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21 Things Only People Living With Kids Will Understand

Strange smells, crowded beds, ruined furniture — here’s what cohabiting with little monsters really feels like

Houzz

By Houzz

Published on: January 11, 2017

5 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

There’s rarely a dull moment when living with small children. My kids have doodled on our white walls with colored markers. They’ve stood in our living room and peed all over the carpet. I’ve found toys stuffed inside my shoes in the morning. I’ve held out my hands in bed trying to catch my son’s throw-up, hoping to save our mattress from his forfeited dinner. And I once discovered that my 3-year-old son had turned our sofa into an imaginary garbage dump, piling it head high with trash, torn-up tissue, small toys, puzzle pieces, dirty socks and anything else he could find.

This should give you just a slight idea of what it’s like living with kids. With help from Los Angeles illustrator Molly Brandenburg, we’ve compiled 21 other situations that people living with kids will totally understand. If you’ve got kids, I’m sure you’ve got your own stories, and I invite you to share them in the Comments below. If you don’t have kids but know people who do, please buy them a beer or bottle of wine or a babysitter or nanny, or contribute to their kid’s college fund. Above all, if you visit their house, just don’t mind the mess.

1 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz
Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

1. You’ve gotten used to having an audience while using the bathroom. 2. You’ve vowed that if you ever discover a time machine, you will go back and stop Henry Ruschmann from inventing glitter.

3. After stepping on one too many rogue toy pieces, you never walk anywhere without house slippers.

illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

4. You’ve learned that having two small dogs is much more efficient for cleaning up food messes than a vacuum cleaner. (Cleaning up said dogs’ runs once a week is another issue.)

5. When the kids are asleep, you are a ninja, able to silently open and close doors, avoid creaky floorboards, shower in silence, chop vegetables without a sound, stifle sneezes and coughs, and open wine bottles with whisper-quiet precision.

3 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

6. At least once a week, you find yourself searching for the source of a phantom poo smell, only to never find it. Chalk it up to another case of the X-Piles.

7. There was a time when the destruction of your sofa and walls by crayon-armed kids kept you up at night. But now nothing does. Not even a peed-in bed.

8. You realize a truly childproof home is one that contains no children.

4 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

9. Your morning zombie walk to the coffeemaker has you convinced you could nail an audition for The Walking Dead.

10. Nothing fun ever comes from hearing your spouse say, “It’s your turn.”

11. You’d always imagined your home would look like the inside of a house in a Nancy Meyers movie, but instead it keeps getting decorated to look like the inside of a choo-choo train, an airplane, a dressing room, a garbage truck and, more often than not, a landfill.

12. You naively thought getting a California king-size mattress would give you plenty of sleeping space amid the pile of sleeping kids. Does anyone have the number for the guy who makes Shaq’s mattress?

6 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

13. When shopping, you judge pillows and blankets not on their aesthetics or comfort quality but on their potential to make a good fort.

14. Your rug is so dotted with smashed Play-Doh that you try to pass it off as a modern art print.

15. You’ve actually considered opening a daycare with all the toys you’ve accumulated. Maybe then someone would play with them.

7 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

16. You’ve accepted your fate that laundry will never, ever end.

17. Based on the number of tiny handprints everywhere, you often wonder if you have more kids than you know about. Or could it be ghosts? It has to be ghosts.

18. You take pride in the fact that you don’t own a TV — but ignore the fact that your toddler already knows how to swipe the laptop trackpad to select another episode of Caillou on Netflix.

8 of 8 illustrations by Molly Brandenburg for Houzz

Illustration by Molly Brandenburg, original photo on Houzz

19. You will never understand how one kid knows to wake up the moment you put the other down for a nap. Have they formed an alliance of messing with you?

20. You’ve stopped worrying about whether or not you’ll get your security deposit back and instead worry about whether or not there will still be a home standing at all by the time your kids enter preschool.

21. But most of all, you know that you would never have it any other way. Because your kids are the best, and your home would never be the same without them — and their slobbiness.

Other Houzz reads

Originally published on Houzz, written by Mitchell Parker

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