In the immortal words of Blackstreet, on their 1996 hit album Another Level: “What we're gonna do right here is go back. Way back. Back into time.” Ready? Here we go: my partner and I have been living together for almost ten years. As you can imagine, I’ve been nostalgic as of late. One might assume that a near-decade makes it tough to remember what the early days were like, but since we had a kid I’ve been joyfully reminded of what it was all like, way back when. It turns out, living with a kid and living with a partner for the first time are pretty much the same thing (if you only consider the G-rated aspects, of course, and remember that clearly those two relationships are vastly different).
Both transitions are fraught with change, numerous questions, and eventually saying no to sharing your food without fearing that they will leave you in the dead of night. It's an exciting yet exhausting time, where you're just learning about one another and how you're going to share some living space in a healthy, fun, productive way, before you relied on routines.
The good news is that if you ever want to revisit those early days of living together, when you had butterflies when you returned home at the end of everyday, all you need to do is have a baby. I know, how simple is that? Without further ado, here's how living with a kid and a boo thang are basically the same:
You’re Inconsistent About Privacy
Surely my toddler is confused by the fact that sometimes I close the bathroom door, and sometimes he hangs out with me in there. Once he’s old enough to form memories, it’s going to be a different story, but in the meantime, I can’t trust him alone next to our electronics or snacks.
You Put A Lot Of Thought Into Cooking And Cleaning
When I first started cohabitating, I actually wanted to be good at the domestic stuff. Now, I’m trying to come up with new and creative ways to get through all of it as quickly as possible. Either way, it takes more head space than I care to admit.
Sugar Is Always The Answer
In the first week of cohabitation, I woke up super early and went to the store for donuts and juice while my partner slept because I was not-so-secretly still wanting to impress him. In that same vain, now I gently throw treats at my toddler when I need to distract him for a few moments, so it's kinda like the circle of life.
There's Way More Opportunity For Affection Than Ever Before
It’s going to be a sad, sad day when my toddler no longer needs snuggles both before and after his naps. I will have to revisit the early days of living with my partner, when we snuggled pretty much anytime one of us was doing something sedentary, including but not limited to; sleeping, watching movies, and eating quesadillas.
Their Stuff Gets Everywhere
Like, does anyone actually need this much fishing gear? Also, for my toddler, same question, but about toy trucks.
Your “Me Time” Completely Evaporates
Before, it went away because I was so enamored with my partner that I wanted to be in whatever room of the house that he was in. Now? It’s because my toddler can’t exactly be unsupervised, which I guess is pretty much the same thing?
You Sometimes Find Their Stuff To Be Way Cooler Than Yours
No, you like building things with wooden blocks way more than you should, while wearing men’s sweatpants that are two sizes too big for you. Please stop staring at me.
You Find Yourself Distracted By Their Cuteness
Nothing like seeing your sleepy partner waking up by the early light of the morning sun, right? And, of course, there's nothing like having a tiny person clad in footie pajamas snuggle up to you while watching the sunrise, because they got you up six times in the night, right?
You Pretend Not To Be Excited, But You Really Don’t Mind Their Choices In Entertainment
Without my husband, I never would have discovered Battlestar Galactica in all its glory. Without my toddler, I wouldn’t have an excuse to watch cartoons (I mean, educational programming). Everyone wins!
So. Much. Laundry.
Aren’t there, like, awards ceremonies for people who do entire loads of laundry for other people? I keep waiting for my invite, but it hasn’t arrived yet.
You Become Increasingly More Aware Of What They’re Seeing You Do
Every single time I floss, I’m reminded of an old magazine article that instructed me to “Never let him see you floss.” Ha, who's laughing now, magazine article?! Now I'm flossing (among many other bathroom-related things) in front of two males.