“If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you’re making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can’t find a towel or a sponge or your “inside” voice.” – Kelly Corrigan Lift
As I was washing dishes on Friday evening after the kids had been put to bed. I was exhausted after a long week with the kids. I started daydreaming about life before kids. Then I started to make comparisons about life now and then. Not that I want to go back to life before kids, I was just fondly remember a time gone by. Needless to say, things are different now. Some people may view them as how life was better and/or easier. Was it easier back then? Yes. Better? No.
Here a few highlights from my daydream.
How things are were …. a typical Friday or Saturday evening was mostly spent deciding where to go and what to wear for the night.
How things are… a typical Friday or Saturday evening, after the kids are in bed, is spent picking up the toys we forgot to put away, filing dishwasher, and eventually putting on pjs and hoping to get through a movie on the couch without falling asleep.
How things were… a random night of the week, if I didn’t feel like cooking, we just went out to eat, or at least ordered in.
How things are… if I don’t feel like cooking, I do anyway. It might be tiring sometimes, but not as exhausting much as convincing 3 very little kids to sit a table without eating or throwing the crayons, preventing chocolate milk from spilling, and generally playing referee. We do sometimes go out to eat but it’s all about timing! When we do, we try to go a bit later than we’d normally eat, with the hopes the kids fall asleep in the car on the way home to put them right to bed.
How things were… if a movie was released we wanted to see, we’d just go.
How things are… pick and choose carefully want movie we really want to see, we try to go to 1 every few months for a date.
How things were…a quick trip to the mall? No big deal.
How things are… a trip to the mall? Diaper bag packed with diapers, wipes, several changes of clothes, double stroller and baby carrier (just in case the oldest gets tired and doesn’t want to walk) and snacks. I pack like it’s a day event because if I am going through the chaos of getting them all packed up we are going to make it worth it.
How things were... weekends meant sleeping in until I felt like getting out of bed.
How things are… weekends or weekdays are no different. Sleeping in means the alarm wakes me instead of a child.
Obviously, there are more differences than I’ve listed, but I think you get the point. While I may not be able to just drop everything and go for a coffee with a friend whenever I like, I do get to have tea parties everyday with 3 very cool little people. And sleeping in is luxury I don’t get, I am the luckiest that I get triple the cuddles in bed every morning. I am never alone, never bored and have the best excuse for spending hours at a playground, making cookies and generally being silly.
Yes, things are different. That chapter is closed, for now, but this part of the book is really fantastic too and I count myself with the lucky to have kids. As cliché as it sounds, I would never go back and trade what I have now for all the sleep-ins, movies dates or nights on the town but I am still allowed to daydream about those days.