I'm 27 and I'm a mom to a darling 7 month old named Zia and this is my list of things that have changed ever since our little one came into our life. This list though is on top of the given or profound ones like being more responsible, wiser, more practical, more prayerful, etc. This is just a rundown of the mundane things that being a parent has done to me. I hope somehow this will give parents-to-be a sneak peek into the wonderful (sometimes challenging) world of parenthood.
Since having a kid...
1) Hand washing has become an addiction and a pack of baby wipes is my security blanket
I have issues with dirty stuffy, like most people I assume. But since I gave birth, I think I have never washed my hands as often in my whole life. I think my hands are now so dry from constant washing and application of alcohol. If I could baby wipe everything Zia lays her hands on I would. One time, at the mall, I found myself baby wiping the sofa, high chair, baby changer and the list actually goes on. But yes, cleanliness is really important for everyone, especially little ones since their bodies aren't as fully developed to help them fight off whatever bacteria they come across with.
2) We've mastered the art of watching TV w/o sounds
Our little girl is 'magugulatin'. When she's asleep, even the faintest sound would wake her up so just so we have a semblance of normalcy, the TV is on but it's usually on mute. So to enjoy his games or shows while Zia is sleeping in our room, my husband bought those big headphones. Hehe. True enough though, a picture really paints a thousand words, since I don't get lost in the story even without the sounds.
3) Our choice of restaurant is based on seating comfort
Of course, this only applies when we have Zia with us. We've stopped deciding where to eat based on our cravings, but based on the seats. We need a comfortable space where we could put Zia's baby bag, position her stroller or sometimes her carrier. We prefer being seated in booths or the ones with couches since there are times I need to change Zia's nappy ASAP.
4) I have become a night owl
Although I was never a person who loved sleeping, I never thought I could stay up even in the wee hours of the morning. We haven't struck our fortune yet in having Zia sleep through the night, so she wakes up around 3 times after midnight to feed. I don't think I've slept for 6 hours straight ever since I gave birth. But yes, I am optimistic that it will just be a matter of time when Zia finally learns to sleep through the night.
5) Mothercare, Gingersnaps, Peppermint, Baby Gap, Zara baby have replaced Forever 21
Yup, being the shopaholic I am, it wasn't hard to give up going inside my favorite store and buying a new ensemble because I have found my new loves - baby stores where they sell the cutest stuff. Hehe. Maybe if we had a boy the baby shopping would have been less, still a lot, but less. =p
6) My tolerance for all things icky has gone way up (Warning: Slightly gross)
I was never the cringe-y type of person when I see poop, but I was also never the type of person who'd willingly touch poop. But since Zia came, I had no issues having my hands dabbed in baby poop. The smell of poop is also one of the smells I have come to terms with while others I suspect might want to gag. The smell of our cute little one's poop is crazy I tell you. Haha. Sorry if this part grossed you out.
7) Accessorizing has gone down to the bare minimum
I love piling up stuff on my left arm - I used to have a watch, my Yabang Pinoy bracelet, my wooden beads bracelet, and my leatherette bracelet all in my tiny wrist, but I found that it hurts Zia's neck when I carry her or cradle her to breastfeed. So those had to go away. And now, Zia has found a fascination for tugging on my necklace when I carry her so I had to temporarily say goodbye to my gold necklace with a cross pendant which I've been wearing for the past 8 years (it was gift from the husband, then boyfriend). So the only accessories I wear when we're out with Zia are just my two rings - my engagement ring and my wedding ring.
I know all these are just temporary changes since our little girl is growing up fast and slowly things will go back to normal - or maybe even better than how it used to be. So there, I hope this list helps somehow. But please don't get me wrong, these changes may seem a bit on the hmm... not positive side, but the payoff is definitely more than worth it; because these changes wouldn't have come about if we weren't gifted with the best gift ever - our sweet pea, our sweetheart and the love of our life, Zia. And she makes everything meaningful and worth it.