I have to believe having kids is the single most life-changing event a person can go through. Life before kids is so starkly different from life after kids. The before-kids time seems almost like a fairy tale…
Before kids: Able to sleep in peacefully until the wee hours of the afternoon.
After kids: Dragged out of bed before the freakin’ sun is even up.
Before kids: Able to sleep through the night without a care in the world.
After kids: Awoken at 1 a.m. because someone peed the bed. Awoken at 2:30 a.m. because PJs are itchy. Awoken at 3 a.m. because someone’s favorite color has changed from yellow to pink. Awoken at 4:45 a.m. because of the weird shadow in the corner. Awoken at 6:15 a.m. because apparently we’re in a race against the sun.
Before kids: Able to indulge in a bag of chips while sitting on the couch and watching my adult-only show on TV.
After kids: Lose bag of chips to 4 small hands and 16 paws that also somehow manage to change the channel to some green monster singing about the party in his tummy.
Before kids: Able to snuggle with my loving husband.
After kids: Who’s this guy living in my house?
Before kids: Able to take pride in my clean and decorated house.
After kids: Keep the front door closed and blinds down so no one on the outside can see in.
Before kids: Able to use the restroom in private.
After kids: FORGET ABOUT IT!
It is this last one, this being able to use the restroom in private, that has been hard for me to let go of now that I have kids. Like they must breathe air, eat food, and drink water to live, their ability to get through their day also depends on joining me in the bathroom. It would be one thing (maybe) if they just stood there quietly in the corner while I did my business, but no, that’s not how it goes down. There’s the jockeying for the front row seat, the running commentary on my progress, the entirely-too-honest opinions regarding my technique and equipment, the investigation of the fruits of my labor, topped off with the epic battle over who gets to flush. What should just be a moment of quiet alone time turns into hostage negotiations, science lessons, and public humiliation.
Quiet alone time. That’s all I want. I’m not asking for hours upon hours of it (except for maybe on my birthday). I’d be happy with just 5 minutes. Five measly minutes.
A couple days ago, we had a rough go of things. Everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed (and, of course, entirely too early). Tensions were high. Nerves were shot. By 9 a.m., this mom was crying. I needed alone time like I needed air to breathe. As I started to make my escape to the bathroom, I could hear the pitter-patter of little feet coming after me. (How do they know?!?) I picked up my pace, made a quick detour, then locked myself in the bathroom. ALONE! UNDISTURBED! How, you ask?
So, parents, remember this the next time you need some alone time. It bought me 15 amazing minutes…just enough time to put most of my nerves back together again!
Can you relate? If so, share in the comments section!