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4 Things I Appreciate More Since Becoming a Mom

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Photograph by Twenty20

Before becoming a mom, there were a lot of things I took for granted. Now that I’m a parent, I bask in the glory of those little things I never thought twice about. Here are four things I appreciate more since becoming a mom.

1. Sleep

I rarely took naps before the kids came along. In fact, I remember pulling double duty at work, hanging out with friends and feeling fine the next day. But these days I don’t sleep as much, and the effects of not being able to get any rest makes me delirious.

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There have been times when I’d be so exhausted that I wouldn’t remember a thing. (Mommy brain, anyone?) Between our kids refusing to go to bed and our 2-year-old son waking up in the middle of the night to go potty, it's tough to get a moment to lie down, much less sleep.

There have been times when I'd be driving along the highway and forget where I was and where I was going. That’s why I appreciate and take full advantage of any moment where I can sleep. I also work it into my schedule during the day. With the constant demands of parenthood, sleep helps me get through each day.

The mere silence of listening to my basement boiler is like music to my ears.

2. Exercise

I used to pass the time by working out. If I had nothing else going on for the day, I’d head to the gym. I’d spend about two hours on average there. Now visiting the gym has become a rare and special treat. I’m usually juggling two kids or incorporating them into my workouts. Needless to say, I never really get to exercise alone. If I can get even a half hour free to go and do cardio, it's cause for a celebration.

3. Eating healthy

I’ve always had a sweet tooth growing up. I didn’t always make healthy food choices. But once I knew I had a bun in the oven, I did my best to follow a healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in a sweet treat every now and then. But since I planned to breastfeed, I wanted to give my babies a healthy start. I realize that I was also setting an example and wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle. As it turns out, I enjoy eating fruits and veggies and have cut back on the junk food. Not only does my family benefit, but my body does, too. In fact, following a healthy diet has helped me lose all the baby weight.

4. Me time

I never thought I would enjoy being alone as much as I do now. Having time alone is almost impossible. Most days I can’t even go to the bathroom alone, not to mention it sounds like a zoo at home everyday. So you can imagine, the mere silence of listening to my basement boiler is like music to my ears.

Before kids, being alone was boring. These days I relish in the fact that I can have “me time.” Sometimes I’ll even escape the clutches of my little ones to be by myself and go for a walk. Does this make me a bad mommy? I hope not. Being alone once in a while gives me time to recharge. Because believe me, operating on fumes with two busy little ones will drive you crazy.

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So whenever expectant moms ask me for advice, I tell them get some rest because soon that will be a rare occasion. Follow a healthy diet and exercise because your baby needs it and you'll need all the energy you can get. Last but certainly not least, enjoy time alone because soon you won’t even have time in the bathroom by yourself.

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