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20 Ways I’m Different After Having Kids

Photograph by Instagram

Life changes after you have babies. You feel different. You look different. You do things differently. It’s a good different though (well, with some bad differents thrown in). It’s sort of like you’ve been put into a blender and then poured out into a different form, like a coffee mug, or a sippy cup. It’s still you. Just a little rearranged.

Yes those kids, they change you. And though I wouldn’t want it any other way, I’m not quite the same after having kids. Here’s how.

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1. I drink more coffee.

Before I had kids, I drank a cup of coffee a day, and not even every day. And then sleep training happened. Or rather, failure to sleep train happened. So I now drink my sleep from a mug three times a day.

2. I can’t eat certain foods anymore.

Somehow, I cannot stomach certain foods that I used to love to put down. I still crave them, but my body has switched it up on me and rejects any attempt at their enjoyment. The most devastating of all the foods my bowels have banned is avocado. Prior to having babies, I was loving that green mushy stuff, smearing it on everything. And now, one bite of guacamole sends me to the guacotoilet.

3. I don’t chew my food as much.

I’m not sure if this is because I don’t have time to waste on chewing or if I’m just too tired to chew too many times or if it’s a deeper psychological problem that has been triggered by having children.

4. My hair is wavy now.

I had very straight hair until I had my first baby. Now it’s like I have permanent shock waves in my hair. Having children shocked the “straight” out of my hair.

5. I respect my body more.

I treat my body better. I eat better food. I drink less. I work out smarter. I see what the female body can do, and how strong it can be, and I’ve got mad respect for it. And by “what it can do” I mean, we can push baby humans out of our vaginas, ladies!!!!

6. My boobs are droopy half-moon skin purses. Made with distressed leather.

They would totally fit in, slung over my shoulder, at Coachella.

7. My mask of pregnancy became my face of life.

I like to think of it as part of my superhero identity now. And my powers are being able to put a toddler to sleep and to sit through a whole episode of "Caillou" without punching my own face.

8. I am more confident and secure.

I can raise little human beings, keep them alive, and they are happy most of the time. That gives me confidence. And having those little human beings love you, want to be with you and call you “mommy” makes me as secure and confident as I’ll ever be.

9. I eat more Gogurt.

In fact, I get real cranky if we’re out of the Sponge Bob cotton candy flavor.

10. I eat less restaurant food.

Duh! This is because I go to restaurants less often now, but also when I manage to get to a restaurant, I eat less because it’s difficult to eat when your toddler is throwing a tantrum and garlic knots at your forehead. And also when everyone around you hates you.

11. My hips are wider.

Thanks for that.

12. I live in the moment more often.

I know how quickly time flies now. I see a growing reminder of it daily. One day your son is a teeny little peanut, not even able to hold his own head up with his itty-bitty neck, but then you turn around and he’s 12 taking down two Double Doubles at a time and leaving his dirty socks shoved into the couch cushions. I do my best to be present and soak up the beauty of every (most) moments.

13. I meditate more.

I have more incentive to be a balanced, positive person. To be an example of love and patience in my children’s life. Meditation helps me keep everything in perspective and to stay grounded and centered. It also keeps me from losing my mind and from turning to chocolate donuts to cope.

14. My sense of smell is less sharp.

I think it’s called PTPFYBSS or Post Traumatic Pregnancy and First-Year Baby Smells Syndrome.

15. I poop less often.

Mostly because I just lack the opportunity to go more.

16. I shower less often.

See above.

17. My feet are bigger.

Yeah, my feet spread with my pregnancy and never went back. That extra weight and those loose ligaments changed my shoe size after having my first baby. Cons to that: Goodbye, old shoes. Pros to that: Hello, new shoes!

18. I smile more.

I smile most of the day — even when I’m tired, even when I’m angry or frustrated, even when there is toddler poop smeared across the carpet. The smile gets the most play on my face every day.

19. I get motion sickness.

I was all for crazy, whirly, whiplashy carnival rides before I had the two peewees. Now, even navigating a cul-de-sac makes me want to hurl.

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20. I say "Thank you" more often.

I say “Thank you” more often because I have so much more for which to be thankful. I say it in those loud, wild, fun moments spent with my family as well as utter it under my breath as I lie awake in bed at night. There are many ups and downs, challenges and triumphs, but having children has opened up my world to so much love, joy and laughter that I can’t help but try to be in a constant state of gratitude.

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