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8 Things I Never Did Before I Was A Mom

Photograph by Twenty20

The other day, as I returned from dropping our daughter off at school, I said to my husband, "Good thing I didn't get into an accident. I didn't have time to put on a bra this morning."

"How much time does it take to put on a bra?" he asked incredulously. (This from the parent who does not wear one and has taken the child to school exactly once.)

I didn't even bother trying to explain. But I realized going out in public braless is just one of the many things I never did before I became a mom. Let me summarize the most radical changes.

1. Leave the house without a bra

I'd gone sans make up before. But not until I had to rush out the door to get a child to school on time have I ever stepped foot outside of my home without a bra on. At this point—post pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and hitting the big 4-0— it is something I should never, ever even consider doing. But OMIGAWD HURRY UP GET IN THE CAR. The Catholic school students cross the street for mass and, if we're not past that intersection in five minutes, we are SCREWED!

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2. Drink coffee

I don't even like coffee. Never have. I had an occasional, heavily sweetened cup before my daughter was born. Today? I can't function without it. I HAVE to have at least one cup every morning. You know that coffee mug with levels marked off: "Unable to communicate in full sentences," "Slightly more coherent but still unable to hold a conversation," and then, "You may speak"? Yeah, that's me now.

3. Run toward the sound of vomit

Would you ever to think to try to catch vomit in your hands before you were a mom? No, of course you wouldn't. You'd run the other way. Yet every mom has, or will at some point, do it. Including me. And the weird thing is, it didn't even gross me out. I just laughed and said to my husband, "That's motherhood in a nutshell right there."

4. Censor myself

I had such a potty mouth my husband joked if we kept a swear jar during my pregnancy we'd have our daughter's college tuition saved up before she was even born. I also had a penchant for speaking before thinking. Having a child forced me to change both those habits. Which is in no way a bad thing.

I grew up in the kitchen with my mom. I have always loved to cook. Post motherhood? It feels far more like a chore than a joy.

5. Appreciate the value of peeing alone

Years ago, I had a friend tell me I would never pee alone once I had kids. I thought she was joking. Or, at the very least, exaggerating. Today, I would give just about anything to be able to pee in peace. It's one of those things you never truly appreciate until you've lost it.

6. Sing Disney songs at the top of my lungs

A roommate in college had the soundtrack to "The Little Mermaid" and loved singing it. To be honest, I thought it was a little strange. I considered that to be, well, kids' stuff. I have since discovered the therapeutic powers of belting out "Let It Go" as loud as I can in my car. In fact, I think I enjoy it even more than my 6-year-old.

7. Craft

I am not the least bit crafty. I'm pretty sure I had never stepped inside a Michael's or Hobby Lobby before I became a mom. (I'd actually never heard of those stores.) Today, I have a crafting supplies closet in my home that is simultaneously a treasure chest and the bane of my existence. It makes my daughter happy and keeps her occupied for long stretches. But every time she says, "Mom, can we craft?" I have to admit: I cringe.

8. Hate cooking

I grew up in the kitchen with my mom. I have always loved to cook. Post motherhood? It feels far more like a chore than a joy. My husband doesn't even get home from work until after our daughter has gone to bed most nights. He reheats what I cooked and eats alone (because that's when I get to shower). The 6-year-old complains about the smells while I'm cooking and doesn't want to even try half of it. Though there was the one time she declared my oven-fried chicken, "The most balicious [sic] thing ever" and asked me to make it every single night for the rest of her life.

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How about you? What are some of the things you never did before you were a parent?

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Image by Elizabeth Flora Ross

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