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14 Things That Are Totally Different Now That You're A Mom

Telltale signs that you've officially become a mom.

14 Things That Are Totally Different Now That You're A Mom

When I think about life pre-motherhood….well, I almost can’t remember it. In fact, after I pitched this idea to my friends at Well Rounded, I had to consult my friends because, well, I'm a mom... and my brain is gone. Seriously in the biggest case of writer's block and baby brain (I'm 6 months pregnant) I've had thus far, I was stumped. I couldn't remember why I was in the kitchen, let alone think of a humorous, witty, relatable list of things that have drastically changed post-motherhood, even though I live it on the daily. Thank God for girlfriends. They supplied me with long, laughable emails about their life with kids that not only made me feel normal, but also helped jog my memory of items I'd previously wanted to include, as well as some new ones. Hopefully these will resonate with you mamas too.

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Here are 14 things that are totally different now that you’re a mom..

1. YOUR BIRTHDAY

Pre-kids: You celebrate for an entire week (or were you that girl who tortured everyone with a full month?). There's your actual day and dinner with your closest, weekend drinks with everyone, the mani/pedi pow wow to prep for the party, some shopping for a celebratory outfit, a blowout, makeup... And let's not forget the day-after boozy brunch. It's an endless week of events, and it's all about you.

Post-kids: You're lucky if you get a card. There's no week-long celebration and no party, and the sweets are reserved for little ones who think it's all about them, and then you have to deal with the aftermath of the sugar crash. The thing is, you don't really care. Cause it's not about you anymore, and you're perfectly fine with that. In fact, you would not want to go back to your former, narcissistic self for anything in the world.

2. BRUNCH

Pre-kids: You do brunch every weekend, sometimes twice. After rolling out of bed around 11, you slowly pull yourself together and meet your friends at noon for a long, leisurely hair-of-the-dog, grease sesh and recap about the night before. At least, the parts of it you can recall.

Post-kids: By noon, you've had a full day. You've been up since 6, breakfast and lunch are over, and you're trying to figure out how you'll get through the rest of the endlessly long day. There's no time for a brunch. And if there is, the times you attempt it, with kid in tow, you regret it with the interrupted conversations, endless activities (crayons, cartoons, crying), complete meltdowns and then wanting but not being able to take a long nap after several drinks.

3. WEEKENDS

Pre-kids: You live for them! Life is about just getting through the week so the real fun can begin.

Post-kids: What are those? Downtime? Relaxation? They're two endlessly long days with no activities and no childcare. Just you and your kiddo who wants to do something new every few minutes. You can't wait for the weekend to be over so they can get back to school and you, your life.

4. VACATION

Pre-kids: What you've been looking forward to for months. The morning of, you pack a bag, sip a drink when not napping on the plane, never want to leave but come back relaxed and refreshed.

Post-kids: You've been planning it for months, pack a week out and dread the travel. By the time you arrive, you're already exhausted and can't wait to head back home to a normal routine.

5. SICK DAYS

Pre-kids: Whether you're actually sick or not, it doesn't matter. Staying home from work, sleeping, watching bad TV, ordering in food, it's all enjoyable.

Post-kids: They don't exist. Except that they do, and they're far worse. Caring for a kid while sick is a special kind of torture. You'd rather go to work.

6. HAND BAG

Pre-kids: You save up for a designer one and take immaculate care of it.

Post-kids: It sits in the closet while your diaper bag becomes your go-to carryall saturated with soggy Cheerios, twenty snacks, a random sock and three Trolls.

7. WORKOUT GEAR

Pre-kids: You wear it to work out before showering and putting on a new, cute, cutting-edge outfit.

Post-kids: You wear it 24/7 without actually making it to the gym - or the shower.

8. TRIPS TO TARGET

Pre-kids: An uneventful errand to pick up a few things.

Post-kids: A vacation. You escape there, sans kids, and stroll the aisles like you're walking on the beach. You go for one thing, come home with twelve. It feels like a little slice of Heaven.

9. YOUR PLAYLIST

Pre-kids: All the latest hits, curated lists for each mood and activity.

Post-kids: Does the Paw Patrol theme song count?

10. HAPPY HOUR

Pre-kids: An entryway into the evening. You're just getting warmed up, wetting your whistle, look out.

Post-kids: The main event. If you start by 4, finish by 7, in bed by 9, you can function tomorrow morning.

11. DINNER

Pre-kids: 9pm? Where should we go? Let's do some apps for the table. Dessert? Yes, please. Followed by after-dinner drinks.

Post-kids: You finish the kids' refusals at 5:30, eat a fistful of popcorn and some cookies around 8 and call it a night.

12. GAG REFLEX

Pre-kids: The smell of vomit made you vomit.

Post-kids: You walk around with spit up and other questionable stains on you all day with zero interest in the effort of changing it.

13. HIDE AND SEEK

Pre-kids: A game you played as a child.

Post-kids: A game you play with your child. Except, often, you're hiding from them in the bathroom, closet, pantry, without their knowledge that there's even a game going on. Just five minutes of peace is all you need but you're only gonna get it if you disappear.

14. BEDTIME

Pre-kids: Whenever you're done binging on your latest Netflix obsession. That is, when you stay in. When out, usually before the sun comes up.

Post-kids: When you fall asleep before yours kids while tucking them in. Then you wake up in the middle of the night, get on your phone, fall into a rabbit hole, go to bed hours later and are exhausted in the morning, when they wake, before the sun comes up.

Natalie Thomas is an Emmy-nominated TV producer, Huffington Post, Today Show, The Bump, Hey Mama, Well Rounded, Cafe Mom and Womanista contributor, and former editor and spokesperson of Us Weekly. She's traveled the world covering events like the Oscars, Fashion Week, Golden Globes, Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals and interviewed everyone from Brad Pitt and Oprah to Prince William. She's also a lifestyle and mom blogger at Nat's Next Adventure.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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