This not for the faint of heart or for those who have not yet had children; are still considering it, but have doubts.
It never ceases to amaze me how life can so quickly and abruptly change. My mom has told me several times in the last year that your life can COMPLETELY change in 7 years. If you look back 7 years, where did you live? Did you have a different job? Were you single where now you're not? Were you childless and now run ragged by little people?
Last week I had a day that made me roll my eyes, it made me shudder, it made me gag, and near the end when I thought I couldn't take anymore it made me laugh. Of course all of this occurred on the busiest day of my work month, it always does. Like clock work.
7 years ago, I may have woken up to the sound of my alarm clock. I'd hop in the shower, get ready for work, and head downstairs to gather my neatly packed lunch. The coffee would already be brewing because I would have started it the night before and set the timer. It would have taken me 3 minutes to get dressed as I'd have ironed and laid out my clothes the night before. Today, I wake up to a curly headed, bad breathed 3 1/2 year old standing at the edge of my bed who 'wants to go downshtairs and have cheerios'. On the way down, I find my other curly headed 5 year old perched on the toilet mumbling in her half asleep gibberish that she's out of toilet paper and she's so tired, 'can I wipe her?'.
7 years ago, I would have spent 2 hours on a Sunday doing our laundry. 2 maybe three loads including towels. Today, I spend practically my whole life running laundry for four. It's an EVERYDAY deal. If I'm not starting it, I'm changing it, or folding it or putting it away and regardless of all that there is always 3 full laundry baskets at the top of my stairs. So I wear the jeans I wore 2 days ago, and the sweater I think I wore Friday and hope nobody notices.
7 years ago, I would have kissed Sean goodbye, and said 'Have a good day'. We may have talked about our schedules for the day and I may have tidied up the house before leaving, ensuring that when I get home, it's just as I like it. Today, I don't directly say goodbye to Sean or talk to him at all because a)I'm late, and b)I've kissed two milk mustache ridden tiny humans and don't want to leave a mark. I do however overhear him explaining to Ian what a 'wedgie' is. 'It's kind of when your undies get stuck in your Heine', he says. 7 years ago, Sean would never EVER have used the words 'undies' or 'heine'. I trip over a trail of toy cars on the way out the door and shut the door to the train wreck that is my house and I'm off to work.
7 years ago, I would have driven to work in my fast and powerful Red Honda Prelude. The car would be glistening because I would have washed it over the weekend and vacuumed it out within the last month. I LOVED THAT CAR. Today, I drive in a FILTHY, rotten cheerio ridden, art project infested MDX (WHICH I LOVE) but let's face it. It's a minivan without the sliding doors. I throw my target bag filled with some (well thought out and planned) lunch items like Gogurts and string cheese onto the passenger seat, pull down the mirror to check my face and then I spend the next 20 minutes driving to work and wondering why I look so weird.
Halfway there it hits me. I've forgotten Mascara. On one of my eyes.
7 years ago, I would have worked late. Put in close to 10 hours because hey...Sean is in grad school and what else am I going to do? Today, I get a phone call at 2:30 that Ian is sick and has thrown up on his nap blanket. So I leave EARLY. I take him home and find the dog has thrown up in my hallway. 7 years ago I never had to clean up vomit.
7 years ago I'd go home and I can't for the life of me remember what I did. I may have, I don't know...RELAXED? Kicked my feet up? Taken a load off? I would probably make ONE healthful dinner for the two of us, watch a show or two and be in bed by 9. Today, I go home and start my second job of making 2 variations of dinner, wash other people's bodies, read books, organize homework, pack the kids lunch and sit down for the first time somewhere around 9.
Don't get me wrong. I love being a mom. I love my kids more than life, and if I could I would not go back to 7 years ago. Well, I take that back. Most Days I would not go back. But I do admit on days such as these I wonder how I got here. How in 7 years my standards, my life, and the cleanliness of which I live in has so drastically been compromised.
Sometimes I just laugh as I look back over the past 7 years. I think back to Sean and I planning our family and what we thought that would mean for us. We never imagined our kids would break our noses and give us black eyes. We never thought we'd be patching walls from slamming doors and settle for hot dogs and mac and cheese on a Saturday night. You would never imagine that the times in which you work best together or support each other would be when your kids are sick and throwing up all over the place. I mean, what High School 'captain of the football team' would ever stand up and confess that one day he'll use the words 'Undies' and 'Heine' in front of his kids to prevent 'potty word' talks with teachers at school. If someone told me that having kids meant going to work with half your makeup on, I may have re-considered.
My mom tells me many wise things that maybe 7 years ago I would not have listened to. But now, when she says 'you will one day look back on this moment and laugh and then be sad at how time has flown' I believe her. Because although most of these last 7 years have been the hardest in my life, they have been the best too. And 7 years from now, I know that I will not have a tiny, brown toothed little fellow who can't pronounce his s's at my bedside needing me to make him breakfast. Unless of course, one day Sean changes his mind on having another bambino. I guess 7 years will tell...