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How Motherhood Turns Things You Used to Dread Into a Freaking Spa Day

Photograph by Twenty20

Lots of things change when you step into the role of being a parent. The hours of sleep you get at night plummets, your well-organized bathroom turns into a free-for-all and you constantly have crumbs on your kitchen floor no matter how many times you sweep.

On the upside, motherhood also makes you appreciate some things you might have dreaded before.

Getting an oil change

Before kids, I was really put out when I had to sit and wait for an hour for my oil to be changed. I always pushed my cars to the very maximum amount of mileage before another oil change was in order or made my husband take the cars in so I didn't have to sit in a dingy waiting room for an hour. Now when we have an oil change due, I gladly volunteer and delight in the fact that I will have a full hour to sit by myself and browse through the six-month-old magazines that are all still new to me.

Flying by myself

I love to travel, but the plane flight wasn't the most exciting part of the trip by any stretch of the imagination. Now, when I get a solo flight, I jump for joy and possibly head to the airport three hours before my flight. It’s a rare luxury to enjoy a 4-ounce cup of soda and six pretzels without having to share with anyone else or worry about it spilling all over my lap.

Doctor and dentist appointments

Routine doctor and dentist appointments used to be bothersome—and still are if I have to take the kids with me. But sans kids, it means I don’t have to be on germ control, ensure they aren’t pulling everything out of the drawers, banging on the keyboards or touching the stirrups that are apparently on every exam room table. I get to kick back, thumb through all of the magazines, revel when it takes a long time and actually listen to what the doctor or dentist is telling me.

Things have definitely changed.

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping has always been a chore, but now when I get an unaccompanied trip to the grocery store—or any store for that matter—I'm beyond excited. I browse through the aisles for stuff that isn’t on my list, look at a few nutrition labels and even take some time to decide between the name brand and generic brand of angel hair pasta. And if I need to buy myself a little snack at the checkout counter, no one asks to share it and I don't have to buy five candy bars.

The gym

I haven’t always looked forward to going to the gym. Pre-kids, it took some serious effort to drag myself there. Now if I get the chance to head to the gym by myself, it’s a no-brainer. I don’t have to dress and put shoes on a bunch of other bodies, buckle a million people in the car or pack any snacks. All it requires is throwing on some workout clothes, tossing my hair into a ponytail and maybe brushing my teeth. I might take an hour to walk 1.5 miles, but, hey, exercise.

Hair appointments

It feels so nice to have my hair freshly done with new highlights and a trim. However, the whole process is time consuming and pre-motherhood, I would often grumble about how long it would take. Things have definitely changed. I really look forward to each and every appointment when someone is pampering me a bit and I get a solid couple of hours of uninterrupted adult conversation while thumbing through the latest celebrity gossip.

Basically, anything from my past that used to feel like a chore now feels like the greatest luxury on the planet. Motherhood is really a perspective-changer, isn't it?

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