Candace Ganger

10 Things You Become Totally Obsessed With Once You Have A Kid

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I was an atypical kid. Growing up, I spent my time climbing our front yard tree, scribbling stories in a notebook, listening to music on my boom box, and arguing with my younger brother about literally everything. I'm sure I had toys, but there aren't many that standout in my memories. We also didn't have phones to capture every fleeting moment or any of the adorable/unnecessary "must-haves." Now that I'm a mom, I'm making up for lost time, so there's a lot of things I've become obsessed with since having kids and honestly, #sorrynotsorry.

I have two children, ages 5 and 10. This means between between them, you can catch me playing with superheroes one minute or American Girl dolls the next. If my son wants to play Barbies, he does, and if my daughter wants to wear a Spiderman costume, she does. I enjoy watching them delve into the depths of their imaginations, regardless of what the "hot new toy" is at the time, and you can usually find me taking way too many pictures of them to post on social media. There's a major contrast between the way I grew up versus they way I'm raising them. The world has changed, but so have I. As a grown-ass woman, I've realized I skipped past the fun arts of childhood a bit too quickly, so I guess by indulging in my kids I'm rewriting a piece of my own history.

Even before giving birth, I had no qualms spending money on the most ridiculous things I otherwise wouldn't dream of spending money or time on (wipes warmer, anyone?). Expensive baby clothes, the latest toddler whatever, and anything that branded me "Mom," I was there for. There's a number of things we have in our house that I'm not ashamed to admit I play with, splurge on, or post about. "Obsessed," in other words, is a pretty accurate description. They'll only be little for so long. On that note, here are some of the things that, once you have a kid, you're totally going to be into (even if you don't intend to).

Buying Everything Branded "Mom"

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Before kids, I'm pretty sure I wondered why moms had to announce they were, in fact, moms with everything they own. T-shirts, diaper bags, and even license plates state slogans like "Mom of two" or "Mother of the Year." It baffled me.

Then I got pregnant and had children. Now, I, too, own all the mom gear and damn proud of it.

Capturing Every Waking (And Sleeping) Moment

We live in an age of cell phones, tablets, and instant gratification. If my kids do something amazing (and not so amazing), I can't help myself. I want to capture it and post about it now. These things weren't possible when my mom raised me so of course I'm going to take it to the next level.

Legos

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We own thousands of Legos, Thousands. While I wish that were an exaggeration, it's definitely not. The truth is, while the organization of them is mind-boggling (and impossible at times), I love tapping into my own creative space to build things. Yes, I play with Legos and love every second of it. If I didn't have my babies, I can't say I'd ever attempt to put any sets together but now, they're my excuse to be a kid again.

Children's TV Shows

I admit, in the early years with my firstborn, it took some time to adjust from my soap operas and talk shows to toddler programming. It was kind of awful, actually.

But then, something magical happened. I started to like them. Gasp! Now that my youngest, my son, is obsessed with shows like Henry Danger and my daughter is into re-runs of Victorious, I'm obsessed, too. Like, don't even think about changing it when these shows are on. Seriously.

Minecraft And Other Games

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I felt like such an old lady when my daughter first came home asking for Minecraft. Apparently, nearly all kids her age are into it and after some poking around myself, I can see why. It teaches her how to build, which is cool, and if we're being truthful it teaches me, too. Don't tell.

Also, when she and her brother play together in the same world, they actually get along so that is most definitely obsession-worthy.

Fashion

I work from home and rarely leave said home, which means my daily outfit resembles all the comfortable things you can imagine. My kids, on the other hand, have more fashion-forward choices. I wouldn't say they get all the on-trend things, because we don't care about that. They do, however, leave the house looking like they're put together and cared for.

What I look like doesn't always matter but how they feel about themselves (impressions matter at their ages) absolutely matters. So I do everything I can to help them with that confidence.

School Work

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I wasn't a fan of school. Most of my time was spent writing notes to friends, writing haikus and stories in my notebook and writing, well, anything else. I wish now I'd studied harder but it wasn't easy and didn't come naturally to me. Plus, I didn't have parents who sat down to help me work through homework or anything. Now that my kids are in school, I'm definitely obsessed with making sure they excel in all the areas I didn't. My oldest struggles with Math (as I did) so it's more important than ever I get my crap together, for her sake.

Sleep Routines

Pre-kids, I never gave much thought to sleep. I really just passed out whenever I felt tired, with no regard as to the timing.

Post-children, I'm not only obsessed with getting any decent amount, but they're also on a rigid schedule. They're growing brains and bodies are so important, I make sure the get what they need, and then some (and even when they protest "I'm not tired.").

Schedules

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Along the same lines, I didn't keep much of a schedule at all before I had children. I had a job but that was about it. Everything else happened on the fly. I don't miss those days though because I like knowing when, where, and how my day might go. Even on vacation, I'm the mom with the itinerary printed off for everyone to stay on tops of things. Annoying? Maybe. Still not sorry.

Alone Time

Ahh, the dream of glorious alone time was never an obsession before children because, well, I had so much of it. Now that I have to carve it out to short bursts — when I'm drained, exhausted, or having a rough day — it's sometimes all I can focus on because it's so rare.

Having kids is teaching me I can still get totally excited over all the things I swore I never would be. Motherhood is funny that way. But you know what? Regardless of how my priorities have shifted over the last 10 years, I wouldn't change a thing.