My boys are my absolute everything. I really don’t know how life existed before them. They are my heart beat and I cannot remember or imagine my life any other way.
However, on the rare occasion I do get a “break” because either my ex-husband has decided to follow through on visitation, or I’ve decided to use my babysitter to get a few minutes to myself, I get a glimpse into the world of no children.
If I wasn’t a parent…
I could pee alone. No one would barge in mid stream and ask what I’m doing. I wouldn’t have to share a stall with 3 small people as I try to go potty in public. I wouldn’t have to say things like, “No honey, mommy doesn’t have a penis.” “Yes, I’m poopin’ on the big potty.” Or my personal favorite, “It’s called a tampon sweet pea. No you can’t see it.”
I could sit down when I eat a meal. Heck…I could eat an actual meal, period. Without sharing it with anyone. And I wouldn’t have to bribe anyone else into eating their meal.
When I get off work, I could do things. Like, I could go somewhere, or I could cook something, or write something, or take a bath, workout on my own time schedule, or sit. I could paint my nails or something frivolous like that.
I could talk on the phone and keep in touch with friends and family who, if not for Facebook, would think I died.
I could go to bed whenever I want to without first getting 3 other humans to sleep.
I could wake up 2 hours later than I do for work, and take my time getting ready.
I wouldn’t have to dodge the wrath of toddlers who were awoken much before they were ready 5 days of the week.
I could go somewhere and only have to get myself in and out of the car, saving myself lots of time and lots of extracurricular things like wrestling strollers and bags and moody children.
I could write things on something other than my phone via talk text.
Weekends might feel like a break.
I could watch real tv, like whatever I want, and actually know what’s going on in the world.
I could listen to something besides, “Oh Where Is My Hairbrush” while I drive.
I could talk like an adult instead of saying things like, “Whoopsy” and “Oh, chicken poop!”
I could maybe keep things clean. Organized. Orderly. (Who am I kidding, that one didn’t happen even before kids.) But there at least might not be random sticky things all over every surface.
I could pick up my stuff and travel somewhere if I felt like it…without having to pack 15 bags or do things like sing silly songs, stop every few minutes to pick up fallen items and change diapers, or aimlessly throw items of food into the back seat praying it lands somewhere a child can reach so they can stuff it in their mouth and find a few minutes of happiness.
I might feel rested.
I wouldn’t have someone constantly pointing at my chest demanding milk and then attacking my boobs at every open sliver of opportunity.
The bathroom wouldn’t look like a showing of Shamu at Sea World just ended.
I wouldn’t have food on all my clothes, or in my hair, or on my face. Ideally, at least.
I might shower every day.
My van wouldn’t look like a frat house. And I might not drive a minivan.
1/3 of my paycheck wouldn’t go to child care, and occasionally, I’d probably do things for myself.
I could pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want, within reason obviously. Life would be primarily about me. And my loved ones, of course.
I might not doubt every move I make and how it affects the lives and forever futures of 3 other people.
Here’s the thing.
As nice as all of that sounds, and as fun as it is to pee without an audience every once in a blue moon, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
In reality, if I wasn’t a parent…
I think I’d be bored. Sure, I’d find things to stay busy and stressed about because life is stressful, period. But when you add in other human lives to care for, it takes it to a whole new level. But man, what a privilege.
If I wasn’t a parent, I’d have no one to argue with about things like the need for shoes when we go outside, or whether or not it’s ok to shove a toothbrush up someone else’s butt in the bathtub. And how mundane would life be then!?
I wouldn’t have anyone to tell me they don’t want me to wear my hair up and they liked my other earrings better.
I wouldn’t get to say things like, “Take the underwear off your head now!” and I wouldn’t have anyone to laugh with every time a fart noise is made.
I wouldn’t get to tap into my extra brain cells by answering 457 questions every day.
If I wasn’t a parent, my house, my arms and my life would feel empty.
I wouldn’t know what true unconditional, selfless love feels like.
I wouldn’t laugh as much.
I wouldn’t feel like my heart was going to explode from love every day.
Truly, I might not even still be alive if it weren’t for my boys.
Now please hear me! I’m not saying that life without kids is easy or frivolous or carefree. I’m not saying non-parents have no problems or don’t know what love is. I’m not saying life, unless you’re a parent, is meaningless.
But life as a parent versus life as a non-parent simply does look different. There are 168 hours in a week and every minute of those 168 hours as a parent is spent in some capacity directly caring for other human beings. Human beings who you are 100% responsible for. And it’s a lot different than spending those 168 hours not worrying about tiny humans you love.
All I’m saying is that for me, life with kids is much better than life without them. When we’re apart, I do sometimes enjoy the brief break, but mostly I miss them. I feel a little lost. Things are quiet. And there’s much less life pulsing through the air, and it feels like pieces of me are missing.
Life is full of hard things and fun things whether you have kids or not, but I’m grateful I get to do that stuff with my boys in tow. So even though motherhood is filled with chaos and crazy, I wouldn’t trade this priceless gift for anything…Even if it does mean less sleep, less money, and less me time. I can truly think of no greater honor than to sacrifice those things in exchange for this!