20 Things I “Get” Now That I’m a Parent

I know there is nothing more irritating when you aren’t a parent than being told, “You won’t understand until you have kids of your own.”

But, now, with two little ones of my own, I have a whole new understanding of some things that seemed a little bit incomprehensible to me when I didn’t have kids.

Here are 20 things that I “get” now:

  • #1: Target

    #1: Target

    Before I had kids, I thought Target was fine. Now? It’s my favorite place to go. I can pick up laundry detergent and jam, grab new bodysuits for the baby, and let my toddler check out the toy aisle. It’s like heaven.

  • #2: I can run on way less sleep than I expected

    #2: I can run on way less sleep than I expected

    I used to think I was tired when I got 8 solid hours a night. And I wondered how I would ever survive having babies that didn’t sleep through the night. Turns out, it’s not nearly as bad as I expected.

  • #3: I understand that babbling

    #3: I understand that babbling

    Before I had kids, I’d listen to other kids and think, “What in the world are you saying?” Now, I can understand 99% of what my toddler says and am surprised when other people can’t.

  • #4: Diapers are not that big of a deal

    #4: Diapers are not that big of a deal

    Seriously, almost all diapers don’t phase me at all. I don’t even think about it.

  • #5: Television makes a great babysitter

    #5: Television makes a great babysitter

    I never thought I’d let my children watch any television until they were much older. But, guess what? On occasion, it works like a charm.

  • #6: When it's my child covered in food, it's darling

    #6: When it’s my child covered in food, it’s darling

    Even now, when I see other children covered in sticky food, I’m a little grossed out. But my own children? It’s pretty adorable.

  • #7: I really do think my child is the cutest thing ever

    #7: I really do think my child is the cutest thing ever

    I’m sorry! I can’t help it.

  • #8: Being Late

    #8: Being Late

    I didn’t really understand how children could make you late. Now? I understand why babies make you late (and hope my friends understand too).

  • #9: How to do anything one-handed

    #9: How to do anything one-handed

    When I first tried out my stroller, I couldn’t fold it up, even with my mom’s help. Now I can do that in the dark, holding a baby and a heavy diaper bag. No problem!

  • #10: The house is clean for 5 minutes. Maybe.

    #10: The house is clean for 5 minutes. Maybe.

    I used to think, “How much mess can a baby make?” Then I had one. And the effort it takes to keep my house semi-presentable has quadrupled.

  • #11: Picky Eating

    #11: Picky Eating

    I thought picky eating was just lazy parenting. Now I know that for most kids picky eating is just part of their development and maturation. And sometimes you just don’t want to fight one more battle at dinnertime.

  • #12: Bad tantrums happen to good parents

    #12: Bad tantrums happen to good parents

    I do not judge parents at the grocery store who are dealing with a melting down little one. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable.

  • #13: Bedtime is sacred

    #13: Bedtime is sacred

    I thought it was such a bummer to have to get your kids home for an early bedtime. Now, I’m that mom who doesn’t fool around with bedtime. (Also, I love it that we can go out for an early activity, then still have the whole evening to do other things at home after the girls are in bed).

  • #14: That I'd really love my baby THAT much

    #14: That I’d really love my baby THAT much

    I was dubious, since I’m not really a kid person. But my own babies? I love them more than I’d have ever thought possible.

  • #15: Getting out the door is no quick feat

    #15: Getting out the door is no quick feat

    When I get out the door in less than ten minutes? I feel like a super hero.

  • #16: Anyone who loves your child is a great friend

    #16: Anyone who loves your child is a great friend

    I had no idea how much I would love people who loved my children.

  • #17: Waking up at 8 a.m. is sleeping in

    #17: Waking up at 8 a.m. is sleeping in

    I had no idea that waking up at 8 am would feel like sleeping in. But it does (or, I assume it would, if I ever slept in that long. . . ).

  • #18: Eating treats in the pantry (or the locked bathroom)

    #18: Eating treats in the pantry (or the locked bathroom)

    Want to eat a cookie without someone begging for a taste? Better find somewhere very hidden.

  • #19: Ugly outfits? Who cares!

    #19: Ugly outfits? Who cares!

    As my toddler started to want to dress herself, I let her wear outfits out of the house I never would have imagined I’d allow. And I thought it was cute!

  • #20: Babies can make things more fun

    #20: Babies can make things more fun

    When people used to say this to me, I thought, “HOW?!” But now I recognize how magical they make holidays and even every day life.

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