Last month my husband spent a day working from home…. and we all know how that goes… “Is he working?”, “Is he not working?”, “Can I ask him to help with the kids?”, “How quiet do we have to be?”, “Can I run to the grocery store ALONE while the kids are napping?”…. all questions that we are pretty uncertain of as we attempt to go about our day as normally as possible pretending that he isn’t really there. Until, that is, he asks, “What’s for lunch?”, but I digress. And at the end of the day when he officially emerged from his office indicating that his work day was complete, he bestowed upon me his observation: “Wow. You have the BEST days. I wish I could hang with the kids all day.”
Yada…….(insert eye roll)
Then he pressed on, questioning my typical frazzled state when he walks in the door at night.
He saw ONE day. And it was a day that the kids were actually pretty good. I swear my days are not usually like that. And they were probably being good because they knew daddy was around and wanted to make me look bad. Damn kids.
But his comment got me thinking. Is my daily life really as hard as I make it out to be? If I’m being completely honest, it is getting little easier. And I’m using easy as a relative term – like if you ran a marathon and then for your next race decided JUST to run a half marathon kind-of-easier.
I have one child in school all day long, another child in school three mornings per week, and the little guys is all mine all of the time. If I break it down there are about 2 hours and 20 minutes of my day that are marathon hard: The 20 minutes in the morning as I am trying to rush everyone out the door, and the 2 hours at night when I have to make dinner, feed dinner, clean up dinner, do homework, break up about 13 fights, bathe the kids, clean up the monsoon that occurred in the bathroom, attempt to do homework again because likely the first attempt was a flop, get the kids ready for bed, read books, tuck the kids in, honor 6 silly requests as my kids try to stall their bedtime to me finally turning out the light and flopping on the couch…..with a few audible sighs. And wine. Obviously. And it is at that moment when my husband typically enters from work (is my frazzled state making a little more sense now?) But the middle portion of my day is just half marathon hard…. going to and from activities, play dates, errands… you know, the fun stuff. Except going to the grocery store with a 20 month old. Not fun.
I anticipate that it will continue to get even easier (in terms of being so depended upon) as my kids get a little older. The other day I was out with just my oldest son. We walked to the car. I opened my door; he opened his. We buckled ourselves and off we went. Do you realize how HUGE that is? No I don’t think you understand. I went straight to the driver side door and got in. I did not perform acrobatic moves trying to reach over the second row to buckle a child in the third. I did not have to tickle torture a straight bodied toddler who is trying to boycott the rear-facing carseat so that his legs would give out and I could get the buckle around his waist. I got in the car and went. If your child is able to do this now, take a moment and a.ppre.ci.ate. And I couldn’t help but think that this was a preview of what my life is going to become very soon. It was liberating. With a capital L.
But it’s too soon.
And since we are being all honest here, this is what freaks me out the most. What in the world will I do? I wrote post not long ago questioning how we know when our family is complete? I struggle with this because I am really afraid of what my life with look like without a baby in it. I’m afraid of not having a squishy body to hold. I’m afraid of not being needed. I’m afraid of not having an excuse for being so tired or not having an excuse for always being so late. I’m afraid of dancing and having my kids be utterly embarrassed instead of thinking I am absolutely hilarious. I’m afraid for the day that Gatorade and gum aren’t the coolest treats ever. I’m afraid of having a conversation with another adult without being interrupted and further I’m afraid of having conversation that revolves around something other than sleep schedules, feedings, tantrums, and how tired we are. Do I even know how to converse anymore? Heck, I’m even afraid of the thought of going in the bathroom alone… because that would mean they are okay with me being out of their sight for more than a few seconds. I’m afraid of dealing with problems that a kiss, a bandaid or a timeout can’t fix. But most of all, I think, I’m afraid of the day that my littlest one can buckle himself…..
And then what?
And then it’s just a rat race to the day that I am the one in the supermarket telling the young mom in line with three kids whining and climbing all over her that she needs to enjoy it because goes by so fast.
If these are “the days”, then I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for them to be over. I’m not sure I’m ready for “easier”….cause besides the seatbelt thing, who knows if the next stage really is easier? You know what they say, “Little people have little problems; big people have big problems.”
So…..Can you blame me?
(And for the record, I guess that means my husband was right….)