I have three kids.
Before I had three kids, three didn’t seem like very many. Grandma had four. My other grandma had ten. My GREAT-grandma had 14. I was really shooting for five, but ironic life and stupid divorce cut my plan short.
I topped out at three.
Three still doesn’t seem like that many, but it’s getting harder all the time. They’re getting bigger and busier, and the sacrifices required by me as a parent to raise good kids are getting… harder. DEEPER. Different. Whereas before the biggest sacrifice was colicky lack of sleep and throw up on my shirt, it’s now worry lack of sleep, and a schedule so full I am never, ever caught up.
Old Me: “Bitch please, I can do three and still get sleep. Hold my coffee, WATCH THIS.”
Me Right Now (while eye-popping, white-knuckle gripping my fourth coffee of the day): “HAHAHAHAHAHA… wait, remember when they were babies and you didn’t have a job, and you thought you were busy?! THAT WAS HILIARIOUS. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”
It was with glorious, beautiful, brutal, gut-wrenching agonizing joy that I finally realized life is never going to slow down, and this job is only going to get harder. The understanding was painful but so, so important.
Only when you realize that you’re running out of time can you begin grasp the gravity of being a parent.
Me to Other Me: “You get one shot at this, so make it good. Make it count.“
…no pressure or anything.