This article originally ran on CheekyChicago.com.
Becoming a mother is life-changing in so many wonderful ways—you’re responsible for someone else’s life now, and nurturing that life is the most beautiful thing in the world; it’s kind of indescribable. But there are also a number of other ways that becoming a parent totally changes you, in tangible ways that are describable—here are the good, the bad, even the lame.
1. I’ve become a total neat freak.
I used to let my dirty laundry pile up for weeks; I’d sooner buy a new pair of designer jeans than bother washing the dozen or so that lay strewn across my bedroom floor. Times have changed since I became a mom. Now, I find myself sanitizing everything in sight. See, babies spit up a lot—and spit up tends to stain—so the minute Preston vomits on something, I wash it. No matter what it is… And since he’s also starting to teeth, therefore trying to put everything that’s not nailed down in his mouth, it’s rather imperative you keep your house and what’s contained in it clean. Plus, with a new baby also come hordes of company—you’ll find yourself hosting family and friends all the time, so when you’re not cleaning up after your baby, you’re cleaning up after everyone else. Basically, you become an underpaid cleaning lady.
2. I don’t like getting drunk.
This probably sounds rather shocking, especially if you knew me before I had a baby. It’s not that I don’t like to drink; I just don’t like getting drunk because that usually means I’ll be very hungover the next day. The less you drink, the lower your tolerance is—at this point, our 19-year-old cousin in college could drink me under the table. Two glasses of wine and I’m a goner. Try waking up at 7 am to start your day. Hungover. It’s not fun.
3. I love sleep.
There was actually a time in my life that I didn’t think I needed more than four hours of sleep a day. And I didn’t believe in naps. I would be at work by 9 am, bright-eyed and bushytailed, after having been out till 4 or 5 am the night before. It seems so crazy to me now, because if I get less than six hours of sleep, I am a miserable bee-yatch by the time 2 pm rolls around. It’s actually physically painful for me to go to work on anything less than that. You don’t realize how much you love sleep until you’re not able to get it—talk about wanting something you don’t have—that’s when you grow a serious appreciation for it. Thankfully, Preston is consistently sleeping 10 hours at night now, but that doesn’t mean I am able to wind down at a decent hour—especially since the only time I have to myself starts when he goes to sleep at 9 pm.
4. My uniform is a velour Juicy sweat suit.
I never owned a Juicy sweat suit until I became a mom—in fact, unless you’re a mom you shouldn’t either. Now it’s the only thing I wear on weekends. I recommend getting one in every color if you’re a new mom—you want to be comfortable, but you start feeling like a very unsexy version of your former self wearing mismatched sweats and leggings all the time. Might as well make it designer sweats if you’re going to dress like a mom.
5. I hardly ever buy anything for myself anymore.
Years ago a girlfriend told me that when she became a mom she stopped spending money on clothes for herself—as long as her kids were dressed well, that’s all that mattered to her. I remember feeling sorry for her—that she no longer got to enjoy a favorite pastime of so many women, and even worse that she no longer cared about how she looked! But now I can totally relate to what she said; that high you get from a good shopping trip, where you grabbed a hot dress or a great pair of boots on sale? Once you become a mom, you still feel that rush of sensation, but now it’s over an adorable layette for your newborn—or in Preston’s case, Polo for infants.
6. My idea of a good time is dinner in the ‘burbs.
When I was single, not too long ago actually, you wouldn’t catch me hanging out in the suburbs on a weekend unless it was someone’s milestone birthday. Even then it was questionable. My life was so “busy”—running from charity events to bar openings to concerts, making small talk with random people—I didn’t have much spare time to spend with my immediate family. Now, my favorite thing to do on weekends is go to my parents’ house for Shabbat dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and their three kids, aka Preston’s cousins. I actually look forward to watching my husband play “Pretty Princess” with our niece Emma, but maybe that’s just because he looks good in a skirt and tiara.
7. I’m pickier about my guilty pleasures.
Perez Hilton doesn’t get much screen time on my Mac these days (sorry, Perez); the only blogs I spend quality time on are the ones that I can relate to as a new mom. I get off on reading about recalls on products and baby gear, and hearing what other moms have to say about the same daily struggles. So when parenting.com came calling, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to blog for them. Starting Monday, Feb. 1, you can read about my life as a full-time working mom and all the stuff that makes me tick in my new weekly blog, The Cosmo Mom. And when I’m not blogging or reading other moms’ blogs, you can bet I’m still watching reality TV (A Baby Story, obv), thumbing through magazines (Parenting), and looking for the latest updates from my friends on Facebook and Twitter (follow me at @thecosmomom). Hey, I’m not totally insane.