I am not a mom, and I appreciate every single one of these activities more than anything!!!! Those SOLO trips to Target = a DREAM! 🙂

    Reply

  9. Abby McDonald
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 14:59:19

    It’s amazing what being a mom can make us appreciate that we used to take for granted, isn’t it? Great post!

    Reply

  10. Tarana Khan
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:43:34

    I agree with everything on this great list! Funny how moms don’t have any weekends, isn’t it? Isn’t that a basic human right?

    Reply

    • Katie
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 11:08:41

      Haha, so true! Being a mom is like having 4 full-time jobs.

      Reply

  11. Jessie E.
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 09:26:50

    I will savor all of these for now! I know they won’t be around for much longer 🙂

    Reply

  12. Lynn Swayze Wilson
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 23:12:05

    Going to the bathroom/taking a shower alone, the assurance that my mascara won’t end up smeared in someone’s hair (I’m on my 4th tube in two months!!!!), being able to write/read during daylight hours. But I also missed out on the joy of home-from-work hugs and happy dances from my son, seeing my daughter write her own sentences, get cuddles early in the morning, and learning all the life lessons I wouldn’t have learned without the [joy] of kiddos. 🙂 Nice post.

    Reply

    • Katie
      Feb 04, 2014 @ 08:24:07

      AMEN! We trade the little conveniences for mountains and mountains of joy. And note to self: buy extra mascara. 🙂

      Reply

  13. Jenny
    May 30, 2015 @ 22:45:40

    I used to enjoy making a cup of tea and reading…I never get to do that anymore. I try to after my kids are asleep, but 5 minutes in I fall asleep! 🙁 I do enjoy cuddling on the sofa and reading to them instead.

    Reply

  14. Lyndsay
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 01:37:16

    Going to the bathroom, having a shower or applying make up in complete peace!

    Reply

  15. Cherie
    Nov 18, 2015 @ 21:41:38

    popping over to a friends house just to chat. now it requires 10-20 mins prep time (dont forget the diaper bag after checking that it has diapers…and the potty training toddler!) and hoping that my friends teenage daughter is home to help supervise the toddlers (and if not then hoping no one else is using the tv so they can watch their favorite movie when we are there) and figuring out whether or not we need to take the playpen to put the youngest down for bed.

    Reply

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