Kids ruin the bad-ass in you. Yep, I said it. I have envisioned myself, the way I’d really be if I got a break from my kids. Okay fine, it wasn’t anything crazy but I always think, “Man, if I had one morning to sleep in and answer to no one, I’d sleep in until 10:00 and take my time getting ready for the day.” But guess what? On our Mom Spring Break 2014, I never slept in past 7:00 a.m. In fact, I was wide awake trying to think of reasons not to get up. And I actually woke up earlier every morning and called Scott and the kids at 6:45 or earlier hoping to hear their little voices.
Another wild notion I had was, “I would delete all of these awful Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street songs clogging up my playlists on my iPod and never miss them.” I brought my iPod and listened to it once on shuffle until one of the kids’ songs came on and I actually got teary missing them singing along. Now I think even if the kids are in high school, hearing Cookie Monster will probably make me weepy.
Sometimes I think crazy thoughts like, “I wouldn’t be one of those sappy moms with cow eyes over every little kid at the beach on my four day vacation away from my kids.” And at the pool one day, I started chatting it up with a mom who had an adorable shrieking two-year-old simply because I missed my own kids so much.
The truth is that I really don’t know who I would be anymore without my kids. Some people would see this as being incredibly unhealthy. It doesn’t seem right to be so dependent on your kids to define most of who you are. Maybe it’s not. But the one thing I learned about myself last week is that I love my life more now than I ever did before they came along. It makes me wonder who I used to be in my early twenties when I used to say I never wanted kids at all. Just naive I guess.
I respect people for choosing to have no kids or choosing to have twenty kids. Because I can see both sides. I am sure my life would have turned out all right if I’d never had kids. But I can honestly say that now knowing who I am as a mother, I would have been missing out on one of the greatest experiences of my life. Maybe the whole parenthood thing isn’t for everyone. It does take away most of your personal freedom. You won’t be a stoic bad-ass anymore. You could probably live a much more glamorous or exciting lifestyle and come and go as you please. You won’t have nightmares about terrible things happening to your kids. You won’t have to worry about screwing up your little people so badly that they’ll need therapy later in life. You will be able to eat mostly hot meals. You will probably advance without limit in your chosen profession.
But if you choose to go down that road more traveled, the one filled with cliches and the one that has inspired thousands of blog entries like this one, somehow your life does become richer and every day brings a new adventure. You learn things about yourself through the challenges. You see what your character is made of. Somehow, waking up at 6:30 every day doesn’t seem like such a big deal. You won’t mind that it takes an entire morning of preparation to get everyone bundled up to go to the grocery store. I am thankful for the glimpse I had last week. Those beautiful days basking alone in the Gulf sunshine pale in comparison to the freezing cold days cuddled up with my sweet kids in our happy home.