So...I am really sorry for the short hiatus from writing. My kids got out of preschool, and there has been a bit of adjusting, to say the least--mostly on my part. OK...totally on my part. Everyone is now home all day every day, and I did not realize how hard that would be...or how much I loved school!!!
The appreciation of those short school hours is one massive revelation that I have had this summer.
But there are a few other things that I have realized in these hot summer months. Those things being--three observations of what happens when one becomes a parent.
The first thing that you should know when you become a parent is this: You are about to eat some serious words.
I know that I did. Because when Nick and I were childless, I was the perfect mother. My kids would never do (that). I could not believe that their kids actually acted that way. And who seriously lets their kids do (those things)?
Well, that would be me.
I would never have believed that one of my children would backtalk me. Or that my 4 year old would sleep with a pacifier. Or that I would laugh so much about poop. But it happened.
Do my kids act wild at the store? Yes. Do I care? No. If they expend their energy there, maybe they will sleep when we get home.
Is the pacifier thing a battle that I am willing to fight right now? No. Is everyone else in my family worried about it? Yes. Is my sanity more important to me? Absolutely.
When my kids pitch a fit, do I talk to them calmly--and all of a sudden all is right with the world? Not usually. Do I occasionally lose my cool like those moms that I couldn't believe? Um...yes.
So you get the point.
I have eaten some words. I had no kind of idea how difficult parenting could be. Or how difficult kids could be.
So if you are working your way towards parenthood...get ready!
Another thing that happens when you become a parent is this: everyone feels the need to tell you what to do. Unsolicited advice is...such.a.joy.
And the kicker is that most of these people have no idea what a day in your life is like. I had a friend the other day tell me that I should video just one day of my life. I can assure you that it would be entertaining. Probably not quite Jon and Kate plus 8(may it RIP), but very entertaining nonetheless. So here is the deal-- no one is ever in the exact same shoes as another person, so let's give each other a break! For.the.love.
If I had a penny for every time that someone said to me, "You really should...", I would have a serious coffee fund.
You see, the fact that Sister sleeps with a pacifier is okay with me. So why is it not okay with anyone else? If that makes her happy and I can move on with the tasks of the day instead of going through a torturous meltdown, I am good with it. I never thought that I would have said that, but there it is. Pacifier at 4...small potatoes.
My house is normally a wreck. I let it be, until the end of the day rolls around, and then I do a quick sweep through to straighten up. If I do it before then, all of the toys will positively be pulled out again. So instead of putting them up 37 times, I just do it once. But if someone who was type A came to my house in the morning, they would undoubtedly attain a nervous twitch. I have a system, and it works for me. Did I ever think that I would live in such chaos? No...but here I am.
My kitchen looks like a surely to goodness pigpen after my kids have eaten. We have a plastic tablecloth under a Fisher Price picnic table, but the mess is literally unbelievable. I have been told to put them in high chairs and monitor their eating...but really? I am running back and forth cleaning up spills, re-filling plates, and trying to get myself a few bites in between. Mealtime is straight up madness. And maybe my system isn't the greatest--but it works for me. Did I ever see myself in a Tom and Jerry cartoon where food is flying from wall to wall? No...but Hello Warner Brothers.
The fact that everyone has such wonderful advice is actually quite funny to me because I have yet to find anyone that can handle all 3 of my kids alone. So if I am doing it and surviving...good for me!
One last thing that I have learned since becoming a parent is this: my parents must have really loved me to do all that they did to take care of me. Because I know how hard it is to take care of mine. Just the bare necessities are exhausting--bath duty at the end of the day honestly almost does me in. But then you have the things that you do above and beyond the bare minimum. Beach trips, dance classes, zoo days, park trips, and I realize that this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface because down the road will be ball games, slumber parties, etc.
We do these 'extras' because there is no greater joy as a parent, than seeing that ear to ear grin on a sweet little chubby face.
It is going to get ice cream when you really just want to go home.
Or cutting fingernails--in the dark--with a hat on--with a clip on light--to keep Little Man from having a melt down. (Why do they hate nail cutting so badly?)
Or being so completely wiped out that you can't even find the strength to brush your teeth, but you go into their room one more time to make sure that they are sleeping soundly, and that their covers haven't been kicked off.
Or using your last five dollars for Icee's all around, instead of that Caramel Frappaccino that you have been seriously craving.
The scenarios are endless. But the bottom line is this: a parents love is like no other. So if you are about to dive into the pool of parenthood, heed my advice. Get ready to eat some words, hear some amazing advice ;), and voice your thanks to your own parents. Because this job is the hardest, but somehow also the most rewarding!