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Becoming a mom was hands-down, no-hesitation the best thing that has ever happened to me.

It is beautiful, and hard, and meaningful, and frustrating, and amazing; all wrapped up into one disheveled, sticky handed, ornery-grinning little package.

No matter how grateful I am for this role, though, there are undeniably certain things that pre-parent-me used to be able to do, that parent-me simply cannot.

1. Take a Nap
I’ll go ahead and bundle sleeping in and napping into one tidy little package here. Seriously, you never know what you have until it’s gone. My husband is an early bird, and he is a saint because it is fairly common for him to take the baby(s) in the morning so that I can catch a few extra winks. But, let’s be honest here. When the soundtrack to your “sleeping in” consists of a playfully screeching almost-ten month old and a toddler running around the house shouting, “Shhhhh, Mama’s sleeping!” you might as well just get up.

2. Watch a Show in Real-Time
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this, but I literally can’t even recall the last time I sat down to watch one of my shows when it was actually airing! On a good week, I’ll catch up on all of my shows at one point or another. On a typical week, I might get twenty minutes of a show watched. While the TV time isn’t something I miss too much, I will say that I do savor those nights when the hubs falls asleep in his recliner and I’m able to oh-so-strategically slide that remote from his hand to turn on some good ol’ This is Us.

3. Eat a Hot Meal
Okay, so this one is especially cliché and something I was warned about over and over before having kids. Between feeding kids and getting up constantly to fetch things someone wants or needs, I am usually sitting down to my meal at about the time everyone else is finishing theirs. From a glass-half-full perspective, I will say I have more un-burned taste buds than I ever had before. I have actually come to prefer my dinner lukewarm (said no one ever).

4. Run a Million Errands in One Day
We live over an hour from the nearest Target, so gathering the troops and heading to town is a chore in and of itself. Add the actual errands to that, and it makes for a looooong day. I can usually get about half of my stops in before the meltdowns begin.

As a side note, running errands with kids has given me a new appreciation for drive-thru businesses. Take Starbucks, for example (yes, I consider Starbucks an essential errand). I can literally be one minute from a Starbucks without a drive-thru and still drive across town to the one with the drive-thru, just so I don’t have to unbuckle car seats, haul the kids inside, juggle drinks and kiddos back outside, and rebuckle. Call me lazy, but I definitely subscribe to the “work smarter, not harder” notion.

5. Eat Junk Food Anytime
Sure, this is something that I can do, but something that by consequence is a whole lot harder to do now. The good news? My toddler has exceptional observational skills. The bad news? He also has my sweet tooth. He can be across the house and I can be silently peeling back the wrapper of a chocolate bar (with a well timed crinkle-covering cough for good measure) and he will still come running. “Chocolate please, Mama?” For better (my waistline) or worse (my joy), this keeps me in check and I usually only eat junk food at times when it is appropriate for my kid to eat it, too. You know, setting a good example blah, blah, blah.

6. Imagine Life Without Them
Cliché, but true. For every one thing that I can’t seem to manage since having kids, there are so many more things that I can do.

I can cuddle.
I can see things through the eyes of a child.
I can giggle until I can’t breathe.
I can make silly crafts.
I can be called “Mama.”
I can be someone’s everything.

This parent life is a blessed life.

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward

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