So much of our lives lately have been kid-focused. I began to think about what life what like B.C. (before children). It took a long time to remember. Although there are many things that are harder now that we have kids, I also found that there are many things that are easier now that we have kids. So here is a rundown of some of these life lessons I've learned since having kids. It's the hard and easy of it....
1. Having a plan/schedule: This is harder to do with kids. It's hard to predict what small ones are thinking and they are definitely NOT thinking about your plan for the day. BUT, it's easier to drop everything and say, "Let's go to the park!" Somehow, "the plan" doesn't seem so important anymore and you actually might have more fun.
2. Bodily functions: Both yours and theirs become the center of attention. Not only is it harder to use the bathroom solo, it becomes a matter of discussion. BUT, it's easier because "practice makes perfect" or at least creates a desensitized nose when it comes to the more nasty events of a body.
3. Toys: It becomes increasingly harder to control the toys. I'm pretty sure the ones at our house inspired the movie "Toy Story", only ours haven't learned the Clean-up song. BUT, it's easier to get down on the floor and reclaim your childhood by playing with said toys, plus you always have an excuse..."the kids begged me to play with them."
4. Drive: It is definitely harder to look cool in the family truckster. Nothing says "I've made it" like stickers on windows, slobber on seats and a vanful of carseats. BUT, thanks to the marketing departments out there, it's easier to get in and out of vehicles with many children, seat them safely, enjoy a few fun gadgets, and have a least a dozen cup holders to spare.
5. Conversations: If you don't have kids you have no idea what it's like to try and hold an adult conversation with children present. Simply put, it is absolutely harder. BUT, it is easier to indulge your childish side by conversing in sillyspeak whenever the mood arises. Again, a handy excuse is readily available..."but honey, the kids just love it when I use my Donald duck voice..."
6. Read books/blogs: Time is the key factor here. It is harder to find the time to read adult books and you always feel guilty, even when they are quietly enjoying their own books. BUT, it is easier to write blogs...what else would I have to say if these little corkers weren't around??
7. Money: Hard to hold, easy to spend. 'Nuff said.
8. Sleep: It's harder to find continued sleep, even after they get older. You find yourself wondering how long you'll make it that night, hoping the planets will align and the stars will shine on you to give all three one good night's rest. Yep, if it's not one, it's another. Oh, and it's even more interesting when you get the multiple wakings...by different kids...it's like a very cruel joke. BUT, it's easier to actually fall asleep, or pass out into your pillow...however you like to think about it.
9. Vocabulary: It's harder to use adult vocabulary because you are often trying to describe items, words or events in their terms, so they can understand. BUT, it becomes much easier to understand the importance of using good vocabulary, otherwise, you find yourself saying things like..."Could you get me the gray rectangle shape thing with the numbers on it in blue and red?", instead of "Could you hand me the remote control?" Oh, and you also become oddly equipped to interpret all kinds of "kidspeak." Too many examples to name...
10. Emotions: You find that it is increasingly harder to hide your feelings of love, sadness, anxiety, silliness, hope and joy from these little ones who have captured your heart. They trip, and you catch your breath; they laugh at your jokes and you smile like you've made it on Saturday Night Live; they cry and your heart breaks just a bit as they learn tough life lessons. BUT, it is definitely easier to laugh, cry and love this stage of life.
I wrote this because I've been riding the roller coaster of parental balance lately. I want to have more time to do things that I want to do...but I can't because we have kids. I want to meet friends, go shopping, have Bible study without organizing a military coup to get out of the house and keep them occupied while I spend a few moments with Christian friends. I ache for more quiet time with my Hubs, without the planning and timing of bedtimes, and getting ready for the next day. I feel selfish and sinful that I occasionally see them as something that gets in the way of my own desires. BUT, then I am quickly reminded of the blessing they have brought to our lives. I am a more patient, understanding, joyful, laid-back person because of them. I have found joy where I never thought I could. I have found that my heart can fill with and give more love than I knew I had...no matter how many little ones are hanging on my legs. I'm not sure that I am making any sense as I read over this, but I know that even though it's hard to be in this stage of life, their faces and features that reflect mine and the man that I love, make it just that much easier to make it through the day with strength that comes from a love that was first given to us through Christ.