There’s life before children, and life after children. After children, you’re still the same old you—you just start playing life by different rules. Less stringent rules. Whenever and wherever you can.
When I realized I had modified yet another rule I had previously adhered to my entire life (see first bullet below), I started thinking about all the rules I have adjusted to fit my mama lifestyle. There are things I’d never done, never heard, and never experienced before I had children. Here are just a few of them—the few I could share and still keep things fairly sanitized, anyway.
- Wore a pair of underwear two days in a row because the laundry was so backed up.
- Decided it was okay to shuffle out to the curbside mailbox in my jammies. (We’re talkin’ Utah here, folks. The axis of modesty.)
- Taken my bra off and given it to a child so he could wear it, just for fun.
- Colored my toenails with magic markers. Five different colors per foot, even.
- Explained what “placenta” is to a three year old.
Yes. This is a drawing of placenta. I was told by the three year old.
- Learned the name of every superhero IN THE UNIVERSE. And each of their special powers. And each of their everyday names–you know, the names they use when they aren’t being superheroes.
Exposed my breasts at the dinner table. (Hey, Charlie’s gotta eat, too.)
Stared at a sleeping baby’s face, fingers, and toes—then looked up to find that 45 minutes had gone by.
Left the hair dryer on for a solid ten minutes AFTER drying my hair because it stopped a baby from crying.
Had someone happily yell to me from the bathroom, “Yay, I pooped! Now come wipe my butt.”
Wiped someone else’s butt.
Created a Spiderman-themed sticker chart for someone in order to get them to do whatever I wanted.
Had someone cut up one of my quilts with scissors.
Been told “I love you!” so many times in the span of a day.
So, yes. My sense of decorum has died, at least partly. I still insist on a bath each morning. I still believe in a clean kitchen. And I still remember to brush my teeth almost every day. There’ll be plenty of time to relearn the rules of etiquette in the years to come.
Oops. I forgot. I guess it’s also up to me to teach those rules, isn’t it? Well, I guess I can guarantee that at least one etiquette rule will never be broken by my boys. I’m the only one who will ever be flashing my boobs at the dinner table.