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?