5 Things You Must Do Before Having Kids- Guest Author Toni Hammer

I feel really silly saying this, but your life will never be the same once you have kids.

Duh.

Everything changes. Your sleep habits, eating habits, hygiene, skinny
jeans, it all gets destroyed once children enter your life. And, yes,
they’re cute and funny and challenging and awesome, but dude. My life
will never be the same.

I was thinking back to my pre-kid days–days I thought I would always
have since I never planned on having kids in the first place–and I’ve
come up with five things you MUST do before you have kids or even get
pregnant. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already have
kids, so be kind and pass it along to your kid-less friends. Even
though they won’t take you seriously, at some point you’ll be able to
say, “I told you so.”

1. Stay up late. I mean super late. We’re talking 3
or 4 a.m. late. I don’t care if you have to go to work the next day or
church or if you’re just “so tired.” You don’t know what tired is until
you have a teething baby who wasn’t sleeping more than 45 minutes at a
time to begin with, and now he hasn’t even thought about sleep since
last Wednesday. Once you have kids, you will be shocked at how
productive and coherent you can be on such little sleep. Stop being
responsible and stay up late just because you can and not because your
toddler has decided 1 a.m. is the perfect hour to play with her toy
kitchen.

2. Sleep in. I know this sounds kind of contrary to
number one, but it’s totally different, I promise. Sleeping in, for me,
used to be sleeping until 9 or 10 in the morning. I’d wake up in a fog,
roll over, doze for a few more minutes, then slowly stretch and yawn and
think, “Wow. I am so well-rested. That was great.” Now? Now sleeping in
is 6:30 a.m. if I’m super lucky and my son is going through a growth
spurt or something crazy. Sleep the day away guilt free. You have this
bedraggled mother’s permission.

3. Eat every hot meal you can. I’ve been eating
lukewarm to freezing cold food for a couple years now and, let me tell
you, chicken and dumplings isn’t so good once it’s been sitting
untouched for a couple hours. Yes, I can microwave it, but it’s not the
same. I miss having piping hot meals right after they come out of the
oven. The freshness is something I now only dream about. You, too, will
miss hot meals once kids are around, screaming, throwing their own
dinner at each other, needing to be changed, needing to be entertained,
needing you to be doing anything but eating your hot meal. Eat
everything hot. Meatloaf, cereal, ice cream, whatever.

4. Keep your house clean. I know right now you think
you don’t have time or that it’s “clean enough.” Your standards of
cleanliness change drastically once kids are destroying your home like unwanted house guests.
I used to spend an entire weekend making my house absolutely spotless.
Now, most nights I look at my ravaged house littered with paper towel
scraps, plastic utensils, bread crumbs, and greasy fingerprints
everywhere and think, “If I clean it all now, it’ll just return
tomorrow, so… may as well save myself the effort and go to bed for two
hours.” Clean your house as often as you can and revel in the pristine
walls which aren’t decorated with spaghetti sauce, the floors that
aren’t dusted with crushed Cheerios, and the bathroom that doesn’t look
like Mr. Rubber Ducky had a drunken frat party with all his bath toy
friends.

5. Enjoy the silence. I know we live in a time where
we have media, music, and general noise available to us at all times.
Turn it off. Turn off the T.V. Turn off the iPod. Turn off your phone.
Just sit and let the only sound you hear be your own breathing. Savor
it. You hear that? That’s sweet silence. There are no “Uh oh’s” being
uttered followed by loud crashes. There are no yells of, “Mine! No!”
echoing across your tattered apartment. There is nothing but you sitting
in your clean house, with a hot meal, at 2 a.m., enjoying the quiet
before making your way into bed and sleeping until Noon.

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Toni Hammer never planned on having kids, but she’s now a stay-at-home mom to Lillian and Levi who were born 355 days apart because the universe has an awesome sense of humor  She chronicles her mommy misadventures at Is It Bedtime Yet? and a book of the same name is being pitched to publishers right this very second. She’s a Scary Mommy contributor, freelancer for Babble, Huffington Post blogger, and expert Top Chef watcher. If you’re a fellow social media addict, you can find her trying to be funny on Facebook and Twitter. She loves food she doesn’t have to cook, and drowns her mommy guilt in copious amounts of coffee and Diet Coke.

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