There's almost nothing in life that doesn't change with having kids. Many of those changes you can see coming a mile away -- the sleep deprivation, the mini van, the irritating compulsion to capture everything on video. But some are quite surprising. The kind that your pre-kid self would never have anticipated, especially when it comes to things that used to freak you out in a monumental way. Here are 10 things that, to my surprise, I've become quite zen about since becoming a mom.
1. Vomit. While I was holding my daugher's hair back the other day as she threw up all over my shirt -- the real deal throw up, not the baby kind -- I was actually laughing about how not long ago the mere mention of the word puke, let alone the sight, smell and proximity to it, would have reflexively make me hurl.
2. Hospitals. No one likes them. Being in one even just to visit used to strike fear in my heart. Having a high-risk pregnancy with lots of hospital visits and then spending a month in the NICU with my twin daughters made me look at the place as a land of miracles.
3. Blood. When I cut my finger bad enough to need 7 stitches years ago, I took one look at the river of blood and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor. Today, I calmly study gashes, nose bleeds and bleeding gums armed with peroxide, Neosporin, tissues and/or princess band-aids.
4. Walking into a room full of strangers. The social anxiety is gone. Especially in a gathering of other parents. Asking about someone's kids, telling stories about your own, showing photos... you've got a built in conversation starter.
5. Traveling. Ok, maybe I'm not entirely not not afraid of this one but my kids' excitement about taking any sort of transportation tempers the free-flowing anxiety that comes with the process.
6. Saying no. When you are blatantly refusing to let someone do something, like, say, stick a fork in a light socket or eat the head of a LEGO Friend, it's amazing how easy it is.
7. Clowns. The stuff of nightmares. But after so many Gymboree classes they've lost their terrifying power. Now they're just irritating.
8. Bathing Suits. It's time to just get in the pool, especially since your kids are jumping in. I try to remember seeing my stomach expand to cartoonish proportions and realize that no matter what the critical voice says, what's going on in comparison is pretty great.
9. Nail salons. Honestly, I always stayed away from them. The smell, the dubious water in the tubs, the reports of fungus from shared tools. Now, I'm there once a weekend as I've learned how great kids' manicures can be. They think they're a treat and mom can drink her coffee AND read a magazine.
10. Sunday nights. The dreaded Sunday blues used to engulf half a weekend. Now, either I'm so focused on my kids' activities that I block it out or, my girls are so excited about going to school (I know) that it's impossible to rain on their parade.
Is there anything that having kids has made you less afraid of?
Image via Flickr/Jeremysalmon
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside