How do you find balance as a mom when your kids drive you crazy? Here’s how I look at it.
I like to share my most harrowing parent stories as funny anecdotes. Knowing that my kids tested my limits, but I am still standing gives me a real sense of accomplishment. For example, one time, I was changing a diaper and poop ended up all over the walls. I am not “hyperbolizing” here… unfortunately.
There have been many online articles out recently extolling the hard work of parenting. I recently read an article on Slate here about how so many parents make parenting sound awful. A recent book released by Jennifer Senior entitled, All Joy and No Fun, chronicles the daily hard work of parenting but says that the joy is difficult to quantify. Last week, I was talking to two of my friends who do not yet have children. They expressed many fears about having a baby. Everything from “Your Life will never be the same” to “I’m not ready.” At 26 when I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt I wasn’t ready to have kids.. But when she was born, she became mine, which made her unlike any other child in existence.
Truth is, my life as a parent is not the same it was without kids. You can read many blog posts about the sweetness and happiness that kids bring to your life such as this one here. However, I want to share the surprising ways that kids have impacted my life.
Date nights no longer have to be truly inventive affairs to be special.
Before we had kids, my husband and I went to see a movie a weekend, possibly even two. We went out to eat at 8PM, we caught a 10PM showing and rolled into bed around Midnight. We did this EVERY weekend. When we wanted to do something special for an anniversary or a birthday, we truly had to think up something elaborate to differentiate it from all the rest. To some, this may seem a let down. The lament, “you quit trying” rings a bell, however that’s not true. What I’ve realized is that the time that I get spend alone with my husband is what matters, not what we do.
I am never bored.
My kids provide a constant challenge for me. For instance, I am typing this post one-handed because my son is rolling around on my lap.
My daughter is currently performing ballet in the living room. Never bored, and yet surprisingly blissful about it all. If other people’s kids were acting this way right now, I would pull my hair out.
I am more outgoing.
Kids are natural conversation topics. Once, I was a very shy person. Now, I have no trouble talking with random people everywhere. (Megan says that makes me weird). I can’t theorize on why having kids made this possible. I think that I am more self-confident on account of the ways my kids have challenged me.
I’m also less self conscious, because if there was truly something wrong with me, my five-year-old would have already pointed it out.