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WMPC: What Matters Post-Children?

Having kids causes a shift in priorities so seismic you could measure it on the Richter scale

Some things just don’t matter as much now as they used to.

Do ladies need to wear hats and gloves when they go shopping these days? No. It doesn’t matter. Do gentlemen need to wear a coat and tie to go out to the movies? No. It doesn’t matter. Are we frowned upon when we don’t bake our own bread, or grow our own vegetables, or change our own tires? NO.

That’s right. According to Bill Murray, “It just doesn't matter!

Life has changed in many ways since I became a mom. Do I still get dressed up and put makeup on every day? No. It doesn’t matter to my kids if I do. Do I still go out and buy fancy shoes with every paycheck I earn? No, (unfortunately) I now wear comfortable “mom shoes.” Shoes don’t matter anymore either.

Staying up late, eating out, overnight trips, specialty coffees – these things have taken a demotion on the totem pole of importance in my life since my children came along.

Here is my assessment of some of the things that don’t matter nearly as much – and the things that do – now that I have children:

Crumbs on my clean floor don’t matter. Crumbs mean that I have kids that don’t have to go to bed hungry.

Fingerprints and smudges on the walls don’t matter. They mean that I have toddlers who are healthy and able to play (though I would prefer that they learn to use a paper towel.)

Not having enough free time to surf the Internet doesn’t matter. It means that I have an extra five minutes for lullaby-singing. Who needs to know who has the worse beach body this year, anyway?

Piles of unfolded laundry don’t matter. They mean that I have a houseful of people that I love. Messy people, yes, but I love them!  

A house cluttered with toys, books and fishing gear doesn’t matter. It means that my family is comfortable here and they can do all the things they love at home.

Missing the beginning of my favorite TV show doesn’t matter. It means that I have time to read two extra bedtime stories to someone who is growing up too fast.

A puddle of spilled grape juice on the kitchen counter doesn’t matter. A sticky kiss from little grape-juice-flavored lips does.

Toys left out in the yard and in the driveway don’t matter. The fact that I have room for my kids to run around outside – and to breathe fresh air – that’s what matters.  

Muddy shoe prints on the floor don’t really matter. They mean that my children are exploring and learning to love nature. Besides, I like to mop. Really.

Water all over the bathroom walls doesn’t matter. What matters is having fun in the tub with bubbles and your favorite squeaky duck!

In the great scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter that my girls are not asleep when they are supposed to be. What matters is that they are safe and sound, giggling and telling stories to each other in their room.

Wearing the latest name-brand styles does not matter. What matters is learning that what’s on the inside is what counts.

Being able to afford the newest technological toys and gadgets doesn’t matter. Learning to be content with what you have does.

Whether or not my three-year-old eats all her green peas does not matter. Sharing meals together as a family does (and I don’t like green peas either, so there.)

Being able to sleep in on Saturday morning doesn’t matter. Spending the night rocking my baby to sleep does.

Laughter matters. Patience matters. Sacrifice matters.

Love matters.

Bill Murray was right. Lots of things just don’t matter at all.

But some things still do.

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