18 Ways Life is Different After Kids

The saying goes that everything changes when you become a parent. Sure, I had heard that, but before I had kids I didn’t truly realize that everything would change. Everything. From my hair to my clothes, how I chose my apartment to how I decorated it, how I eat to how I go to the bathroom, my entire life with kids is different than my life prior to having kids. Basically, my existence can be broken down into BK or AK (before kids or after kids).

1. Before kids, going to the bathroom was a solitary activity. Of course it was – why wouldn’t it be? After kids, going to the bathroom is a full-contact spot. I’m not proud of it, but I am now an expert at going to the bathroom with a small child clutching my thighs and wailing for attention.

2. Before kids, three was the optimum number of drinks. It was enough to get a little drunk and fun but not ridiculously out-of-control. After kids, on the rare occasions I go out, I can have one drink. One. Any more and I’m up to pee a million times at night, plus I wake up feeling like I have a 10-drink hangover.

3. Before kids, brunch didn’t start until 11am. After kids, lunch is at 11am.

4. Before kids, I didn’t worry about not getting enough sleep during the week; after all, that’s what the weekends were for. After kids, hahahaha! What weekend? We get up at the same (early) time on the weekend as we do during the week and there’s actually less of a break since there’s no school.

5. Before kids, we chose restaurants based on what food we wanted to eat. What a concept. After kids, we choose restaurants based on who has a children’s menu, an accommodating seating plan, and is open at 5pm.

6. Before kids, I ate when I was hungry. Hot food was hot. Each mouthful was a carefully constructed bite of what I wanted, when I wanted it. After kids, I shove food in my mouth when given the opportunity. I finish my older son’s food and if the baby lets me put him down, I take those few minutes to eat whatever I can find.

7. Before kids, wine, lingerie, and a fancy dinner spelled romance. After kids, the most romantic thing I can do for my husband is wash the dishes.

8. Before kids, birthday parties were an excuse to get together with friends for too many overpriced drinks. After kids, birthday parties are still an excuse to get together with friends – the parents of my son’s friends. Going to kiddie birthday parties is pretty much the main way I socialize now.

9. Before kids, other than that one party in college, my boobs were rarely on display in public. After kids, boobs. Everywhere. I know what all my friends’ boobs look like. And for me, yes, I wear a cover when I nurse in public, but still, it’s amazing how having a baby attached to them desexualizes boobs.

10. Before kids, when I went out I didn’t leave until after 9pm. After kids, I’m in bed around 9pm.

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11. Before kids, I dyed my hair to change the color. After kids, I dye my hair to cover the grays.

12. Before kids, I would tell my stylist to “do something cute” with my hair. After kids, I tell my stylist to leave my hair long enough so I can put it in a ponytail.

13. Before kids, I had three sizes of clothing: thin, normal and fat. After kids, I still have three sizes of clothing but they’re normal (my former fat clothes), transition to maternity, and maternity. And now that I’ve discovered the glory of the elastic waistband, I may never go back to pants with buttons.

14. Before kids, I chose where I lived based on proximity to bars and restaurants. After kids, I chose where I lived based on the school district.

15. Before kids, my apartment was decorated with trinkets from vacations, knickknacks found at flea markets, some arty prints, and pictures of my friends and me. After kids, the most expensive tchotchkes on display are plastic dinosaurs. The prints have been replaced with drawings by a highly sought-after new artist (my pre-schooler) and all our pictures are of the kids.

16. Before kids, I never bought in bulk – not only was there no room in my NYC apartment, but there was no need. After kids, paper towels are, like oxygen and cheese sticks, a necessity. An order permanently resides in my Fresh Direct cart.

17. Before I had kids, if my neighbors had a late-night party, I went. After I had kids, if my neighbors have a late-night party, I call the cops.

18. Before kids, being sick wasn’t fun, but it at least didn’t require much effort. I got the day off work and could lay around with orange juice or chicken soup, watching junk TV and playing online. After kids, I sneeze, barf, or have chills while still taking care of the kids, rest and fluid intake be damned. In fact, I wrote this during the week I unknowingly had Strep, yet still took care of both kids, cooked dinner and ran errands because moms don’t get days off of work.

Related post: The 10 Rules of Mom Club

About the writer

Jen Simon writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Babble, Scary Mommy, Lifetime Moms, and more. She has contributed to four anthologies. She stays home with her sons—a toddler and a sleep-challenged five-year-old. To see more of her work, find her on www.JenSimonWriter.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.

From Around the Web


Iris 4 months ago

I wish I would have slept more in my 20s and partied less. Na.. Who am I kidding, I had way too much fun. Before kids I was a hot mess and now after having 3 boys, some days it’s just a total train wreck!

Cinnamon 4 months ago

I honestly can’t remember either scenario! Having my 1st baby at 21, and the last at 43 … sigh … Haha! Great article, however!

Renene Louw 7 months ago

Life really changed but I just cannot imagine my life without them.

Rachel Iacobazzi Riecan 7 months ago


Jen Sprinkle 7 months ago

4, 6 & 15 my top 3!

Abby Borchardt 7 months ago

Spot. Freakin. On.

Sharon Goldie 7 months ago

All true…but amp it up for the working outside the home mom.

Jennifer Delgado 7 months ago

This is so funny & so true!! Lol

Ashley Griffin 7 months ago

& oh how unexpected some of these things are Minda Ki # 17 almost happened yesterday but a variation of morning, hammer & the opposite of calling cops lol i now officially hate neighbors

Sharon Hughes 7 months ago

omg sounds horrendous so glad i dont have kids

Dawn Johnson 7 months ago

So so true

Carrie Kietzman 7 months ago

Going out at night for me would be after 10pm…oh how things have changed! Love the change though and there’s nothing better than being a momma

Jenean Plumb 7 months ago

So true especially number 18, a day off (yeah right!)?

Terri Moore Swing 7 months ago

So funny and so true!!!

Holly Tschudy 7 months ago

Oh my gosh so true!

Steve Dahl 7 months ago

Hey #7 is my wheelhouse!

Eli Savet 7 months ago

17. Serial offender. #mumlyf

Nina Eggens 7 months ago

Can someone explain to me why we have kids? I am sleep deprived and forgot. (I usually slap my husband when he asks that same question!).

Sarah Thomas 7 months ago

Yep, this

Winter Risha 7 months ago

#6. no one tells you about #6…

Kelly Daniels 7 months ago

#7 and 14! Doing dishes is tres romantic, and I also am ditching pants with buttons

Elizabeth Dunlap 7 months ago

I remember a lot of these. As a grandma, I can laugh at it.

Judy Sheahan 7 months ago

I could have been the author!!

Synthony Tregoning 7 months ago

All of it

Sharon Kramer Castellanos 7 months ago

Yes, yes, yes!!

Angela Cash 7 months ago

Lol she forgot having spontaneous sex anywhere in the house you please. Now it’s “did u lock the door”? “Are u sure?” Yes I locked the door”. Two minutes later door creeks open, “mama, I had a bad dream”.

Kate 7 months ago

Your “spawnless” sister might have a life of her own, which you do not anymore. She is not obligated to babysit your crotchfruit.

Lynda Mitchell Williams 7 months ago

#1. Still true with my granddaughter. I think children realize they have a captive audience!

Fliss Stewart 7 months ago

Before kids a holiday was a holiday. After kids (or at least with a baby) it’s doing the same stuff in a different location whilst fitting in a bit of holiday stuff (eg an hour at the beach)

Marina Cossutta 7 months ago

Unfortunately true!!

Meri Lowry 7 months ago

Number 8 definitely

Susan Schwark 7 months ago

I really miss eating hot food.

Melissa Munkers 7 months ago

#5- also have to consider where kids eat free that night

Callie 7 months ago

All true. Here’s a tip for women who are on the fence about having kids: don’t do it just because your partner wants kids!! I wish someone had told me that.

Jill Papke 7 months ago

13 made me laugh out loud!

Jennifer Shanteau 7 months ago

Yes, it’s so sad….no life

Jennifer Evans 7 months ago

You know, I’m 62 and can remember all this with Rachel and Ben! Now I can relive it all over again with Titus and Rachel!

Christina Todorov 7 months ago


Tricia Baggott Torres 7 months ago

Ha! #18. Sucks for me, because my husband still spend the day in bed.

lisa 10 months ago

I dont have kids yet but this os me now already lol

Loreto Vasquez 10 months ago

Yes and no…..some things change, not everything does. For me, I try to make my kids lives revolve around ours, not the otherway around. sometimes it works, sometimes it does not… the bigger they get the better, now my big one eats by herself for example and she waits for the time we all eat. Also I really do not stress about the little things, she does not wan to eat, well, she doesn`t have to. I understand, I myself am not always hungry, she won´t die. AND I do not fell guilty about it. Also do not care about anyone elese`s opinion. I´m sick now and pregnant again, my husband did everything that had to be done. The only thing I miss is the sleep. I guess, eventually I will get that back.

Kat Smith 10 months ago

so much true!! all of it!!

Rebeca Rojo 10 months ago

Omg I can definitely relate to the last one #18!!! Working full time was easier than being a sahm! At least I used to get a lunch break and paid sick days. Now, I have ZERO days off, unless I have a fever of 102. But even so, all three kids are home. With me.

Laura Whitney 10 months ago

I remember when I was pregnant with my first and knew all about how life was going to be…

Savanna Sue Hartman 10 months ago

Soooo True

Erin Patrick McGregor 10 months ago

#10!!!! Dear God!!! #10!!!

Camira Colquhoun 10 months ago

Theres alot of things you miss out on when you become a parent but the joy your baby will give you is priceless.

Mystallica 10 months ago

Go back to thechildfreelife.com and slag us off there LaTormenta. You don’t have kids, you don’t understand, and that’s ok. Yes if it was really god awful then everyone would stop after the first. But we don’t. Surely anyone with half a brain would realise that people have another child for a reason and not to “self harm”? Being a parent isn’t the easiest thing in the world but (and watch out, here comes a BINGO!) it’s worth it. Why is it worth it? You find joy in the little things. Even if you have had zero sleep, your child’s smile can make it all better. Hard to explain to those who aren’t parents.

Jewelry In Candles for Eli’s Journey 10 months ago

too true! especially number one!!!

Pam Menard 10 months ago

Before kids, I actually enjoyed a hot cup of coffee. After kids, you either drink it cold or warm it up so many times you eventually dump it. If of course your kids don’t spill it first!

Tirzah Reilkoff 10 months ago

#1, #6, & #12 here. What is this “hot food” you refer to?

Paula Gruben 10 months ago

Oh my. It’s quite scary how many of these things I relate to.

Kim Schmidgall 10 months ago

Addition to #6–cold food until last kid leaves home. 😀

Brianna Watson 10 months ago

Today is my first experience with #18.

Joleen Natoli 10 months ago

Hahaha! Now you can look forward to droopy boobs, overactive bladder syndrome and chronic constipation.LOL.

Alicia Barnowski 10 months ago


Rachel Anne Fray 10 months ago

Haha pants have buttons??

Renee Valentine 10 months ago

#9. For sure.

Shea-Lee Stanton 10 months ago

This made me giggle, a lot, out loud

Vanessa Buck 10 months ago

I’m so lucky I’m a shut in and don’t go out. I’m pregnant with my first and already have no social life. I already pee with the door open since its just me and my husband. And I embrace baby jail. Screaming kids don’t bother me because my mom ran a daycare. Guess I lucked out lol. I knew being a hermit would pay off in the end! With my luck the kid will sleep through the night right away since that’s opposite of my sleep schedule.

Nina Pluta 10 months ago

I will never understand women who don’t shut the door when they go to the bathroom. They can handle it for two minutes. Geez!

Deborah Shelton 10 months ago

So true!

Frazzled Ends 10 months ago

Love, love, love this! Would add an item about ‘the car’. Before kids my car was a fun extension of my personality. I would select something cute/fun/youthful. It was kept clean and it smelled of flowers. Hanging from the rear view mirror was something interesting from a vacation. After kids the car became a tool used to haul oversized car seats, groceries, clothing that has been shed between the house & daycare, lost sippy cups, and of course ever present dehydrated french fries. I don’t think there are words to describe the smell. Hanging from the rear view mirror is a painted macaroni necklace faded from the sun ‘hand crafted’ by the 4 yr old.

Melissa Bauer 10 months ago

As I sit up at 4am rocking a coughing toddler, myself not feeling up to snuff, I must agree with this. All of this!

Natasha Olah 10 months ago

Maternity bras. nuff said. LOL

Wendy Stone 10 months ago

Yes… Yes… And yes… All the way down, yes.

Nicole Phelps-Curtis 10 months ago

1 word JEGGINGS!

Jaymie Praught 10 months ago

Omg, this is me, EXACTLY! :O

Janice Houghton 10 months ago

I cringe when I think of how many times I threw my boob out in front of people.

Janice Houghton 10 months ago

Oh snap… or no snap.

Kristy Engel 10 months ago


Emily Katherine 10 months ago

Same! Isn’t it great though?! Wouldn’t trade it :)

Nicole Vessell 10 months ago

Yoga pants are my best friend!!!! Anything with stretch!

Amber Nicole 10 months ago

I don’t see anything so bad in the article. :)

Amber Nicole 10 months ago

Me either! I don’t understand what’s so bad?

Samantha Merriott 10 months ago

Lmao this is to funny!!!!

Danielle Alegre 10 months ago

A lot of this doesn’t have to be so! It doesn’t have to be that bad!

Betsy Keopanya 10 months ago

Love this! Haha and I for real am not going back to pants with buttons hahaha

Lori Tokarczyk 10 months ago


Shawana Winstead 10 months ago

I can’t even remember before kids!

Lesa Luett Fishburn 10 months ago

I believe there is some satire to this :) everyone has a crazy day now and again.

Lesa Luett Fishburn 10 months ago

yes!!! Before kids I would say ” MY child will NEVER do xyz” HA i have never eaten so many words!!

Shay Nielsen Vail 10 months ago

Spot on.

Trista Cotton 10 months ago

All are right on thw money but #18 is me right now just found out i have strep throat and have been doing it all with A newborn and just went back to work this week!!! The joys of motherhood!!

Melissa Cole Grape 10 months ago

#12, definitely

Aimee Nicole Wiebe 10 months ago

OMG!!!! I feel like I wrote this …

Npc Competitor Teresa Washack 10 months ago

Sooooo true! #13

Kerrie Motta 10 months ago

Food comes hot??

Petra McCafferty 10 months ago

My kids are my world…. But I’m not going to run my self ragged either. It’s as hard or simple as you want to make it

Petra McCafferty 10 months ago

I have a Autistic four year old daughter. And 20 month old son. We still manage to make time for our selves.. Eat dinner when it’s warm, shut the bathroom door…

Amie Conner 10 months ago

ALL true 😉

Jennifer Elaine DeVito 10 months ago

Do you not have kids? This is motherhood to the fullest <3 taking care of your kids no matter the cost.

Alyx Hatton 10 months ago

I never want to wear pants with buttons again. Why don’t we always wear maternity clothes!?

Coreen Kremer 10 months ago

This is great! Sharing.

Annette DeCola 10 months ago

Can totally relate to #12

Traci Holland Loeser 10 months ago


Montana Williams 10 months ago

Before I had kids I hated articles like this because I felt like it was just another parent complaining non-stop about the little humans they voluntarily chose to have. Now I nod along to every single thing and give my toddler a kiss on the head as she uses me as a jungle gym before bed time.

Amber Nicole 10 months ago


Noemi Castillo 10 months ago

#18 is my life right now

Alison Bourke 10 months ago

Hair: Before kids I used to have FUN with my hair, experimenting with different colours and styles and cute hair accessories and thought nothing of dropping a hundred bucks at my favourite stylist. After kids , damn it, where s that scrunchie, we were supposed to have been out the door 5 minutes ago! Don’t get me started on the kids shampoo that Im using these days.

Viviana Solórzano 10 months ago

F buttons. I’m never wearing regular pants again!

Petra McCafferty 10 months ago

I really hope no one lives like this…. Come on

Sharon Harrison 10 months ago

#12 for sure! B-)

Cari Williams 10 months ago

Ain’t that the truth…every single one

Niccole English 10 months ago

I can’t count the times after I switched back to “regular” jeans that I tried to just yank ’em down in the bathroom!

Stark Raving Dad 10 months ago

“Hot food was hot.” Oh man I miss eating fresh, hot food…

Misty Chandler 10 months ago

Yep, life certainly changes

Cynthia C McGrail 10 months ago

10, 11, 12

Gina 11 months ago

Go troll on another site. SM is a no-judgement zone. People have their reasons… no need to go spitting venom just b/c you can’t get your head around those reasons yourself.

Emily 1 year ago

To be honest, I could say the same thing about before and after starting medical school. I’ve been out of residency and working as an attending for two years and I still agree with most of the after kids comments, despite not having kids. Not all before kids lives look the same…

Kris 1 year ago

My spawnless sister is super inconsiderate of motherhood in any form. Never has offered to babysit or even replace a shoe that had been removed in the car. And has a well formed ignorant opinion of motherhood. I remember mine as I listen to hers. Boy is she in for a surprise. I know I was.

Rachel817 1 year ago

I didn’t really feel like anything changed with 1 kid. I just had an adorable tiny shadow everywhere. I wasn’t a party girl BK I was pretty low key. When #2 arrived, that’s when things really changed. Even a simple trip to the grocery store is a pain, sleep schedules got messed up and my calm little one started acting crazy.

LaTormenta 1 year ago

So why do people keep popping them out ? Surely anyone with half a brain would have figured this out after the first, why keep doing it to yourself? I always though self-harming was a mental illness.

Snotty Noses 1 year ago

When I was pregnant with our first baby I remember my husband saying he would teach our baby to sleep in 6 weeks. I believed him! How I laugh now.

jen 1 year ago

The sleep. Oh, the sleep.

Anita Davis Sullivan 1 year ago

All true! And it’s been 10 years now- so I’d forgotten that most of that BK life even existed.