8 Ways My Life Has Changed Since Having Kids

disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by the Mom it Forward Blogger Network and Poise. All opinions are 100% my own.

It's been more than 10 years now since I had my last baby. For a while there, pregnancy and birth were happening every three years for me like clockwork. Having babies and raising a young family is pretty much all I did in my twenties. But now, it's been a decade since I had my last baby. Hard to believe that that particular phase of my life is over. Now I'm settling into our new normal...life with a pre-teen and two teenagers, one of which is on his way out the door to college. I'm launching kids y'all. I'm like a parenting expert now with 18 years of this gig under my belt and yet when a pregnant mama saunters by, it's not hard to remember that phase of my life.

Having been a decade since my last pregnancy though, I have noticed that there are a few marks that pregnancy and childbirth have left behind.  I'm sharing 8 ways that my life has changed since having kids. If you are a parent, my guess is that you can relate to at least a few of them.

parenting, motherhood,

1. You will say the most ridiculous things

Throughout pregnancy and into my many years of parenting, I have uttered words and phrases that I would have never in a million years fathomed would come out of my mouth. I sound like my mother one minute spouting off some of the same phrases she spoke when I was growing up and the next minute I say things like "we don't put our feet where we eat" or "we need to wear pants at the dinner table". If you are a parent, you totally know what I mean.

Before you had kids, I'm fairly certain you never uttered the phrase "because I said so" even once. But now that you are raising kids, you totally get it. There are things that you say that are the most ridiculous yet most necessary words to speak in an effort to keep order in your home.

2. You become an expert on all things

I have teenagers and while there are times that they think we know nothing, there are also times that they ask us those "why" questions. If you have a pre-schooler, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  The conversations can become quite complex and there are times that I have to admit that I have no idea why sometimes, but the questions started young and they continue to ask us seeking those life answers. 

Just the other day we had a huge discussion about why clouds float if they are filled with water. I let my engineer husband field that one. Other times, I seek the help of google. Regardless, there are people that now think that I am an expert on life. Maybe it's because I'm so old or maybe it's because I'm willing to have long conversations where we talk out loud about the whys in an effort to make sense of life's big {and small} questions.

3. There is not a lot of downtime

I don't know what free time is. There is no sleeping in on the weekends, schedules have to be juggled to make sure car pools happen and things have to be planned out because failing to plan is planning to fail. The household doesn't run itself. Dishes need done, groceries need shopped for, laundry needs washed {and folded! I hate that part!}, food needs made...the list goes on and on. 

4. You notice things you never noticed before

Having kids makes notice things you might have otherwise missed before. You watch snails wander across sidewalks and ants carrying small pieces of food. Sights you would have otherwise walked past while on a hurry to get to the next thing. Sometimes those little discoveries are the best.
I remember a few years ago when my husband and I were excited to introduce our kids to Saved by the Bell on Netflix. My husband and I loved watching it on the weekends as a kid but once we sat down snuggled up next to our impressionable little ones we suddenly didn't remember that they had so much kissing in the show before. We also find that we are far more aware of our surroundings. Did people when we were kids drop the F bomb in public as much as they do now? Did that classic movie we watched as a kid really have that much swearing in it?

5. It's not all about me

You don't realize how self focused you really are until you have children. That all changes rather quickly. Parenthood has a way of making you think about someone besides yourself. There are things that you used to do {finish a novel in an afternoon or take a Sunday nap}, that get replaced with things that you now do for your children instead. It's not about losing sight of yourself, it's about a shift in priorities. There are only a finite amount of hours you get while your child is under your roof to make an impression on them, use them well while you have them.

6. I am far stronger than I ever thought

I have heard the term mama bear used before and I know that just by mentioning it, you know exactly what that term means. Since becoming a parent I have become so much more outspoken and stronger than I ever was before or knew that I could be. I am not only stronger in my convictions, because let's be honest, having children makes you realize what's important in life, but I also have a stronger voice. If there is an injustice being done, especially to my children, my mama bear kicks in and you probably don't want to cross me. 

7. You belong to a new club

Once you become a parent, you are part of a new club. You can now relate to other parents and you find yourself talking about sleep and poop when they are younger and you talk about teachers and school work and discipline as they get older. You may have nothing else in common with a person besides the fact that you are both parents and you can hold a conversation with them because of that one defining characteristic.

8. Your body changes forever

I grew three tiny humans inside of me, one of whom is now twice my size. My body has forever changed. My rib cage and my hips spread during pregnancy and never returned, I have stretch marks and saggy skin {that I had a tummy tuck to help restore} and when I jump on a trampoline or cough I pee myself a little. 
Some people call that light bladder leakage {LBL}, I call it the everlasting joys of pregnancy. I know I'm not the only one that suffers from LBL. In fact, 1 in 3 women experience it. There are products specifically designed to help women with LBL so that you can stop letting leaks interrupt your life, like Poise. These thin-shaped pads are the thinnest pads for LBL. The Poise brand teamed up with Brooke Burke-Charvet to start a dialogue about LBL and empower women to seize their Poise moment. If you are part of the 1 in 3, you can visit Poise.com to request your free sample and to learn more about LBL.

I've learned a lot in the years since I've become a mom for the first time. I've settled into this new role and hunkered down for the long run. I love everything about it and I have embraced the ups and downs of it. I am so very thankful for the opportunity to be entrusted with the care of these humans that are growing into some pretty amazingly awesome young adults even if it means that I pee a little when I sneeze. It's all been worth it and I'm enjoying the ride. 
I would love to hear from you. What has changed for you since you have become a parent? Can you relate at all?

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