Having a kid changes your life in many ways, and not always good ones.
One of the reasons I started blogging about parenting and fatherhood was to vent about the irritating ways my son’s existence has forced me to alter my own and to show the world that having kids doesn’t need to change everything. Yes, becoming a parent definitely changes capital-E Everything, but it doesn’t have to change little-e everything.
So far, my wife and I have done a pretty good job of maintaining some semblance of our old lives even as the constant, daily, inescapable presence of a (now) toddler has forced us to make certain adjustments—certain inconvenient and annoying adjustments.
We’ve been doing OK, but we haven’t been able to avoid every headache. Here are six ways having a kid has ruined my life:
1. Sleeping. Duh.
2. Eating. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then I got married. And a few years after that, I had a kid. Now, every time I crack the pantry, he spots something he wants and starts losing his shit until he gets it. Even when it’s dinnertime and we’re all eating the same thing, he wants what’s on my plate even though he has the same exact thing on his plate. I used to think he was stupid, but now I know he’s just in the early stages of taking everything that’s mine and making it his—for the rest of his life, just because he can.
3. Entertainment. I used to be able to watch and listen to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then I got married. A few years after that, I had a kid. Now, not only can I not go to the movies, but also, when I’m home, I have to hide the good stuff from him (anything with violence or bad language or sex). I have to sit through the garbage he likes and fill my DVR with episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba! and Caillou and Thomas the Stupidest Effing TV Show of All Time.
4. Having Sex. I used to be able to have sex with whomever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then I got married. A few years after that, I had a kid. Now the wife and I have three options: 1) first thing in the morning, in the rare (hellish) instance we wake up before our son; 2) when we go to bed, if we’re not so exhausted that we can barely even kiss goodnight; or 3) during his nap, provided he doesn’t wake up in the middle and start crying, thus obliterating any possibility of enjoying it. I mean, I can usually power through, but my wife’s interest completely dries up.
5. Drinking. The good news is he’s not yet at the age when drinking in front of him raises uncomfortable questions, like “Can I have some?” or “Are you an alcoholic?” or “Why do you hate your life?” But with a toddler around, I can’t go out drinking as much and I have to get bombed a little less. And being hungover is a thousand times worse. Worst of all, day drinking is almost impossible, either because we’re hanging out with our kid at the same time, or because we have to hang out with him when we get home and the babysitter leaves, and that’s no good. A toddler doesn’t need to be eating what I eat for dinner after I’ve spent six hours drinking in the sun. Believe me.
6. Being an Idiot. I used to be able to jaywalk. I used to be able to speed. I used to be able to curse at jaywalkers while I was speeding. I used to be able to not get a flu shot. I used to be able to sleep ’til noon for no reason. I used to be able to do all manner of stupid shit without even a second thought. Then I got married. A few years after that, I had a kid.
Don’t get me wrong: I still manage to be an idiot a fair amount of the time. And in all honesty, I’ve never been happier.
When it comes to having kids, the good outweighs the bad.
But some days, it’s pretty damn close.