Appreciate ap·pre·ci·ate /əˈprēSHēˌāt/ v. 1. recognize the full worth of.
Parenthood is life changing, and I’ve come to realize that there were little things that I tended to overlook before I was a mother. In fact, now that I’m closing in on a decade of motherhood, there are so many little things that I really never fully appreciated until now.
Here’s 10 Things I Appreciate (like a Mother):
1. Sleep – You may be thinking, ‘Okay, well that’s obvious! Even people without kids know that sleep is one of the things you miss out on once you become a parent!’ But I’m not just talking about the total sleep deprivation that’s experienced when you have a newborn. No, I’m talking about what becoming a parent has done to my overall sleep pattern. My kids are now 9, 7 and 5 years old, and there’s rarely a night that I go to sleep without waking. I hear every cough, bump, snore, or stuffed animal hitting the floor. Even worse is the rare, and I mean r-a-r-e, occasion that I’m sleeping somewhere without my kids, I even have trouble sleeping just because they aren’t around. What type of ironic twisted shit is that?! 2. My old fat pants – Over the last decade I’ve outgrown some of my favorite pants. Unfortunately, when I say that I’ve outgrown them, I don’t mean that I’ve gotten taller. I also don’t mean that we’ve grown apart emotionally and are both on different paths in life. No, I mean that my favorite pair of fat pants, a comfortable pair of boot cut Lucky jeans to be exact, once my go-to pants for days when I over-indulged or was suffering from PMS now look like tight pair of skinny jeans. 3. My vagina – Listen, I’m going to spare you the details, and just refer you to my chapter in the best-selling humor anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. When you finish laughing at my busted lady parts, feel free to read it to your teen-aged daughters as a means of birth control.
4. Silence – One day I know that I’ll be wishing my home was filled with the sound of my children’s laughter, and perhaps it will be one of those things that I’ll appreciate later, but living in the now, I often dream of quiet. Along with the laughter echoing through my halls, there’s often yelling, shrieking, the sound of things breaking and the very distinct sound of my home depreciating in value. I try each day to have quiet times, but the silence never lasts very long. Outside of that, if my kids catch me just sitting in a room that has a TV that isn’t turned on, I get questions like, “Why is the TV off? Is it broken?” Kids hate quiet. That’s a fact.
5. Books – I’d still consider myself an avid reader, however it would probably be more accurate to describe myself as someone who wishes they were an avid reader. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot every day – board books, recipes, blogs I love, blogs that relate to my work, etc. What I don’t read is anything for pleasure if it’s longer than 5-10 pages. I mean, look at what I had to do to read the other chapters in I Just Want to Pee Alone!
6. Coffee – I am not now, nor have I ever been a morning person. Before kids I might have told you that I chose to drink coffee in the mornings. Now, there’s really not a choice.
7. Vacations – When you have young kids, there are no vacations. If you’re like us, you travel to a vacation destinations, but you find that resting and relaxing are no longer part of the equation. There’s lots of planning, packing, and spending, and generally at some point a lack of sleep, patience and funds. So if you know a word that would better describe traveling far from home, while spending lots of money so kids can sleep less and complain more, I’m all ears. Vacation no longer seems fit. Most of my trips, even the one’s with the best intentions, end up turning into a Lord of the Flies scenario anyway. Spoiler: I’m always Piggy.
8. Ignorant Bliss (B.M. Level) – It’s difficult at times for me to remember, but there was a period in my life that I wasn’t down with O.P.P. (Other People’s Poop). Those years were marked by days on end where the the only bowel movements I were cognizant of were my own. I didn’t know all the crappy details of anyone’s poos (as in consistency and frequency of) like I do today. Thankfully, I was also only responsible for wiping my own ass, and for that I am (only now) truly grateful.
9. Music – I wasn’t sure there was anything worse than The Wiggles, but then I was introduced to Kidz Bop. This, dear friends, is not music. I’m not sure what it is, but while we’re looking for a new word for vacation, someone quick come up with something more accurate to describe the murder of pop songs sung by kidz that I’m forced to listen to again and again and again and again and again.
10. My bladder – Just like my ignorant bliss when it came to other people’s poop, this is just one of those things I had no concept of losing. I could never have fully appreciated my bladder until I began losing control over it. I’m not just talking about sneezing either. You’ll catch me crossing my legs when I cough, laugh and yell. I also say a quick silent prayer if I have to skip, run, or jump because there’s a pretty good chance I could piddle.
I think we can all agree there’s something to the old adage ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,’ but if nothing else parenthood has taught me, it’s almost always just a phase…
What would you add? Are there things you can only really appreciate now that you’re a parent? Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!
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