It's true what Johnson and Johnson says, having a baby does change everything. Like it or not, kids force you to make lifestyle changes. Perhaps you've had to sacrifice and downsize. You're no longer able to maintain the standard of living you're used to, and it's either make a change or face years of debt. Maybe you've had to upgrade and move out of a that small apartment with the neighbors who party and make noise until the wee hours. Even if the previous scenarios don't ring true for you, I'm sure you've had to make many sacrifices as a parent. Here is a list of ten things that I've sacrificed for my kids:
- An income - but at least I got a promotion soon after my wife quit her job!
- A car – I've heard it's hard to get kids in and out of a 2 door… I'm still skeptical.
- Swearing – this may come as a shock to those who know me best, but it's true, even I let the occasional expletive fly.
- Friends – this one's a bit painful to write, but true nonetheless. Gone are the days of heading out for coffee at night on a moment's notice, or playing video games till the crack of dawn.
- Masculinity (but just for brief periods of time) – if the three year old wants to play stickers before going to the store, and I spend an hour out and about with some pretty yellow fairy stickers on my shirt so be it.
- Romance – it's much harder to be romantic when come 8:30 the parents are ready to crash too. That and the fact that I used up all my moves trying to get the girl, so now that I have her, I don't have to be romantic anymore, right?
- Dignity – this one flew out the window the first time the three year old congratulated me for pooping on the potty like a 'big girl' and rewarded me with a jelly bean.
- Toys – as a geek, I really like gadgets, but these days my gadgets consist of things like a laptop that teaches you the alphabet and a Vtech Whiz Kid learning system.
- Selfishness – although this is a daily battle, my kids always have a way of reminding me that it's not always about me. Who cares if it was a bad day at work, when there are games to be played, cowgirls that need horsey rides, and shirts to spit up on.
- Hygiene – there is always something gross that needs picked, wiped, or otherwise removed from a toddler at a time when you don't have the appropriate tools for the job (Kleenex and hand sanitizer).
Even though I've had to give up some things that I like, I wouldn't trade being a parent for the world. Molding little ones is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. I am able to shape the very essence of another human. Now if I could just convince the three year old that a spoon is actually called a fork, my mischievous plan would be complete.