Welcome to the world of parenthood: the land where sleep is a luxury, and your social life begins to revolve around play dates and coffee catch-ups. Consider five ways your life changes when you have kids.
Less Time Means Savoring Little Moments
Time is a new parent’s nemesis, yet it also becomes the most valuable commodity in your life. Gone are the days when your weekends consisted of leisurely brunches or Netflix binges. Soon, your calendar will fill up with pediatrician appointments, first music lessons, and birthday parties. Embrace the chaos, make the most of your newly acquired multi-tasking skills, and savor those quiet moments when they come.
New Friends and Shifting Social Dynamics
Your friendships may change, but many will also make friends with other new parents. Conversations centered around the latest movies and parties morph into comparing diaper brands and trading ideas about how to turn a pickup truck into a family-friendly car. Surround yourself with like-minded companions who understand your new priorities and don’t underestimate the power of swapping parenting advice over a coffee.
A New Respect for Your Parents
Parenthood brings an epiphany that your parents, too, were once sleep-deprived, doting, and overwhelmed new parents. Suddenly, you have a newfound appreciation for everything they did, from changing your diapers to enduring your teenage angst. Now is the perfect time to strengthen your relationship with your parents by reaching out for advice and sharing precious moments with your child’s grandparents.
Some say that sleep is for the weak, but every new parent knows that sleep deprivation is real and ruthless. Let the household chores slide and prioritize rest when you can. Embrace the mantra “sleep when the baby sleeps,” and don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members so that you can catch a few precious hours of shut-eye.
Priorities: A Different Focus
Parenting inevitably shifts your life’s focus, and the things that once seemed paramount fade into the background. Nights out shift to become bedtime routines, and work emails give way to baby milestones. It’s OK for your priorities to adjust—enjoy the new experiences and challenges that come with parenthood. Soon, you’ll learn to enjoy putting yourself second to your child’s needs.
Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding, challenging, and life-altering experiences anyone can embark on. As you adjust to these five ways that your life changes when you have kids, remember to lean on support networks, share your experiences, and embrace the joy of watching your child grow and thrive.