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7 Things I Can Do Guilt-Free Now That I Have Kids

Photograph by Twenty20

I can't count how many things I do solely because my children want or need it. I would certainly never get up in the middle of the night of my own accord or play Candyland without a child around.

But one thing about having kids is that I have a great excuse to do all sorts of things that I like doing anyway. I mean, who is going to say no to a snack every afternoon around 3? Not me!

Here are a few other things I get to indulge in under the pretense that it's "for the children."

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1. Bow out of any social event

Who needs an excuse when you have children? Don't want to go to that party or dinner or community event? "I can't. The kids. You know." Then I sit at home on the couch and watch a movie while my children snooze in their beds. It's beautiful.

2. Drink whole milk

I've drunk very little milk in my entire life (and before we had kids, my husband and I couldn't even get through a half gallon before it went bad), but then, when my oldest daughter turned 1 and started drinking milk, I discovered the glory of whole milk. And whoa did it change my cookie/cereal/apple eating life. I pretend I keep buying it for my 5th percentile children but really it's because I love that stuff.

3. Swing on the swings

I've always been an avid fan of park swings. The higher the better. But between the ages of 15 and 25, I probably only used one about five times (and probably always with my little nieces and nephews). Now I have a chance to do it several times a week. Wheeeee! Same goes for jumping on the trampoline.

4. Have an afternoon snack when I want. I mean, when they want.

A popsicle every afternoon? Life doesn't get better than that. When I bring out fun snacks, they think I'm an awesome mom. They don't know it's just that I really love Pop Tarts.

5. Go to the pool and not swim

I like to go to the pool, especially now that I live in Arizona and 90 percent of the year is pool weather, but I'm not really into actual swimming and I'm REALLY not into pool games like Marco Polo or Sardines. In fact, sitting on the steps with my feet in the water and a baby on my lap is basically my ideal pool trip. And if I let my husband dive or swim laps, then I look like a super considerate wife, even though I'd be doing the same thing even if he wasn't swimming or playing water volleyball.

6. Not setting an alarm

It's not like I get much opportunity to sleep in, but after years of work and school that required me to wake up to a BEEP BEEP BEEP, it's pretty nice to wake up to the little voices of children I love instead. And when they do occasionally sleep in, there's nothing more glorious than looking at the clock and realizing it is 7:55 a.m. (On the downside, this has made me even more grumpy about the rare times that I do have to set an alarm).

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7. Jammies at 7:15

My girls go to bed at 7:30, so obviously by that time the night has started and it's absolutely reasonable to be in my pajamas when they get in theirs. And of course I'm really doing it so that they'll want to put on their PJs. Right? Right.

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