What’s It Like Having Kids?

Every time one of our boys does something incredibly cute or a bit crazy, my husband turns to me and says, “What’s it like having kids?” It’s just one of those sayings that doesn’t really mean what it means, and just sort of says that life is good.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’s like having kids lately. Because it’s changed me drastically. So here you go:

What’s it like having kids? It’s like starting the getting ready to get out the door process 45 minutes before you have to leave, and still having to change two poopy diapers five minutes after you should have been out the door. It’s like thinking you’ll never be early again, and being on time is lucky these days. It’s like everything taking three times as long as it would have before kids.

What’s it like having kids? It’s feeling like a complete bozo while feeding your 8 month old child with a very large tablespoon in a restaurant. Because you forgot his baby spoon and it was the smallest the restaurant had. Oh…and the food you brought for him was a delicious raspberry/blackberry mix which is wonderful except for the fact that you forgot a bib too so it is getting berry juice all over his clothing. (But really inside you are just patting yourself on the back for remembering to bring his food at all).

What’s it like having kids? It’s like waking up at 5:00 a.m. and feeling ecstatic. Because it’s not 11:54 or 12:35 or 1:27 or 3:43 or even 4:16. You slept all the way to 5:00 without waking up…and so did the baby. Oh wait. Now you are nervous and go check on him.

What’s it like having kids? It’s like packing three different jackets in the diaper bag, but still not having the one that you need. (The rain coat).

What’s it like having kids? It’s like cutting grapes in half and peanut butter sandwiches in quarters. It’s like a guessing game because sometimes they only want what you don’t, but sometimes they are as agreeable as anything.

What’s it like having kids? It’s hearing your son sing along with Jon Foreman and Dan Haseltine. Belting out “Your love is strong” from the back seat. And that place inside of you…that place that is your very core…. is filled with love and pride and contentment.

What’s it like having kids? It’s the feel of his arms around my neck when I am trying to change his diaper. And he says, “Mommy come down here and hug me. Come closer Mommy.”

What’s it like having kids? It’s wanting nothing more than a few minutes to myself. Then the baby actually goes down for a nap and the toddler is in quiet time, and first I stand there looking around manically, wondering what to do with my precious minutes. Then I start to feel a bit guilty for locking my toddler up in quiet time just so I can do something crafty or clean the bathroom or check my email. Then I get over it because he does need some down time after all. I finally decide what to do with my time, and the baby wakes up. Or the toddler comes out and says he had an accident.

What’s it like having kids? It’s when one of your favorite moments of the day was hearing baby giggles after you play wrestled your two boys and Daddy too.

What’s it like having kids? It’s when nothing is better than planting a big ‘ol smooch on those chubby cheeks.

What’s it like having kids? It’s like being forgiven every day. Like having a new start because they love you even though you lost patience and snapped when the toddler asked what cd was in the car about 37 times. (To your credit, you did answer “I don’t know” about 29 of those times before you lost patience).

What’s it like having kids? It’s discovering a whole new level of love. And it grows each time a child is added to your family.

What’s it like having kids? It’s realizing how wonderful my spouse is. It’s being so thankful that he’s there to share this with me.

What’s it like having kids? It’s the baby squealing and banging on something and the toddler shouting for me to answer his questions and I wonder if the noise is bothering the neighbors, but also soak in the craziness and wouldn’t want it any other way. (At least as long as it only lasts another minute or so).

What’s it like having kids? It’s big splashes in the bath. It’s back floats and rubber ducks. It’s brothers giggling together.

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