CONTRIBUTED // you know you're a parent when...
The other day I had an alarm set on my phone to remind me to order concert tickets. I needed to order them the moment they went on sale because they would likely sell out fast. (And sure enough, they sold out in thirty minutes.) I had numerous browsers open, refreshing the pages multiple times until I was finally able to order four seats together that weren’t in the nosebleeds.
I used to do this for concerts like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, and sporting events like the World Series. But not this time. Oh no. This time, it was for…The Wiggles. And not even all of The Wiggles. Just Emma and Lachy, who happen to be married. (But more on that later).
Ordering these tickets was just another moment in which I became PAINFULLY aware that I am now a parent. Don’t get me wrong, I love parenthood. But every so often something will happen that makes me realize just how much my life has drastically changed from the way it used to be.
Here, let me illustrate just a few examples:
You know you’re a parent when…you go to bed when you used to go out, and you wake up when you used to get home. In my pre-kid days, I used to think nothing about going out at 10pm. If I’m leaving the house at 10pm now, it’s probably because I’m going to the drugstore to get medicine for my kids.
And in my pre-kid days, I occasionally made it home as the sun was starting to rise. There isn’t a chance in hell I’m staying out until sunrise now because that would mean I would likely walk in the door and be greeted by my children who have just woken up and are full of piss and vinegar. There isn’t enough coffee in the world that could get me through that day.
You know you’re a parent when…you start following The Wiggles on social media. I watch TMZ these days and I barely know anyone they are talking about. That’s likely because the “celebrities” on my radar these days are people like Emma, Lachy and Simon from The Wiggles. And when I started following them on Instagram, my mind was blown when I realized the Emma and Lachy are married! It was the parenting version of celebrity gossip when I got together with some other mom friends and shared that little tidbit of info. And I was relieved to find out that a few of them already knew because they also follow them on Instagram.
You know you’re a parent when…you start singing the praises of a minivan to anyone who will listen. For the record, I wasn’t one of those people who swore I would never own a minivan for the simple reason that a minivan was never even on my radar. I had driven SUV’s since college and I just assumed I would do the same when I had kids. That is until I was expecting my second child and had no idea how I would fit two kids, a double stroller, diaper bags and groceries into my SUV.
I starting asking around and I couldn’t find anyone who regretted switching from an SUV to a minivan. The minivan owners I talked to RAVED about their mom-mobiles and once I becamse a minivan driver, I started doing the same. “There’s so much room!” “It’s way more practical than an SUV.” “You won’t believe how many cup holders there are!”
And I do love my minivan, but I can’t help but think that maybe everyone raves about them because they’re secretly just trying to get as many moms as possible driving them so we can all feel less-cool together.
These are just a few examples of things that make me realize I’m now a parent. I know there are others but I can’t remember what they are. Because that’s another thing that I’ve realized since becoming a parent – my memory is horrible now. Some days I can’t even remember why I walked into a room, but of course I can remember every word to the Paw Patrol theme song.
Melissa Hopper lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two young children. She is the office manager at a publishing company and, formerly a newspaper columnist, but has recently found her passion for writing again after a 10 year hiatus. Melissa is the often snarky voice behind the Instagram account @MommyWifeyWino. She enjoys travelling, being sarcastic and having a good glass of red wine. In addition to writing for adults, Melissa also writes picture books for children.