Six Ways I’ve Lowered My Standards Since Becoming A Dad
I swore it would never happen. I didn’t have a clue. The rules I had set up for myself in my pre-child world didn’t stand a chance once I became a dad. Here are six ways I’ve changed my standards since becoming one.
1.) Using The Bathroom (With An Audience)
I distinctly remember one of the first times I went to use the restroom after we got our dog. She followed my wife and I everywhere we went in the house. It was out way of keeping tabs on the dog as we potty trained her. That was around six years ago now. She just wanted to follow me but I kicked her out of the bathroom because I didn’t want an audience.
I’m now a dad with a toddler at home. He’s not old enough to run around the house unsupervised so he follows me into the restroom. Phoebe and Mr. Dude follow us everywhere we go now and I don’t care anymore. It is just easier to give up my privacy and know what everyone is up to than to keep it and have someone make a huge mess or get hurt.
2.) Drinks In The Bathroom
This was a huge “No no” in my mind for the first 30 years or so of my life. Do you know how many germs are in a bathroom? Too many. WebMD says “…there are 3.2 million microbes per square inch of toilet bowl” so close that lid before you flush! That’s nasty.
Things changed once I had a kid. I’m not exactly sure how this one did, but I first noticed it a couple days ago. Wife was in the shower while I was watching the kiddo. She called me in there to chat about the day’s schedule so Mr. Dude, I and my can of Coke went in for a talk. I didn’t think anything of it until I sat my soda down on the counter to write out a shopping list. That’s when it hit me. I didn’t care that the Coke was in the bathroom with me. I smiled at myself in the mirror after this realization and took another sip.
3.) Five Second Rule / Sharing Food
I would joke about eating food off the floor if it obeyed the five second rule before I was a dad. That’s all I would do though. If food was dropped on the floor or ground outside I would pick it up (sometimes I’d leave it if no one was looking) and throw it away. Now? I’ve put things in my mouth that would make my pre-dad self throw up at just the thought. I’m pretty sure that’s chocolate. Can’t let chocolate go to waste!
It took me years to get used to sharing food with my wife. Yes, we’d have sex, but I didn’t want to use the same utensils as her. Don’t ask me to explain it. I don’t know why either. Anyways, I often vowed loudly and repeatedly that I would not to share food with my kid. So. Gross. Right? Yea, that’s out the window now too. Sometimes I have to show him that I’ll eat the brussels sprouts too and if I don’t use the same fork or spoon he does he often won’t follow my example and eat it too. The thing I swore I’d never do has become a necessity.
(If you are a member of my family that reads the blog [here’s looking at you Mom & Dad] please feel free to just go ahead and skip to number 5. Thanks.)
Having a kid has put a serious cramp in the frequency of lovemaking for my wife and I. A perfect example of this happened a couple of days ago. Wife is a flight attendant who can be on work trips for a few days at a time. Sometimes flight times and crews get shuffled around by the higher ups and a perfect opportunity for a roll in the sack comes around. Abigail ended up in a day room at a hotel by the airport near our home. In the days before we had a kid I’d drive over for some married fun before she needed to go on with her trip. Now? Toddler playing at home can’t be left alone.
Let’s face it. The speed of lovemaking gets impacted once a child (or children) enter into the relationship too. Infants and toddlers who have what can be described as unpredictable sleep schedules at best can make lovemaking for any amount of time a challenge. The wife and I are often too tired to have sex once the toddler is in bed. The choice often becomes sex or some extra sleep and you can likely guess which one wins a majority of the time. We never let that happen pre-kid.
That basically leaves our one chance for married fun happening is during naptime on the weekends. I don’t know if the frequency and speed of sex improves or declines as children in the home get older, but I’m going to find out.
I hardly ever swore before I had a kid. Then after I became a father I became fluent in it. I swear mostly while driving, or drinking with buddies or discussing politics online. Do you know how many people are just. plain. wrong. about things on the Internet? Too frickin many.
I don’t swear much around my kid but it does happen from time to time. I never swear at my kid, that would be wrong. It would hurt him and I don’t want to do that. I do however let one slip when I slam my toe into Mr. Dude’s toy metal truck while walking around in the dark or when I do something incredibly stupid because I haven’t had my coffee yet. The fatherhood level of toe stubbing and sleep deprivation is at an all time high during the toddler years. I’m no where near out of the woods yet.
6.) Personal Electronic Use
I used to judge parents so hard who let their kids watch an iPad while their family had dinner in a public restaurant. I used to judge parents even more harshly who would just let their kid be babysat by the TV or a smartphone so they could get some work done around the house or even just to take a break. What lazy horrible parents they were. Or so I thought. Wow, I am so sorry parents I judged. Sometimes it is just so easy to get that 20 minute break in the middle of the afternoon after a full day with a toddler who refused to take a nap. They were right. It just has to happen from time to time.
What rules have changed for you since becoming a parent? Please share in the comments below.