Not long ago my “baby” turned 3. It’s as if she blew out 3 candles and my biological clock was like, “whoa whoa whoa, are you sure you’re ok not having a baby in the house?” It’s safe to say 95% of the time I am solidly done procreating. We’ve maxed out our bandwidth for more people in the fam when it comes to time and money and that’s ok … 95% of the time. In case you have “5% days” and your family is also complete with a capital C, join me for the reasons why it’s actually ok NOT having a baby in the house.
Babies come with gigantic gear. Baby carriers, while I do miss the bulging biceps that came along with them, are a giant pain. Baby swings are big. Baby standers are big. Baby bouncy seats are big. It’s all big and clutter-y and I felt very happy when it was able to be permanently relocated to be enjoyed by another bouncing baby … at another house.
2. BODILY FLUIDS
It’s not like you escape vomit and #2 the moment the clock strikes midnight on the littlest’s third birthday, but you get to interact with it considerably less. Gone are the days of massive quantities of spit-up on freshly laundered clothes. And stinky, costly diapers that make you see dollar signs when you’ve JUST changed them and they manage to require a fresh change. I no longer smell an icky smell and wonder if it’s coming from somewhere on my own clothing transferred so lovingly by my offspring.
3. NO RUDE DINNER DATES
Rarely do my non-baby children throw their plates on the floor … anymore, that is. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made an airplane or a train out of their spoons. And I can’t remember the last time I had to take a bowl off one of their pretty little heads. Also! They feed themselves! The food the entire family eats! And it’s not pureed! With their own silverware! And they drink out of cups without lids, which, I must say makes me do a little happy dance every time I unload the dishwasher and do NOT have to match 18 bajillion pastel lids, straws, pluggy things to put away.
4. SWEET SWEET SLUMBER
All of you moms in the throes of babyhood, listen up and listen up good. It’s just not right to get so little sleep. No person in her right mind can function rationally without good old fashioned REM on the regular. I think sleep deprivation explains a lot … “mommy brain” for sure. But guess what! It gets better! I’m not promising the night time interruptions completely cease because they sure do not, but it’s so much better. And also they sleep in a little (a little being the operative phrase) and/or can entertain themselves for a bit on the weekends before my beauty rest ends.
5. BABIES = SO MANY DANGERS
Baby gates. Outlet covers. Cupboard locks. Doorknob twisty-blockers. Sharp corner covers. Fireplaces. Just fireplaces. Everything about them. Dog food and dog water (not that dangerous in the long run … except I’ve totally fallen AFTER a baby played in dog water.) Doors left open. Christmas trees. The adorable bathtub spout covers. Which makes me think of water. And baths. And temperature of water, depth of water, don’t stand up in the bath tub!! Hide all the small toys. And small things, lest they stick them up their noses. Or mine.
6. “FREE TIME”
Moms don’t get free time. I mean, I was pretty out of it when they were born, but I’m sure I must have signed mine away on one of those forms put in front of me within hours of becoming a mom. That said, I get a whole lot more time without being needed than I used to. Gone are the days of following a toddler around to make sure safe decisions are being made (see above.) The kids can play independently and it’s so, so beautiful. I can TELL them to go play somewhere. And sometimes they do! I can have an entire adult conversation without simultaneously feeding/burping/rocking/consoling a baby.
7. READING MATERIAL
Not everything I read is touch and feel. Or Sandra Boynton (although that’s literary genius right there.) There’s plots and characters and I actually look forward to the next chapter. The vocabulary jump makes all the brains happy. I mean, who doesn’t love labeling nouns? Or reading that SAME BOOK EVERY NIGHT. Me, that’s who.
8. FUN PROJECTS
Every now and then I get a wild hair and want to craft the day away. I’ve got legit help now. And I can actually leave a project out and not worry about someone sewing their finger, gluing a body part to another body part, or eating paper. They can follow directions and they even have very cool ideas of their own. We can cook together and I don’t worry about boogers in the mix or spilled everything.
They can talk. And you can understand them. And you can almost rationalize with them. Plus, they say legitimately funny things and then you can laugh together! They can tell you stories and ask for your advice. And they tantrum less. Sometimes less. Sometimes just louder and differently. Overall, you can carry on a conversation, enjoy popular songs together, and when you drag one or more along to the store it’s like having a buddy with you instead of someone who waits for you to turn your head so they can lick the cart.
10. NO BABY NO PROBLEM
Having babies in the house is amazing. Their sweet cuddles, that special baby smell, even that newborn cry are all just precious. But, it’s ok to celebrate being out of “babyhood” and embrace the next phase with “big” kids. To all you infant mamas out there, enjoy your awesome babies and don’t wish that time away, but know it’s still fun when they get bigger … 95% of the time.