Recently, I was using a photo-share site and noticed someone had a picture of a night out with a beer and card games at a bar as their latest pic. I was in the process of uploading pics of SP, so maybe this is why the discrepancy of life styles struck me so clearly. And, just for a moment, I felt a twinge of jealousy. "Ah, to be free of all responsibility outside of myself, what freedom! I thought." It seemed so easy and fun.
Then, the moment ended and I took off the romanticized version of my single life and remembered that there were perks and quirks of that lifestyle too.....not better, just different, although certainly easier. When you've spent the day changing diapers, it's easy to romanticize all that alone time of single life. But, when I was single, I was working toward the exact life I have now: married, with children. As much as I might have told myself 10 years ago to enjoy the quiet, I have a suspicion in 15-20 years, I'll look back on myself now and think that I should've appreciated the noise more.
When there's a moment of clarity in the chaos, I can see this season of my life in its very fleeting nature. Diapers will end, babies will grow big and my children will creep ever further out into the world, until someday, I'll be happy when they call weekly and visit on holidays. Just the thought of LB growing up and getting married is usually enough to make the day seem too short.
It's so easy to go to that place where I lament the lack of free time, date nights, "me time" and general leisure. I could soak for hours in "if onlys". Of course, the grass is generally greener. Perhaps that's when we spend our time languishing while admiring the neighbor's lawn rather than watering our own yard :) Sometimes, at the end of a long day, or an hour after we're up for the day, I feel just done, over it, ready for a break. When I've had an especially hard day and feel that urge to escape, sometimes it comes with a dose of guilt, that voice saying, "didn't you want these babies for YEARS?" But, with the support of a wonderful husband, great friends and a tremendous family, those days where I feel truly at my end are few and far between. I also remind myself when I hear that little voice that I'm not wishing I never had my children, I'm just wishing I could go to the store/bathroom/restaurant by myself occasionally. I'm allowed to be tired, I don't have to be always "up". I can be tired without being downtrodden, grateful and weary all in one breath.
I'm working on finding the joy right where I am. For now, that means I'll have a Guinness with dinner to help my milk production while trying to keep SB from throwing all her food over the side of her tray. My night out with friends tonight will be spending time with fellow mom's at LB's Little Flower's meeting. My daily task is to be here now. To appreciate what I have now. And now I've got a stinky baby; SB just climbed up into my lap to potty....bonus, she's wearing a diaper :) Thanks be to God for these special, beautiful darlings.