Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. You know your life is going to change and you wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re prepared, well as much as you can be, for the sleepless nights, dirty nappies and unavoidable chaos of parenthood. However, there’s some things you more than likely aren’t prepared for.
Here, we’ll look at the top 14 surprising things you’ll miss when you become a parent. Of course, none of these things take away from the awesomeness of being a parent. You may miss them, but when you look at your little one’s smiling face, none of it truly matters anyway…
1. Going To The Toilet Unsupervised
It’s the little things you never really appreciated before that will hit you the hardest. For years, you’ve been going to the toilet unsupervised. You likely never even thought about just how peaceful and beneficial the act of going to the toilet alone is. However, as soon as your child reaches the toddler stage, you can kiss goodbye to going to the toilet unsupervised.
Yep, your little bundle of joy is going to want to know exactly what you’re doing in the bathroom. Even if you shut the door behind you, you’ll be bombarded with questions like “Mom, what are you doing?”. This will continue until you open the door, where you’ll then likely be met by more questions about anything and everything else! So, if you’re not yet a parent, enjoy your peaceful toilet visits while you can!
2. Sleeping In
Not only are you going to miss a lot of sleep when you become a parent, but you’re also going to miss sleeping in! The days of turning off your alarm clock and rolling back over to sleep will be long gone. In fact, you won’t even need an alarm – your child is your new alarm clock and there’s no switching them off!
3. Leisurely Breakfast
Following on from the last point, those leisurely breakfasts you used to enjoy once you finally did roll out of bed, will also be over. Breakfast time with kids is chaotic, stressful and far from leisurely!
There will be no more freshly squeezed juice, reading the paper, or catching up on the latest news before you get ready. Instead, you’ll be frantically trying to make everyone’s breakfast while simultaneously organizing everything your child needs for the day.
4. Peace And Quiet
The minute your child comes into your life, you’re going to be bombarded with noise. Whether it’s crying, babbling, singing, shouting, arguing or excited chatter – peace and quiet is definitely going to be a thing of the past! If it’s not your child making noise, it’s going to be the television, tablet or the endless whirr of the washing machine with all of the extra washing you now have to do!
You’ll soon discover bedtime is your favorite time of the day when finally, if just for a brief time, you’ll find the illusive peace and quiet you desperately crave.
5. Having Your Own Things
Ok, so obviously you’ll have some of your own things. However, they’re going to be locked away, out of sight and out of reach of your child. You’ll learn the hard way that anything of yours which you’ve left out, will automatically be considered “free game” to your child.
Make-up, bath products, shoes, and the entire contents of your handbag, will all no longer belong just to you. So, if you do want to keep hold of your stuff, be sure to lock it all away!
6. Extra Money
When you were pregnant, you already discovered how expensive having a child would be. However, it’s not the one-off purchases you need to prepare for – it’s the daily expenses. Extra money which you could once spend on meals out, trips to the cinema and new clothing, will now be taken up by diapers, baby and toddler clothing, afterschool groups, spending money, snacks and travel expenses.
It may even start to feel like you need a never-ending pit of money to keep up with your child’s expenses!
7. Your Nice Clean Home
A lot of parents start out thinking they’ll be able to maintain their nice clean house. However, it doesn’t take long to face the true reality that their home may never be fully clean again. Ok, so this may be an exaggeration, but it definitely feels that way when you have kids.
You can spend literally hours cleaning on the rare occasions you find the time, but within an hour, you’ll be surprised how much damage your child can do to your hard work!
Sure, you’ll be going on family vacations, but the experience you’ll have is very different to your old child-free vacations! Forget relaxing by the pool with no care in the world. Family vacations can be a lot more stressful, manic and packed full of child-friendly activities. Expect to spend more time walking around petting zoos in the rain than lounging around on a beach all day.
9. Adult TV
This one is a real surprise. When you have kids, they’ll quickly take over the television. Now, you’ll be hearing cartoons pretty much all of the time. Everything you watch while the kids are up, will consist of some animated show.
What’s worse – you’ll often find yourself watching cartoons long after your kids have gone to bed or gone to school. It can take a while to realize you’re choosing to watch cartoons over adult TV.
Of course, you’ll still go shopping, but your experience is going to be very different with a child! Shopping trips start to turn into more of a military operation. The goal is to get out of the house, get everything you need and get back home in as quick a time as possible. There will be no leisurely browsing or comparing the different groceries on offer. You’ll be sticking to a list and rushing around the store like there’s a ticking bomb waiting to go off.
It’s very hard to imagine what shopping is like with a child and isn’t really something you can truly appreciate until you do become a parent.
Romance, what’s that? You and your partner’s relationship will change A LOT once you’ve had kids. Somehow, talk of dirty diapers doesn’t quite set the mood for romance. Your child will pretty much always be there and even if you do manage to achieve a child-free evening, you’ll both be so tired from your parenting duties, you’d rather spend the time catching up on sleep or dozing on the sofa.
Of course, it is possible to create romantic evenings after you’ve had children, but unless you work hard to create them, the opportunities will be few and far between.
12. Your Bottom Step
Out of everything on the list, this is by far the most surprising thing you’ll find yourself missing. How many times have you thought about the bottom step in your home? The answer is likely never! However, when your child is old enough, you’ll start to notice your bottom step a lot more, only it’s going to have a totally different name – the naughty step!
You’ll find it’s often now blocked by your child as they sit quietly and think about what they’ve done!
13. Having Nothing To Do
Now, during the baby stage, there may be times you do actually feel bored – especially if you have a happy, sleepy baby. However, once your child reaches the toddler stage, your boredom is going to go right out of the window. You may think this is a good thing, but after months of being constantly busy, you’re going to start missing boredom pretty badly.
You’ll be craving the days where you had absolutely nothing to do. Parenting is a whirlwind which doesn’t really stop until your child leaves home.
14. Your Sanity
Out of everything you’re going to miss when you become a parent, your sanity is the thing you’ll miss the most. You’ll often find yourself questioning your sanity, wondering where the “old you” disappeared to. You’ll long for adult conversations, sleep deprivation will make you feel like you’re really losing your mind and don’t be surprised if you start talking to yourself too!
So, there you have it – the top 14 things you’ll miss when you become a parent. If you’re currently pregnant with your first child, you may now be terrified – don’t be! Although there are things you’ll miss, they definitely don’t compare to the number of things you gain when you become a parent. It’s a difficult and challenging journey, but it’s also a loving, joyous and wonderful one!
What things do you miss now you’re a parent? Let us know below!