Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Seven Things You Will Have Less of After Having Kids

My brother Travis is 11 years younger than me. He is a fantastic guy, a great friend and a wonderful Uncle. He is single and is soon graduating from Physical Therapy School. 

The reason I bring up Travis is that I think I remember what it felt like living in my mid 20s. Newly married. No kids. I thoroughly enjoyed my late 20s and early 30s. After work hours consisted of working out, work events and happy hours. Weekends were about catching up on sleep, going out and have free time.However, looking back, I am not exactly sure I fully appreciated them. I had no idea how fortunate I was to spend a lot of time on myself, my friends and with my wife. 
Travis and Ryan at the 2014 Rose Bowl.

My wife Susan and I were married nearly 10 years before having our first son Caden. As any parent knows, taking care of a little one takes up almost all your time. We are still not sure what we did with our "free time" before Caden came along. Everyone told us that everything was about to change. We did not believe them. Not everything did change, but a lot did change. If you are in a DINK relationship and thinking about having kids, here are seven things that you will have less of in the future.

Sleeping In. When Travis visited us in January he asked, "Do you guys ever get to sleep in?". We laughed so hard I don't even remember answering questions. Since Caden was born in June 2011, I can count on one hand the times he slept past 7:00 AM. Add Eloise to the mix in July 2013, and you have two kids that are usually up between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. There is no more sleeping in.

Weekend Brunches. Between 10:00 and 11:30 AM on weekends in our neighborhood, people are waiting around on the sidewalk waiting to get into brunch places. These people are young couples who do not have kids. They likely stayed up late the night before, slept in, rolled out of bed and headed to brunch. Cherish this time. Cherish it.

Travel. Luckily my wife Susan and I were able to travel internationally, take fun weekend trips, ski trips and road trips before having kids. Now we have to prepare ourselves emotionally, physically and mentally to take a one hour car trip or a four hour plane ride. International travel is at this point laughable. Skiing has not happened for two years (need a sitter) and a fun weekend trip is one to Legoland or Disneyland.
In South Carolina. We still travel!

Watching Sports on TV. Sitting down and watching "the game" for two consecutive hours is non existent. Thank goodness for DVRs and late night sports watching. Of course, Susan (not a sports fan) sees this as a benefit of having kids.

Being Spontaneous. No longer can I take off on two hour training runs, four hour bike rides to Malibu, a long hike with Nugget or head to the local sports bar. Now we have to schedule time for each other, ourselves and for our kids. Yes, I still go running, cycling and hiking, but if often involves planning and conversations.

Privacy. Taking a shower, getting dressed or using the bathroom without being constantly interrupted happens about once to twice a week. For some unknown reason, these are the times when your baby or toddler need you the most.

Date Nights. Like most young couples, we frequented the latest restaurants, saw the newest movie releases, went to concerts, the theater and bars. Now date nights by ourselves have been reduced to 1-2 times a month, mostly due to the extra cost of babysitting  and wanting to have the four of us spend time together. Most of the movies we see, the wine we drink and restaurant food we have is now at home. We also go out for dinner at 5:00 PM, where we are surrounded by people who also have kids.

While much has changed, having kids is the best decision we ever made. We are having more fun than ever. Every day is a new adventure and challenge. We have met new people and made new friends that would have never happened without having kids (and having me stay at home). So despite sacrificing sleep, some date nights, and time for ourselves, we are so happy to have two wonderful little kids.

Please leave your comments below or e-mail them to realsahdla@gmail.com  or tweet @TheRealSAHDLA.



6 comments:

  1. Great write Ryan. At this point, you can SO look forward to childhood vs. toddler time! We can do MOST of those things on a consistent basis now and it is wonderful to have the best of both worlds: time with my wife and time with the kids! Of course, I am training my son to enjoy "the big game" with me as well!

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    1. Thanks BK! Yes, we are enjoying the time now and I see families out at the beach, bike rides, and other fun activities with their older kids and I get excited for those times in the future! I cannot wait until the kids want to watch sports on TV so I can tell Susan that "I am not watching the game, I am just spending time with the kids".

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  2. Nice picture. Still waiting for Travis to pay the fair market share price for that ticket since he blatantly violated the "No Green" rule.

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    1. Luckily, I still have my hair. Just a lot more gray.

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  4. I believe the strategy to overcome the "Stanford Minniear Curse" was to have another Minniear at the game rooting for the opposing team. Unfortunately, the Minniear Curse was far too strong.

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