The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Having kids: It’s enough to put one in the funny farm

Why is it we spend the pre-kids era of our lives thinking of how great it would be to have a kid?  And why is it that when we have our first kid, we think of how great it would be to have another? Then we do, and we discover the chaos, mental and physical stress associated with having kids and how care-free our lives really were before we made the decision to have kids. The truth is: having kids is enough to put one in the funny farm.

Seriously… I'm not the first or only mom to admit that we feel like we're chickens running around with our heads chopped off. We spend 24 hours a day responding to our babies' cries, trying to figure out what he or she wants or needs and just praying that our little one will be satisfied long enough for us to get off our feet before the next wail of tears begins telling us we still haven't met their expectations. It's like living with your boss 24/7; even when you go to the bathroom, bathe, and (maybe even) get some sleep.

Yet, at some point during our days, we're struck with a bright idea that adding another little one to our days of chaos will make our lives complete!

Rather, the invited company adds to the chaos furthering our mental and physical stress sending us directly, first class, to - you guessed it - our new home on the funny farm! With a 2-year-old crying ballistic ally as if the whole world is going to end if she doesn't have a bottle of milk, and a 2-month-old wailing at the top of her lungs if her crib mobile isn't turned on, it's no doubt that my feet feel like I've just run a marathon, and it's only 9 a.m.!

Plain and simple, being a parent is exhausting, both mentally and physically. One has to be in multiple places at the same time, with two sets of arms operating at the speed of lightening (don't forget the third set reserved for clean-up on aisle 12!) and a pair of feet enabled with turbo power that you can adjust throughout the day. And don't forget to wear that loving smile.

The loving smile tells them they are loved and that we don't have a care in the world about anything else. (Except when we're running behind and remember the dishes haven't been washed for a few days and are overflowing in the sink, last week's laundry is still sitting in the clothes dryer and the floor hasn't been swept in days.)

We can't help but think of the pre-kids era of our lives and reminisce of how care-free they really were - in a different sort of way. We didn't have anyone else to worry about and didn't feel as though we were going crazy every second of the day, or did we? While we're quick to agree with the latter, we also realize our kids have made us decide what really matters in life.

While late-night feedings and diaper changes can feel like arduous tasks that will never end, I know these times will be short-lived and I can look forward to a time when they become independent. Even though I wouldn't trade these moments for anything, it's true, I look forward to when I can finally move out of the funny farm.