Things I Realized After Having Kids
Dinner time is a challenge.
You worked really hard on that delicious meal. You probably racked your brain trying to come up with something you could throw together. It was carefully planned to meet the criteria–healthy and fast. You spent time prepping it and baking it. And then I wouldn’t eat. I get it now Mom. I get the frustration. And I get the debate as we wager how many bites must be forced down to be excused. I get the exasperation when everyone is hungry and asking for a snack an hour later.
We are very strict about the kids eating what we eat in our house. I refuse to cook a special meal for each kid. And for the most part it has worked out just fine. Our kids have a pretty wide range of items that they enjoy eating but, we all have those days where it just seems they won’t eat anything!
2. Everything becomes a hazard or fear of what might happen.
Danger is lurking at every corner. I remember distinctly being unable to grasp why I couldn’t ride my bike around the block myself. I remember climbing up on top of the garage roof and peering at the cars below only to be summoned down by a frantic mom. At that time, I didn’t see the big deal, but man do I get it now. I mean seriously, I ordered a travel carbon-monoxide detector because what if they spend the night at a friend’s house and they don’t have one! (That’s a whole other post…all about “mom-xiety!) I get it Mom, I couldn’t live with something happening to my children just like you couldn’t live with something happening to me!
3. Signing up for every camp, activity, and event that “everyone else is doing” is just not feasible.
First of it would cost both arms to afford and secondly who has time for all that running!? While it is crushing as a kid to see “all” your friends in a million fun activities and not to mention the five different summer camps, I now understand.
4. Mom needs alone time!
You were probably thinking, “You are a pretty cool kid, but NO YOU CAN’T SPEND EVERY WAKING MOMENT WITH ME!” You need a break too. I hear ya! You need a time-out from kids. A chance to just be, to breath, soak in a few minutes of silence and regroup. I mean really, you should be pretty flattered that I wanted to spend that much time with you right?! 😉 But in all seriousness I get it! My kids are amazing and I love them with all my being but sometimes I just need a little time for me.
5. Laundry never ends.
No, the laundry didn’t get done today and we will be lucky if it gets done tomorrow. Your favorite pair of jeans are not clean and if you want to wear them to school you will have to wash them yourself. I GET IT NOW LAUNDRY IS NEVER ENDING!!!! My current view is three heaping baskets of laundry that need to be folded and put away and lord knows I’m being honest when I say that they have been that way for days now.
6. Making time for family is important.
Going to see your Great Aunt Betty Jo Lee is important. She may be slightly senile and have a hard time hearing. She may have a thousand breakables that you are only aloud to look at and not touch. But you still need to do it. As a kid this can be so hard to understand! You just want to be outside or nose deep in a book or really anywhere but there. I get it now. Family is so important and one day you will regret not investing as many hours as you possibly could with those people. Life is short and unexpected. They may not be here tomorrow and we can’t take that for granted.
7. You learn to love where you live not because of the location but because of the people.
You picked our town to live in even though the winters are brutal and you never moved and now I see why. As a kid I swore I would get out of here as soon as I possibly could! I’d go somewhere warm with sunshine year round! Nope, I stayed put and as my husband would say, “my roots are planted deep here.” Our family is here and if you read number five you understand the strong feelings I have come to realize about being around your family. I need my family around and if that means taking more vitamin D pills a day to get my dose of sunshine then so be it!
I have a feeling this list has only just begun. And I probably haven’t said this enough but, Mom, your job was hard. Thank you for sticking with it and for doing everything you could to raise us to the best of your ability. You have shown us a strength and love unlike anyone else. I know so the reason for so many things that as a child I never could understand.
What is something that your parents did that, after becoming a parent yourself, you were able to reflect on and see in a much clearer light?