Remember the days when life was simple and you had options and choices of how you did those everyday, mundane tasks around the house? You could get them done on your time, do them how you wanted to, and even do them when you wanted to! The world was your oyster and you had total control!

Then, you had kids.

Life will not be quite the same for at least 18 years, so you do what any other parent would do: you adjust. I know I’m not the only one who, since having a baby, has seen a change in how I must accomplish those everyday, mundane tasks.

Here’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Eating

My husband and I used to eat at the table most nights for dinner. We like the idea of a family meal and good conversation. But some nights, dinner on the couch in front of our favorite show was nice. We would often bring a snack with us around the house and munch on it while we got things done from room to room. 

Then we had kids.

Now, if we are eating, we are never alone. We can no longer eat at the coffee table in the living room because little hands are all over our plates or begging for a drink from our glasses. If we attempt to eat on the couch, out of baby’s reach, we hear whining and grunting the whole time. And how in the world can a child hear a wrapper crinkle from three rooms away? Even if we sneak it and are quiet as can be, suddenly we’ll hear the pitter-patter of little feet coming our way. The grunting begins and the snack is no longer ours.

Cleaning

In our house, Saturday used to be our big cleaning day each week. We would band together as a team and knock the list out in just under two hours. We would start our task, work on it consistently until it was done, and feel proud when it was accomplished and we could check it off the list. Then, we would revel in the beauty of our clean house!

Then we had kids.

Now, not only do we have to clean more often, but cleaning is like an exercise. Mopping the floor is like playing hockey with a baby’s feet. Then,  of course, the baby wants to try the mop out too, so you give them a whirl. When you take it back to complete the task, a fit is thrown. Next you go to clear all the toys off the rug to vacuum. You walk to retrieve the vacuum from the closet and return to find that all of the toys are back on the rug. And I don’t mean all of the toys you already picked up, I mean all of the toys! You begin to pick them up again, and a fit is thrown. Cleaning the toilets should be renamed “Save the Baby from Drinking Chemicals,” and scrubbing the tub makes baby mad because they think it’s time for a bath. By the end, the house isn’t even really clean.

Cooking Dinner

I love to cook, always have. There is little I enjoy more than blaring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin classics while carefully constructing a delicious dinner. I find chopping vegetables therapeutic, stirring soup makes my heart feel warm, and seeing the finished product arranged on a plate is comparable to seeing a Rembrandt.

Then we had kids.

Cooking dinner now consists of chopping a carrot, then feeding one to the monster at my feet. Hoping my pot doesn’t boil over while I run to get some snacks for the baby in hopes she will leave me alone. Flitting from dish to dish no longer looks graceful because the aforementioned monster is hanging on my leg begging to be picked up. If I open the fridge to retrieve an ingredient, baby is right there pulling out all the condiments and sucking on the lid of the ketchup bottle. By the time I am done slaving over the meal, half of it is cold, some has been snacked on by baby, and the rest looks like it came from a box.

Laundry

Used to be, when it was just The Hubs and me, laundry would need to be done every other week and it took me one day to complete it. We don’t have a nice laundry room to fold in, so I would bring the dry laundry into the living room and fold as I watched TV. It was actually rather enjoyable!

Then we had kids.

Now, laundry needs done weekly or no one has clothes to wear. Clothes go sour because my mom brain forgets they are in there. When I go to start a load, I can’t be alone because the baby has to help put the clothes in and take clothes out. She also wants to push all the buttons, which means that sometimes I think I have started a load but the button got pushed again and it pauses! Folding laundry is like an Olympic sport now. I have to try and fold as fast as possible before my little one comes by and unfolds them all. By the time I get done, I seriously feel like I deserve a gold medal.

Using the Bathroom

The most mundane of them all. As uncouth as talking about using the bathroom may be, we all do it! Used to be I could walk into the restroom, shut the door and sit down in peace as I did my business. I could look at my phone, read a magazine, or simply do what needs to be done in utter peace.

Then we had kids.

It’s almost like my daughter thinks someone going in to the bathroom is an invitation to a private party. She crashes said party and proceeds to live it up. She talks at me in her gibberish that almost sounds insulting. Her “party trick” is to move the toilet lid back and forth while I am still sitting on the throne. She attempts to flush it a few times and then unrolls half the toilet paper. Finally, she decides she’s ready to move on just as I am done as well. I turn to wash my hands as she’s walking out the door. Suddenly I hear a “plunk” and look to see that her favorite princess character is now taking a dip in the toilet pool.

Yes, life sure has changed, and those mundane tasks will never quite be the same as long as there are little ones inhabiting our house. But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world, and some days I even thank God for these crazy changes. Some days…

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Tavia Smith

Hi, I’m Tavia! I'm saved by grace, a wife, new mom, and lover of coffee and donuts! During the week, I'm a hustle and bustle fourth grade teacher but in my (limited) spare time, you can find me working on my blog Everyday Smith, http://https://everydaysmith.com/blog/. I am a homebody by nature and if I could, I would spend all my time at home with my husband, little girl and our two dogs!

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