If you’ve spent time on our website, you know that we frequently address the stressful aspects of parenthood. Why? Because parenting can be rough. Cheryl and I really want to be two supportive voices in your life that say, You’re normal to be struggling, we’ve got your back and we have ideas and resources to make things easier. As Brian the Birth Guy says, we see it as our mission to help you navigate “the dark corners” of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting and ultimately find your way to the light switch.
Despite the running theme of emotional distress, things aren’t always dark after introducing a child into your life… in fact a large portion of the time, they can be really bright. So Cheryl and I compiled a list of some of the sweeter side effects you’ll experience after transitioning into parenthood. We moms and dads can use all the fun reminders we can get on why we signed up for this challenging and glorious thing called parenting.
Here ya go – 35 unexpected and pretty cool side-effects:
- Really strong biceps. The heavier the baby (or car seat) the stronger and sexier the arms.
- You can count on rock solid calves as well. If you have a two-story house, you’ll be climbing up and down those stairs approximately 265 times a day.
- For the next 18 years, you have a permanent and totally worthy excuse for a messy house. Use it.
- You see a new side of your partner when he or she is doing laps around the kitchen with your fussy baby or sporting a new spit up stain… and you like it.
- Holidays are magical again.
- When you send out your holiday cards, you have something other than your pets to feature front and center.
- You and your pillow develop a love affair. It feels so soft and luxurious, especially when you forcefully drop your head on it and pass out.
- Don’t get too attached… sleeping your life away is offically a non-option.
- You actually become really good at snoozing sitting up, which comes in handy on planes.
- Speaking of planes, three cheers for early boarding with young children. (Milk this one as long as you can people. An 8 yr. old and 10 yr. old are still young, right??)
- Unlimited hugs, any time you want them (and sometimes when you don’t).
- You become a stealth ninja at hiding pureed or shredded veggies in anything edible.
- Someone (a very small someone) finally thinks you are a good singer. Screw you, Simon Cowell!
- You become infinitely more efficient with your time. Ninety minutes to mop the floors, do the laundry, shower and respond to e-mails… Go!
- Fireworks and Christmas lights become so much more sparkly.
- Halloween candy, anyone?
- Your penmanship and letter-writing skills improve dramatically with all of the hand-written notes from Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Oh, and that pesky Elf.
- You get to ride on merry-go-rounds again! And again… and again…
- Coffee tastes more incredible than ever. Amazing. A true elixir of the gods.
- Sesame Street is back on the DVR. You know you always had a thing for Bert.
- You get to talk in 3rd person, Gollum-style (Mommy loves you, my precious) and are tempted to talk the same way when you’re out with your girlfriends. (Kirsten is so excited to be out of the house! Yes, Kirsten would love a vodka grapefruit martini. Mmmm, Kirsten likes. Kirsten wants more, my precious.)
- Speaking of getting out of the house, when you do get out, you feel like you’re channeling Captain Kirk and “boldly going where no man has gone before”. Everything, even the steering wheel of your car, feels fresh and new and different.
- One of the places you get out to is your new favorite happy hour spot, Target.
- After hours and hours and hours of bedtime story reading, you become quite the orator and public speaker.
- You learn the correct technical names of all dinosaurs, tractors and exotic animals… because your child’s picture books are relentless and annoyingly accurate.
- You become a master-stain remover. Spit up, squash and snot have nothing on you.
- Dance parties in the kitchen… anytime you want one.
- Small victories make your day: he slept through the night, she peed in the potty, you didn’t crumple up into a whimpering heap. Go you!
- You can always count on finding a snack, a baby wipe and a toy in your purse. All very handy when out on a GNO.
- On the subject of GNO’s, a whole new world of potential friends (who are also dying to get out) opens up. Playgroup parents, preschool parents, PTA parents, you get the picture…
- You finally have someone to teach you how to use your iPad. (C’mon. You know your three-year-old navigates it better than you do.)
- White noise makers and baby monitors become a new permanent fixture in your home. Once you get used to them, you kinda like living in a wind tunnel that you can hear at all times.
- You now have a stroller to sneak snacks and beverages into music festivals.
- Tons of smiles and laughs. Way more than you ever got when you sat in a cubicle.
- It may grow gradually or it might burst onto your scene, but you experience a love greater than anything you’ve ever felt before… and it feels really, really good.
So there you have it… and we know there are more. Feel free to share them in the comment section! We’d love to hear the sweet side-effects you’re experiencing on your parenting adventure.
Here’s to Strength and Gollum,