20 Words That Mean Something Totally Different Once You’re a Parent

Think vacations, bubble baths and blowouts sound fun? Just wait ‘til you’ve have kids.
save article
profile picture of Ashlee Neuman
By Ashlee Neuman, Content Director
Published January 26, 2018
loud toddler with messy mouth
Image: Darby S.

Once you become a parent, you tend to see the world in a whole new light—and certain words that used to so aptly describe your kid-free life suddenly take on a completely different meaning. Here, we’ve rounded up 20 common phrases and how their definitions quickly change with the arrival of a child.

1. Weekend

Before kids: Sleeping in until noon and then going for brunch with friends

After kids: Waking up at the crack of dawn and then coaxing your kids to put on their shoes so you can go to the zoo

2. Blowout

Before kids: A luxurious hair treatment at the salon

After kids: A scary mess of epic proportions waiting for you in baby’s dirty diaper (and up his back, down his legs and all over the car seat)

3. Eating Out

Before kids: Enjoying a three-course gourmet meal at the latest restaurant du jour

After kids: Trying to scarf your food down before your kids get tired of coloring in the kiddie menu and start acting up

4. Go for a Stroll

Before kids: Take a romantic walk with your partner

After kids: Push the stroller up and down the block in hopes baby will fall asleep

5. 5 a.m.

Before kids: A time of day you’re not at all acquainted with

After kids: The time your kids wake up every. darn. day.

6. Bath Time

Before kids: Taking a relaxing soak with candles and a glass of wine

After kids: Getting drenched as you try to wash your slippery, splashing child

7. Shushing

Before kids: What you occasionally do to chatty people at the movie theater

After kids: Your constant soundtrack for life with baby

8. Tired

Before kids: When you’re ready for bed after a long day

After kids: When you start hallucinating after not sleeping for three days straight

Related Video

9. Lounging by the Pool

Before kids: Sunbathing with your earbuds in and a cocktail in hand

After kids: Frantically scanning the pool every 20 seconds to keep track of your kids

10. Elmo

Before kids: Some strange, furry creature on Sesame Street

After kids: A total godsend for all toddler negotiations

11. Shaving your legs

Before kids: A regular self-care necessity

After kids: A luxury you get to enjoy once every blue moon

12. Gross

Before kids: A dirty tissue

After kids: Having dealt with all manner of bodily fluids, you don’t even want to know what qualifies as gross nowadays

13. Joggers

Before kids: Cute athleisure pants

After kids: Jogging strollers—aka the only way you get some exercise in these days

14. Coffee

Before kids: Your morning drink

After kids: Your lifeblood

15. Nap

Before kids: A chance to doze during the afternoon

After kids: A hard-fought hour to yourself while your child mercifully sleeps

16. Covers

Before kids: Cozy blankets you snuggle up with

After kids: Things that protect surfaces from baby—the crib mattress, changing pad, nursing pillow, stove knobs (the list goes on)

17. All-nighter

Before kids: A raging party that lasted ‘til dawn

After kids: A miserable night where baby’s incessant cries kept you from getting any shuteye

18. Privacy

Before kids: Alone time

After kids: What is privacy again?

19. Vacation

Before kids: A getaway to relax and recharge

After kids: A trip where you pack a ton of stuff, struggle to deal with an overtired child and return home more exhausted than when you left

20. Family

Before kids: Annoying in-laws and crazy cousins

After kids: The thing that brings you the greatest joy in the world

Published January 2018

save article

Next on Your Reading List

tired mother kissing newborn baby
The 8 Key Moments You Need to Survive in Your First Year of Parenthood
By Kathryn Smith
mom looking at baby napping
Viral Video Jokes About the All-to-Real Naptime Freedom Paralysis
By Wyndi Kappes
funny tiktok video of dad gentle parenting
One Dad's "Gentle Parenting With Malicious Intent" TikTok Goes Viral
By Wyndi Kappes
costumed creepy easter bunny
15 Hilarious Photo Fails of Kids Meeting the Easter Bunny
By Ashlee Neuman
close up of lit candles on a birthday cake
Mom Hilariously Opens Up About Celebrating Son’s Birthday on the Wrong Day
By Nehal Aggarwal
This Reddit Thread Is Celebrating Moms and All Their #MomFail Moments
This Reddit Thread Is Celebrating Moms and All Their #MomFail Moments
By Nehal Aggarwal
Annoying Things Almost All Parents Say
Annoying Things Almost All Parents Say
By Elena Donovan Mauer
20 slides
20 Funny Baby Onesies for Future Jokesters
20 Funny Baby Onesies for Future Jokesters
By Emily Platt
you're mom illustrated humorous book cover
Liz Climo’s New Picture Book for Adults Is the Content Parents Need
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer with her bay son and husband walking in the park
The Hilarious Reason Amy Schumer Changed Her Son's Name
By Nehal Aggarwal
celebrity chrissy teigen
Chrissy Teigen Just Wants a Few Minutes Alone and Every Mom Can Relate
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer walks in rainy city street
Amy Schumer Shares Hilarious Parenting Hack on Her YouTube Channel
By Nehal Aggarwal
babies dressed up for valentines day in a chocolate heart box
Babies Dressed as Valentine’s Day Chocolates Are Too Cute to Handle
By Nehal Aggarwal
parents nap on couch at newborn shoot
Exhausted Parents Adorably Fall Asleep During Baby’s Photoshoot
By Nehal Aggarwal
Happy baby wearing a onesie thats "born awesome."
25 Reasons Babies Rock
By Lissa Poirot and Sarah Yang
elf on the shelf fails
The Funniest Elf on the Shelf Fails of the Season
By Christin Perry
chrissy teigen holding her toddler daughter
Chrissy Teigen Says No One Takes Photos of Her and Moms Can Relate
By Nehal Aggarwal
toddler holds envelope addressed to santa
18 Kids Who Wrote the Cutest Letters to Santa
By Holly Pevzner
baby monitor with red filter
Scary Baby Monitor Image Is Going Viral and the Comments Are Hilarious
By Nehal Aggarwal
little girl sitting on steps with pumpkins
Moms Are Carving Pumpkins to Replicate “Mom Life”—and It’s Hilarious
By Nehal Aggarwal
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List