Before I had kids, I admittedly had my own preconceived opinions about what people with kids did and why they did them and, well, those things usually annoyed me. Now that I've got kids of my own? Well, now I'm struggling to be a good parent and a good friend and a good partner, while also trying not to roll my eyes at the person I used to be. I've realized that there are things people without kids find annoying about parents that really shouldn't be annoying to anyone at all because, well, parenthood comes with a list of obligations that you can't navigate around.
It's no secret that having a baby will change your social life, but all the ways in which it changes your social life can be surprising. I expected to still maintain somewhat of a social life after having kids, especially when my partner and I were able to get help (and when that happened, I did) but being out of the house sans kids and with my friends turned out to be a different experience than the one I imagined. Suddenly, I became the person who couldn't spend five minutes not thinking about her kids. I became the person texting the sitter every 30 minutes. I became the person who stared at pictures of her baby while my friends were having actual conversations, and I was the person who kept bringing up my kids in conversations that had nothing to do with them.
How different a night out was after having kids (hell, how different I was after having kids) threw me for a loop. I never thought that I would become that person that used to annoy me to no end but since becoming that person, I've got to say, there are very valid reasons for the many "annoying" things that us parents say and do. So, with that in mind, let me just take a minute to justify the following ten things that people without kids find annoying about parents, and explain why you should still love us anyway.
We Can't Party Like We Used To
I love getting a child-free night out with my friends, but I admittedly can't quite party like I used to. When my friends ask if I want them to order me a shot, I have to check my purse first to make sure that I have some antacids before consenting. I have to pay close attention to how much I drink and exactly how late I stay out, too, because my kids are going to wake up in the morning, whether I'm hungover or not. Parents are still fun, but we have to moderate our fun a bit more than we once did.
When We Do Party, We Instinctively Mother Others
After having kids, I became the person at the table who would clean everything up so that our waitress wouldn't have to. This is a nice thing to do, sure, but cleaning up clutter is also pretty much an instinct after you've got kids. I mean, if my friends would let me, I'd follow each and every one of them home, fix them a bed time snack, and tuck them in because I care about them that damn much and I'm a mom, so taking care of others is sort of my thing. Parents feel this insatiable need to take care of everyone, so even though we might not have our kids with us, so we're still going to mother someone.
We Always Talk About How Tired We Are
But we really are so tired. There's really no such thing as sleeping soundly when you've got kids. My kids are great sleepers, but I still don't feel like I ever completely fall asleep because I've trained my body to wake up at the slightest noise. When our kids are little, we stay up all hours of the night just to make sure they're still breathing, and that habit pretty much continues to some extent until, well, forever I guess. We really can't help it but, somehow, telling someone else how tired we are makes us feel slightly better about our exhaustion.
We're Obsessed With Our Kids
We can't help it, but we think our kids are the greatest thing ever (when they're not being the worst thing ever). Yes, we stare at their pictures and, yes, they probably all look exactly the same to you but, to us, they're just so damn perfect. It's not crazy to want to share our kids' lives with our friends, but if we get too obsessive, feel free to reign us in.
We Talk About Our Kids Too Much
I find myself talking about my kids' milestones way too much. I'm aware that I have a problem, but my life pretty much revolves around them, so it's understandable that they'd be my favorite topic, right?
We Also Complain About Our Kids Sometimes, Too
Yeah, having kids is sometimes a double edged sword. I love my boys to no end, and I'm so proud of the people they're growing up to be, but damn if they don't get on my last nerve sometimes. They make messes and throw fits and wake me up in the middle of the night and they lose their shoes and take their pants off in public and, ugh, being a parent is hard. The reason we complain about our kids to you is because we're not always blessed with the presence of other adults to vent to, so our friends get subjected to our word vomit a little more often than we'd like. (Also, thank you for not judging us.)
We Act Like We're The First People That Have Ever Successfully Procreated
When our kids get their first teeth or say their first word or take their first steps, it's a big deal to us. No, they aren't the first kids to ever talk or walk, but it's the first time for us to see our kids do these things, so yeah, we're excited.
We Talk About How Busy We Are
When you've got kids, you're never not busy. Between the doctors appointments and daycare drop-offs and soccer practices and family dinners, not to mention our jobs outside of taking care of our kids, there really just aren't enough hours in the day. We get that you're busy, too (with adult things that we're super jealous of), so we'll try not to jabber too much about how our kids run our schedules.
We Tend To Forget Things
Mom brain is a very real. I can walk into a room and completely forget why I'm there within a matter of seconds. There's just a lot to remember when you've got kids, and a parent's brain is constantly spinning so, yeah, we forget things sometimes. We're not fond of it either, so on behalf of every parent you know who has forgotten something that affected you: we're sorry!
We're Never Around
Getting a sitter isn't always as easy as people like to make it seem. First of all, it isn't free, and second, trusting someone with our kids is actually really stressful. For that reason, we unfortunately can't be present as much as we'd like and as much as we used to be. We didn't go anywhere, and we definitely aren't intentionally avoiding anyone, but our kids' needs come above our own, so a lot of times that means spending a Saturday night in our pajamas with a bottle of wine and some Netflix. This is a sacrifice we knew we'd be making before we ever had kid. If you're supremely disturbed by our ghosting though, you could always skip the bar and come hang with us on the couch while our kids are asleep. The cover is free and the company is great, and we'd love to catch up and talk about things (other than our kids, I promise) with you.