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Little Things You Can't Do After Having a Baby

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Photograph by Twenty20

Having a baby changes everything. All of a sudden, you're not living life just for yourself anymore. I think we all have an idea of the major ways in which that alters your life.

But can we talk about the little ways that life changes? Sometimes, all those little things can feel like quite a bit to take in as you acclimate to new life with kids. Here are some of the less consequential but still irksome modifications motherhood makes in us all:

1. Eating at kid-unfriendly restaurants

Sure, you can still go to restaurants. But more likely than not you'll be going to family-friendly ones that would not have been your first choice back in the childfree days. Do I wish I could go to that intimate, dimly lit Indian place that makes the best lamb korma? Definitely. Will my toddler turn her nose up at even the most basic of dishes there? Definitely. The last thing I want to do is to have to make a meal for a child once we get home because she didn't eat anything at the restaurant. Suddenly a laminated menu doesn't seem so bad.

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2. Staying up past midnight

Technically, you can do this. But be prepared to look like a complete wreck the next morning. Our kids make us early risers, whether we're morning people or not. That means that many of us have to shut down come 10 p.m. In college, I could stay up all night and rock an exam the next morning. Or I'd stay up with friends because someone decided they wanted to watch the sunrise. You know, kid-free stuff. Not anymore.

3. Caffeine-free days

Before I became a mom, I never drank coffee or tea. My secret was always having plenty of sleep and, well, you know how that goes. Now I drink a strong cup of tea each morning and can feel its magic take over. Ah, that's better.

Our kids make us early risers, whether we're morning people or not.

4. Sick days

Remember the days we were sick and felt terrible but could curl up on the couch in a robe and watch daytime TV with tissues and orange juice? Those were the days! Now when we get sick, we still have to take care of our kids. I might still end up watching Netflix with my kid, but it's probably going to be Daniel Tiger.

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5. Finishing books

Am I the only one who's in the middle of reading about three books at any time? Quiet time around the house is hard to come by, so I end up doing my reading in those in-between moments. Every time I check out a book from the library I think to myself, "I will finish this before the due date." I still have 100 pages to go on Paulo Coelho's “The Alchemist.” Wish me luck.

6. Carefree shoe shopping

Before I was a mom, shopping for shoes meant leisurely strolls around the city looking for the perfect pair of heels for some romantic date. I had time to browse, indulge. Now shoe shopping means fumbling over my daughter trying to get her squirmy feet into a new pair. No, we're not here for hot pink cowgirl boots, we're here for sensible sandals, do you hear me?

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