Before & After

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

Everyone knows circumstances change dramatically when you have a baby, but not everyone realizes just how much. I’ve come to learn that words and phrases take on a completely different meaning after a child blesses your life. Below I have compiled a sentence, and broken down what it translated to before kids, and after. Enjoy and feel free to add your own.

“I slept really well last night.”
BEFORE KIDS: That used to mean 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, after which you wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
AFTER KIDS: Now that phrase means you managed to get about 3 hours of continuous sleep between four feedings and two diaper changes, then you slept intermittently on the couch while the baby slept for 15 minutes, then screamed, and then went back to sleep for 20 minutes. But after weeks of sleep deprivation you’re THRILLED with three hours of uninterrupted sleep!

“Let’s go out to dinner.”
BEFORE KIDS: You picked a place, got in the car and off you went. Sometimes you didn’t even pick a place, you just jumped in the car and ended up wherever.
AFTER KIDS: Now it’s all about strategy. If you’re going out to eat you need to first make sure you time the baby’s feeding just right so (God willing) he’ll be asleep while you’re dining. You also need to change him just before you leave. Then you need to pack a bag filled with diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, blankets, pacifiers and a spare outfit in case he takes an atomic dump and ruins his clothes. Oh and don’t forget the stroller and if you’re a breastfeeding mom, you better remember the nursing pads. You don’t want to leak during the appetizers! Basically you need to pack like you’re going on an extended vacation just for a 90-minute excursion.

“It’s been so long since we’ve had ‘sandwiches.'”
BEFORE KIDS: We haven’t had sex in days.
AFTER KIDS: Let’s just say you stop counting by days, weeks and months. Now it’s more like “I think we did it last winter.”

“Ouch. My boobs are sore.”
BEFORE KIDS: Guys, when your wife said this before children it meant you probably just had some fun and got a little overeager.
AFTER KIDS: Now it means the baby just ate lunch.

“Damn honey, you look gorgeous!”
BEFORE KIDS: She either got all gussied up for a night on the town in a sexy cocktail dress, or maybe she surprised you with some skimpy lingerie.
AFTER KIDS: She’s wearing anything not covered in baby poop or spit up and she managed to shave her legs.

“I had a really good day today.”
BEFORE KIDS: Maybe you got a promotion at work. Or you won $20 on a scratch ticket. You might’ve had a really good workout at the gym. Hell, maybe you went to a bar, got a little tipsy and then got lucky later on in the night.
AFTER KIDS: The baby kept you up all night, you got no sleep, you went through work like a zombie without realizing you have spit-up on your shirt, you tried going to the gym but fell asleep on the treadmill and when you got home the dogs peed all over the floor. But when you walked in the door your son smiled at you and giggled. And all of a sudden you realize you just had a really terrific day.

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3 thoughts on “Before & After

  1. By far one of my favorite entries so far….you hit the nail on the head with this one!

  2. “I work part time.”
    BEFORE KIDS: I went to an office for less than 40 hours a week, came home, did stuff around the house.
    AFTER KIDS: Up by 6, feed, change entertain baby. Shower, get dressed, attempt to eat something. Begin guzzling coffee. Load up diaper bag, drive 10 miles out of the way for daycare. Arrive at work by 9:30, maybe. Work 6 hours. Pick up child. Repeat earlier steps for 6-7 more hours, but add bathing child, feed animals and husband. Pass out by 10.

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