Before I had kids I took so many mundane tasks for granted. Staying home and watching 4 kids has taught me a valuable lesson about appreciating the simple things in life. Below I have compiled a list of some of the things I used to take for granted.
Going to bathroom
Long gone are the days when I could just get up and go to the bathroom without a care in the world. Now I either have kids in the bathroom with me, have kids banging down the door to try to get in with me or I’m hurrying as fast as I possibly can in hope that the house isn’t on fire when I come out.
Eating all of my own food
There was a time once when I could eat all of my own food. Now every time I sit down to eat there are 4 tiny humans that appear with their mouths open and eat half my food.
Leaving things out
I have to think twice when I’m going to bed at night to make sure I don’t leave something out that I don’t want the kids getting into in the morning. Dirty plate and knife on coffee table from a midnight snack? Stack of folded laundry on the floor? If I leave it out, they are guaranteed to get into it.
Why don’t my kids understand Saturdays are for sleeping in? I think they actually wake up earlier on the weekends. Is it too much to ask that you at least wait until the sun is up? Oh how I miss sleeping in!
Leaving the house with only my wallet, phone & keys
I used to travel light, I didn’t need much. Now with 4 kids I need a pack mule to carry all the stuff that kids require. It’s mind boggling how much stuff you need to bring along to be prepared
Walking out of house into car in less than 5 minutes
I used to be able to go from sitting in my living room la-z-boy rocking chair to backing out of my drive way in under 20 seconds. Now that I have kids the 30 steps from the house to the car are more like a wild expedition. Who will run the opposite direction of the car? Who needs to go back into the house for something they forgot? Who needs to stop and count ants along the way? Who wants to just start crying for no reason? Who is going to refuse to put on their seat-belt? Or worse, who is going to insist on putting on their seat-belt without any help and taking 12 times as long? I just want to walk to the car and leave. Is that too much to ask?
I actually used to dislike drive-thrus. I’d park and go inside. Drive-thrus made me feel rushed and I just enjoyed the more pleasant close face to face interaction. But now? Forget about it. I’m not schlepping 4 kids in and out of a car if I don’t have to. I’ll drive 20 minutes out of my way to go to a drive-thru.
Day Dreaming/Zoning Out
Occasionally I like to just mentally check out, take a little trip in my mind to some far away place where I can ponder deep philosophical questions. Such as: can they combine a knife with a spork? But alas, if I’m not on high mental alert around my kids we are likely going to be taking a trip to the emergency room. It is so mentally taxing to always have to keep track of all of them.
Back when it was just my wife and me, we could make a meal and eat it for 3 nights. Now with 4 kids we’re lucky if we make enough. Leftovers don’t exist anymore. I miss leftovers.
Spontaneously going out
I can’t go out and do anything on a whim now. It takes days of delicate childcare preparations to be able to leave the house.
I used to remember times when I’d sit on my couch and listen to the clock on the wall ticking. Now I can’t even hear myself thinking. I don’t understand how such tiny little humans can make such excessive amounts of noise.
Alone time with my wife
Before the kids it was just the two of us all the time. Now we can hardly find time to be one on one. The time after bedtime has become our only real hang-out time.
So that’s my list of things I used to take for granted. What are some things you’ve taken for granted?
EDIT: Two days after I wrote this post, I realized that I was probably taking some things for granted in my life right now and didn’t even realize it. I didn’t want to look back in a couple years and have to write another “Things I used to take for granted” post. So I vowed to start appreciating certain things in my life. I strongly encourage you to check it out: Why I Appreciate Wiping Bottoms.
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