When I was a little girl I had a dream. A dream of growing up and being free of the know-it-all but know-nothing-at-all dorky, embarrassing parents of my own. Little did I know I was on my way to becoming them.
I would be a damn adult and I would be able to do what I want. When I want.
I had visions of never having to share any of my shit with anyone ever again, playing whatever song I wanted in the car, or putting whatever the hell I wanted on the TV because I was a damn adult and I could do what I want. When I want.
It’s almost endearing to think how wrong I was.
If someone told me years ago I would be arguing with a toddler about how to put a sock on (I’m doing it all wrong, apparently) I would have laughed in their face. Adults have it all under control.
There were so many things I did NOT see coming as an adolescent with aspirations as far as the eye can see.
I was such an idiot. The list of experiences with children that have hit me like crows feet, gray hair and under eye bags (that I SWEAR were not that bad yesterday) are literally endless and growing by the millisecond. Like when you look in the mirror one day and think, where the fuck did my youth go?
That’s basically the narrative of my life now.
If I would have been warned that no matter how much I protested, I would listen to the Frozen soundtrack OVER AND OVER AND OVER until my ears were bleeding just because it was a more pleasant emotional assault than screaming children, I would have said NO WAY. Not in my car.
Paw Patrol is the new Jersey Shore, in my house.
I can sing the lyrics to pretty much every children’s animated show just by hearing the first note. And don’t even get me started on the viral shark family. I’m ready to do my own rendition including homicidal shark, no fucks given shark, and perpetually exhausted shark.
Who would have thought that as an adult my new life motto’s would be #getyourshoeson #thisisMINEDAMMIT #becauseIsaidso or #areyoukiddingme?
I quit a job as a server at a restaurant shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my first. I did a whole Half Baked eff-you exit pointing fingers and cursing the staff on my way out the door. Because I was about to be a mom and EVERYTHING would be different now.
The owners must have felt so smug with their little kids and parenting experience thinking “God bless her, she really has no clue.” I didn’t, obvi. Here we are, years later, and I’m an order taker, short-order cook, AND bus boy and I do it all for boogers. Or hugs…. If I’m lucky.
Now, getting anywhere on time is like a unicorn sighting.
There is absolutely no speed my kids are capable of moving in other than sloth. Even on a good day when the sock isn’t tickling their foot and they were able to locate BOTH shoes quickly, it’s still an episode of Frazier (slow, boring, mildly humorous, mostly frustrating) getting to the car.
Showering used to be something I looked forward to.
My daily release where I could feel renewed, fresh, clean. If I chose not to wash my hair it was because I was being progressive and “hip.” Reducing my carbon footprint by choice.
Not because I was unable to lock my kids into an episode of some mind-numbing cartoon long enough. Or I hadn’t put thought into charging the tablet to a percentage that would “babysit” my kids until I finished.
Now I have to plan my showers. If there is any part of my life that resembles a successful business executive, it is the way I schedule a shower. And that’s about it.
“Bedtime” used to happen for me after a night of dinner and drinks with friends.
I would reminisce about the hilarious events that had unfolded while I brushed my teeth and set my alarm. Now, I haven’t used an alarm in eight years and doubt I’ll need one anytime soon considering my little refusers-of-sleep are up at the ass crack of dawn (or before) every.friggin.morning.
This includes the weekend.
The time when I swore as a teenager when I “grew up” I would mosey around the house all day and lay in pajamas on rerun binges if I chose to. Because adults have that option without someone hounding them to get up do something productive. Ha! Yeah, right. It’s almost cute how stupid I was in my visions of the future.
Bedtime has now become a complete shit show charade of song and dance, stories, water refills, bathroom breaks, and endless excuses as to why it’s not that “time” yet.
Begging for snacks and back rubs while someone sobs (usually me, sometimes them) because we are all exhausted and if they don’t go to bed soon I’M GOING TO LOSE MY SHIT.
Parenting is like a domestic partnership. Only you didn’t walk into it agreeing to share anything and everything from this day forth, till death do you part. You are forced to or all hell breaks loose.
This includes your belongings, your money, AND your sanity. What’s yours is theirs and what’s theirs is theirs. Forever and ever, Amen.
Honestly, I love my kids with every ounce of my being. I would be lost and devastated if anything changed in our family. But there are days I wonder how I keep it all together. And that’s what chocolate and wine are for.
This post originally appeared on MomTransparenting.com