Parenting Won’t Always Be This Hard, But Sometimes I Miss My Kid-Free Days

My partner and I like to remind ourselves that parenting won’t always be so hard. It will always be hard, but having young kids — twin one-year-old boys and a three-year-old daughter  — is really hard. Like, sleep-deprived, irritable, I-don’t-think-I-will-ever-get-to-sit-down-again, what-a-shit-show hard. But Amy and I are holding onto the hope that as the kids get older, some things will get easier. Our daughter is proof of this. Her independence is almost canceled out by the unrelenting “outer dialogue” she fills our ears with on a daily basis. She talks all day long to herself, to us, and to her imaginary friends. Yet, I still prefer that over the boys’ inability to talk and subsequent whining.

I refuse to think about the years where hormones, heartbreaks, and curfews will exhaust me. But as we wait for our young children to get a little bit older so that we can go to the beach, the park, or across the street without a snack and diaper bag, Amy and I like to daydream and think about the things we miss about not having kids … The things we know we’ll get back someday, but with the benefit of three awesome kids. Here are some of the things we long for.

  • Sleep. Uninterrupted sleep. Sleep until noon sleep.
  • Spontaneity. Tantrums and projectile vomit totally fill our lives with spontaneous events, but having the ability to do anything without forethought or a plan would be awesome.
  • Being asked to do something spontaneous. Sadly, our friends know better.
  • Showering or going to the bathroom without interruption, phantom cries, or company.
  • Eating without stopping every three minutes to re-fill two highchair trays we can’t keep full because the boys eat like they have tapeworms.
  • Eating without a toddler or babies looking at you like they haven’t eaten in days. Between open mouths and our daughter reminding me “sharing is caring,” I want to scream, “Mama doesn’t share food!”
  • Being around people who get my Friends references.
  • Working out.
  • Date nights.
  • Not having laundry-folding, dish-washing, and lunch-making as prerequisites for bedtime.
  • Having the ability to stay awake long enough to read more than a blog post on my phone before bed.
  • Books that are written for adults.
  • Television and movies for adults.
  • Finishing a cup of coffee before it goes cold.
  • Sleep. Uninterrupted Sleep. Sleep until noon sleep.

I could go on and on. But I have been hiding in the bathroom long enough. And I only get so much free time during the day that is not between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am. Care to add to the list? Sharing is caring!

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