Now that I’m four years into parenting and two kids deep, I have fully accepted #momlife. The first stage being survival (do whatever it takes to get that baby to sleep) followed quickly by denial (nope, this can not be my life…please no) and slowly but surely (buy the minivan, wear the yoga pants, shop thee Target) full on acceptance.
While I have accepted my fate, that doesn’t mean I always OMGLOVE it. When I find myself smack in the middle of a non-rainbows-and-butterflies moment I like to channel my inner “Sliding Doors” Gwyneth Paltrow and wonder “what if?” Except instead of missing the train, I just didn’t have kids. A sort of “Here vs There” side-by-side reality.
Here: Flying while wrestling two kids and counting down the minutes till touchdown. Constantly entertaining, feeding, bouncing, shhhh-ing, picking things up, and sweating. Always sweating.
There: Relaxing in the spacious exit row seat sipping on a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon while reading the latest Liane Moriarty novel.
Here: Picking up crayons, napkins, silverware, and sippy cups off the restaurant floor all while trying to cut up food for the youngest, sip my room temperature beer, and eat my now cold food.
There: Sitting casually at the bar enjoying whatever local seasonal is on tap. Order both an appetizer and an entree and enjoy each while discussing the latest episode of Westworld with the husband.
Here: Wiping poop off the bathroom wall.
There: Literally anything that doesn’t involve someone else’s bodily fluids.
Here: In “list-mode” at Target strategically mapping out how to get everything on the list in the shortest amount of time possible. Throw things hastily in the cart while intermittently using the phrases “don’t hit your sister,” “put that down,” “no we are not getting that toy,” and “stop licking the cart.”
There: Slowly stroll up and down the home and decor aisles while sipping a hot Starbucks latte. Try on clothes AND shoes just because, go through every bin in the dollar spot, and read the back of all the books on the bestsellers list before deciding which one to get.
And then there are those sweet moments that hit me like a ton of bricks. Where “there” is actually a former version of myself.
Here: Rocking my littlest to sleep while she pats her tiny hand on my chest, and I breathe in all her baby-ness.
There: Wondering what it would be like to rock and hold my own little baby and feel such all encompassing love for something so small.
Here: Laughing uncontrollably while playing and joking with my oldest and feeling an overwhelming rush of happiness.
There: Thinking about all the fun things I got to do as a kid and what it would be like to experience all that again through my children.
While it’s fun to daydream and wonder what it would be like to live a separate non-mom life, it only takes a glimpse of my children’s dimples, a faint sound of their laugh, and the slightest feeling of their tiny hands in mine to bring me back to reality. This life that I feel so right in, so complete in, even when it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.