It was 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night. Brennan was in Michigan with my parents and Beckett & Kiernan had been tucked into bed for an hour. The dishes were done, the house was picked up, and Brian had just returned from a run with the dogs.
As he sat there and stretched, he turned to me and asked “What do people without kids do?”
I stopped. After thinking for a moment I replied, “ Honestly, I don’t remember.”
I remember thinking I was busy before I had kids. I remember feeling stress over not having enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needed to be done. My nursing job allowed me to work (full time) 3 nights per week. My house was messy. I wasn’t in school. And yet I still felt terribly busy. I knew life would get busier once we had kids, but it wasn’t easy to wrap my brain around just how busy it would be.
Then we had Brennan. And I got a swift kick in the head as to just how busy life is when you have children … or so I thought. Adjusting to new motherhood is overwhelming enough, but I had also started my Masters of Nursing program that fall, which proved to be an even bigger challenge. Balancing a baby, a job, a house, a marriage, and school is definitely not easy. Lucky for me, I was blissfully unaware of just how complicated life would eventually be.
Then of course came a cross-country move, a transition to staying at home, a husband with a new career that keeps him at work for a minimum of 50 hours per week, a set of twins, and a nice case of postpartum depression. Oh, and to top it all off, why not start back to that Masters’ program that’s 1000 miles away from home? Sure. Why.freaking.not.
My days are a constant stream of “busy”. In some ways, I’m on autopilot throughout the day. Wake up, milk for boys, COFFEE, breakfast, cleaning, nap, learning activity for Brennan, milk, play, clean, lunch, a;sldkjfga;sldifja;sldkgja;sldkj. You get the idea. I don’t sit down all day long and I still have a million things on my to-do list when I collapse into bed at midnight. And Brian is the same way. Too many things to do, too little time.
Trust me, I’m not complaining. I really, truly love my life right now. I wouldn’t trade being a SAHM for the world. I get to use my brain in other ways while I do my coursework. I can wear yoga pants all day and not brush my teeth til noon and it’s completely acceptable. Of course I have my difficult days, but don’t we all?
As Brian and I sat there that night and tried desperately to remember what we used to do before we had kids, and even when we had only Brennan, Brian suggested that they have more time for “fun”. I argued though, that it’s just a different kind of “fun”. The hour that we spent playing with the twins between dinner and bedtime was a blast. Would we have had fun spending that time at happy hour somewhere instead? Of course. It’s just a different kind of fun. Kinda like when people ask about life with the twins these days, I usually reply that it’s just a different kind of chaos.
There are different kinds of “busy” and different kinds of “fun” and different kinds of “chaos”. As we flow out of this stage in life and find ourselves juggling 2 careers, school activities, sports, and extra-curriculars, we’ll probably look back at these “old days” and laugh at our former selves for thinking we were busy with 3 boys under 3. But it sure does feel busy right now. And in the end, it’s all relative. So for now I’m going to embrace the fun we have, get through the busy, and juggle the chaos. It may not all be rainbows and unicorns, but it’ll make for some great memories.