1. Once you’re a mother, the opportunity cost of literally everything is suddenly spending time with your child.
2. Things like exercising and getting your nails done no longer seem like acts of self-care, necessarily, because they prevent you from spending quality time with your love nugget.
3. Ditto to taking long showers and washing your hair.
4. On the upside, you get to feel a lot less guilty about skipping the gym and showing up to work with gross nails. Because, really, who cares???
5. Motherhood automatically sharpens your sense of perspective.
6. It also makes you super decisive, mostly because you don’t have time to ping-pong between choices anymore. You’ve got diapers to change! And food to purée!
7. When you become a parent, your options are automatically limited. But the limitations of parenthood are secretly wonderful.
8. Looking back on your old life, you fully understand the Paradox of Choice: More options do not always equal more happiness. Having fewer choices can be strangely freeing.
9. Still, there are times when you miss your former carefree existence. Because how could you not???
10. Your weekends are a whole lot less weekendy these days.
11. And vacations, when you get to take them, seem a lot less vacationy.
12. So many things are not what they once were.
13. For example, the sunrise, once so romantic, is now more likely the backdrop to an early morning feeding or soothing session between baby and a groggy eyed mama.
14. Your nipples, once purely sexual, are now tiny portals to life sustaining food fuel (if you elect to breastfeed, that is).
15. Suddenly, you’re an early bird.
16. And a person who goes to bed at an ungodly early hour, and / or naps whenever possible.
17. You also crack up at the strangest little things.
18. Because, it turns out, your child is hilarious.
19. You also find yourself crying more often than ever—partly because you’re exhausted, and partly because you’re exhausted.
20. You will question things you never questioned before, like whether or not it’s healthy that you own a scale: Do I want my son or daughter to know me as a person who weighs herself regularly or inspects her naked body in the mirror each morning???
21. You will also challenge yourself like never before to be the best possible version of yourself—not for your own sake, but for theirs. It’s your duty to lead by example, after all.
22. Every decision you make has an impact. You suddenly get that.
23. And when it comes to your relationship, having a baby is a lot like having more money. They say more money makes you ~more~ of what you already are, good or bad. That’s what you can expect for your relationship when baby arrives.
24. So if you and your significant other have a strong, healthy bond, expect to fall harder for each other once you become parents together.
25. If things are rocky, on the other hand, that baby might very well break you as a couple.
26. Finally, you will understand why parents post so many photos of their children.
27. You might even be tempted to follow suit in swapping out your profile pic for a photo of one or your kids.
28. It’s not that your kids have eclipsed your identity. The simple truth is, your children will always be way cuter than you are. That’s just the natural order of things.
Read more: thoughtcatalog.com