I don't remember what my life was like before kids. But recently I had the opportunity to reminisce about it. I'm amazed at just how different it is to be daily consumed with raising children. I've met with a few girls, all of them either single or married with no kids yet. I got a small glimpse of what it was like.
BEFORE KIDS: When I wanted to go somewhere, this is what I had to do. Say "Hubby, I want to get together with some girlfriends Friday night, okay? You'll be at work anyway. I'll pack you lunch." Get dressed, do my makeup. I'm done.
WITH KIDS: "Hubby, I want to get together with some girlfriends Friday night, okay? You'll be at work anyway. I'll pack you lunch." That part doesn't change. But then...
Call mom to see if she can stay with the kids, negotiate.
Make healthy dinner for mom and the kids to eat while I'm out.
Get some diapers out and ready in case Baby T needs to be changed. Make sure to throw another load of diapers in the wash so that there are clean ones for next day.
Clean up toys strewn across the living room so it isn't a complete disaster by the time I'm back.
Plan to leave early so I can squeeze in a quick food shopping trip because shopping with kids is infinitely more complicated.
Put baby down for a nap, try again when he refuses.
Do my makeup, get dressed, stand in the doorway ready to leave while Baby E exclaims "Mommy I want to go with you!" Smile. "Because you're gentle mama." Heart melt.
Get Baby E dressed and let her come with me, after all I'm taking the gas guzzler anyway (Honda Pilot) with her car seat in it. Console myself that it's not a 'girls night out' but rather a orphan fundraiser meeting, it'll be good for her to be there.
Help Baby E up into the car, it's high, buckle her in since she can't really do it herself yet.
Have a lovely chat with your 5 year old daughter for the entire drive. Discover she has grown so much in the past year.
When you finally arrive, help daughter conquer the giant snow bank at the car door.
Enter the host's house and apologize you ended up coming with a kid.
Really enjoy and wallow in two hours of toddler free time, so relaxing. Talk to adults!
Make sure cell phone is on for when mom calls and reminds me it's past the time I should leave because Baby T needs to be in bed by 9:30 pm. Apologize that I need to leave, baby waiting.
Make sure Baby E goes to the bathroom before we leave so she doesn't ask to go when in the car.
Drive home and be thankful I have children, be thankful for all the ways they've filled my life, be thankful they are a reminder of what's important in life and they consume my hours so I have no time for trivial things.
You know, I do love it, I do. I don't miss life before kids. I don't.
It's just so different. To be constantly thinking about these little people, not just yourself and your spouse. The sheer weight of the responsibility can be overwhelming.