The most important thing to know when you become a parent and can't get everything done like you used to (and you want to stop feeling bad about that)
I’m walking with my three year old son and the puppy this morning, thinking about what I had gotten done that day in between “hold my hand crossing the street” and “don’t eat that”. It was 9:00am and I’d been up for 4 hours already. I think I put a load of laundry in the washer.
It might not be in the dryer,
I’ll have to check.
In the past I used to say “I didn’t get anything done all day”. In the past I would have chastised myself about, well, everything. But after three kids and a boat load of positive thinking training I know better.
Now I think:
What was I doing all day? Ask the babysitter. (And then I grin at my little joke because that would be me.)
Now of course I’m not the babysitter, I’m the mom.
But bear with me for a moment while I make an analogy. I think that’s right word for it. I’m at the library with all the kids and there is some crazy loud stuff going on here. We are in the kid section so it’s OK. Plus, it’s not my kid that’s making the noise this time.
So.... where was I?
When you hire a babysitter do you expect them to organize your closet, style their hair, address holiday cards, or fix a three course meal while they are at it?
NO. OF COURSE YOU DON’T.
You come back from your time away and you pay them, slyly eyballing them to see if they are still OK. “Hope it went well,” you might add with an air of sympathy.
Because you know that babysitting a wee one, a kid, a baby, a toddler, is a big job.
Wait, not just big.
IT’S FULL TIME.
So why did I fully expect to accomplish everything I used to do before kids once I had kids?
I have no idea.
Unless it was by watching The Brady Bunch AND FORGETTING THAT ALICE WAS FULL-TIME HIRED HELP.
Or because most of my childhood memories are from when I’m older and my parents DID have more time to get things done because I wasn’t dragging the chair over to get myself some water so I could make a puddle on the kitchen floor to dance in.
Think about that.
I’m just grateful I don’t do it anymore. (Not the chair dragging, the self-criticism.)
Because now I can take that walk and no matter what is left undone at home I smile knowing I’ve got a happy, healthy three year old boy scooting his blue rubber boots through the fallen leaves while his new best friend puppy wags his tail beside him.
I’m doing my job.
In fact, I’m doing a great job.
And, come to find out, the laundry WAS in the dryer, how about that?
It's like personal growth and stuff.