If you had asked me five years ago what came to mind when I thought of the word luxury, I probably would've replied with something to the effect of fancy cars, big houses, spa days and eye lash extensions. (What I wouldn't give for some eyelash extensions!)
But now that I have three children ages 4 and under, my answer would look a little (OK, a lot) different. There are certainly some obvious things that seem like luxuries once you become a parent (i.e. sleep and a tidy house), but there are quite a few that sort of took me by surprise.
1. Grooming myself ... and just myself
In my mind, clean hair and a dab of lipstick was simply one of those unalienable human rights—common decency really.
In my pre-parenting days, I never considered shaving my legs or tweezing my eyebrows to be a luxury. It was just one of those time-consuming necessities in life that must be done. In my mind, clean hair and a dab of lipstick was simply one of those unalienable human rights—common decency really. And then I had children and the grooming all went to hell.
It's not that I don't care anymore, but honestly after dressing and grooming three children for the day, I just really lack the motivation to groom another person ... even if that person is myself. Certainly I don't enjoy looking like a frump, but my will is weak and I also know that if I spend those five extra minutes putting on makeup, my kids will destroy my living room, my son will bite my daughter, the baby will puke on the outfit I just put on her, or someone will start bleeding. It's science. And don't even get me started on the extra grooming tasks like cutting 60 tiny finger and toenails. It's like a full-time job over here.
2. Uncensored Pandora stations
I completely refuse to listen to kid's music. That's what Sunday school is for. That said, I also don't want my children to repeat bad language they might hear in some of the songs I appreciate. The next best option was to go into the settings in Pandora and add the explicit filter. It solves the problem for the most part, until I try listening to a little old school NWA when my kids are away and half the words are omitted. It just isn't quite the same. I could go change my settings, but ain't nobody got time for that.
3. Wearing heels
Of course heels aren't the most comfortable shoes, but I never realized I'd miss them until they were gone. With my current life situation, running after children at the playground or football-holding a toddler having a tantrum out of a grocery store, heels just aren't the most practical.
4. Only wiping my own butt
Who knew butt-wiping could be considered a luxury? It sort of feels that way if the wiping only involves wiping my own. With three children (ages 3 months, 2 and 4) I am quite literally wiping ALL THE BUTTS. The day I don't have to think or speak about anyone else's bathroom situation but my own is going to be the day I throw a celebratory rager.
5. Road trips
I've never particularly loved road trips. While they do have their fun moments, I had always been someone who gets car sick easily and could never enjoy relaxing with a good book or puttering around on my phone. At a certain point, my husband tired of listening to me sing show tunes and I start wondering, "Are we there yet?" Now that I have kids though, I would do anything to have a "boring" road trip. Road trips these days consist of stopping to change diapers, wipe tiny butts and nurse babies. Everything takes WAY longer, it's SO loud, the kids trash the car, and instead of just wondering "Are we there yet?" I wonder, "Why didn't we just stay home?!"
I used to LOVE accessories and rarely left the house without a few thoughtfully chosen pieces. Now that I have kids though, accessorizing is reserved for mama happy hours or date nights, because my children have literally broken five of my necklaces in the past year. Not cool.
7. Having my phone battery be fully charged
My phone was always ready to go in-case of emergency ... and then I had children ... who do cute photo-worthy things and steal my phone to play games. The battery now forever hovers around 20 percent.
8. Wearing fabrics other than cotton
I used to wear synthetic fabrics on occasion when I felt like being fancy, but now that I am a parent, on any given day there is a strong likelihood that I will end up with poop, pee, puke, snot, dirt or some type of art supply (possibly a combination of more than one of these things) wiped on me. As a result my wardrobe now consists of cotton and machine-washable pieces.
I would give my left arm for some peace and quiet—even if it means sitting in rush hour.
9. Reading books
I haven't been a huge reader since college. I loved it as a kid, but then the non-stop reading during my university days sort of killed the desire. Even still, I probably read three to four books each year. Since having kids though, my time and attention span for reading is basically zero. My brain is so fried and I get interrupted so often that I end up starting and stopping books 100 times before finally giving up. That three to four books per year thing sounds pretty magical now, since three to four is probably the number of books I've read in the past four years!
10. My drive to work
Driving to work is one of those things that just has to get done. Before I had kids I would've said that the drive to work was one of my least favorite parts of my day. Driving downtown, sitting in rush hour traffic and feeling rage over people's rude driving habits wasn't exactly the time of my life. Nowadays though, I would give my left arm for some peace and quiet—even if it means sitting in rush hour.
11. Carrying a purse
Gone are the days of tiny cute purses with nothing but an ID, a credit card and a lipstick. In their place is a giant backpack diaper bag filled with crushed up bunny crackers and baby wipes for days. So glam.
12. Being alone
I was an extrovert before I became a mother. I needed a bit of alone time just like any other person, but after a brief hiatus I was back at it, making plans for the next fun outing. Since becoming a mom though, I've experienced what it's like to have to be "on" 24/7, I've definitely ventured into introvert territory and really craved that alone time I never really appreciated before I had kids.