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When you have children, this is what happens…

You suddenly have no time to yourself. Not even in the bathroom. Unless you lock the kids out. I recommend locking them out.

You worry. Constantly.

You listen to a lot of whining. And crying. And tantrums.

You ingest more wine.

You YELL at your children, “Stop YELLING!” It’s not effective.

You will keep trying this parenting technique. It never works.

You eat a lot of meals standing up. Very quickly.

Your sleep is constantly interrupted.

You start drinking coffee. Lots of it.

You’re still tired.

You no longer go to the movies.

You barely work out.

You avoid mirrors.

Errands suddenly start to count as “alone time.”

Time starts moving too quickly. Except from 4 to 6 pm. That really drags.

You notice wrinkles. You ask yourself, “Why do I have wrinkles?! I’m so young.”

But you’re sort of not anymore.

Ditto for grey hair.

Your children stalk you.

Until one day they don’t.

When did they turn into people?! Like real actual people.

They’re busy. They’ve got plans. And friends. A lot of stuff that has nothing to do with you.

In fact sometimes they don’t even have time to be nice to you.

Actually, it’s a lot of the time.

They make fun of you.

Because you left the car keys in the washing machine.


And now you are more of an ATM.

And a driver.

You still worry. Constantly.

You’re supposed to be letting go.

But instead, you’re sort of stalking them.

And then they just leave and go off to college.

And want you to pay the bill.

And here you are. With plenty of time to do all that stuff you used to like to do, if only you could remember what it was exactly.

It’s boring to be alone in the bathroom.

The house is so quiet.

You miss them.

And you still worry. Constantly.

Because you love them. More than yourself. Who knew that was possible?

And a part of you wishes, you could go back in time and do it all over again.

And the other part is excited about what is next.

25 Responses to this is parenthood

  • Traci says:

    Exactly! And you cry when you watch TV shows about coming of age. A lot. Like Glee’s Whitney Tribute show. But no can see you, cause you’re alone. And then you smile, cause you remember how great it was to leave when you were 18 and you know you will be ok.

  • Oh this is all so true. I’m truly so very excited for what comes next with my kids and with me. One thing for certain though is I will be a mom for the rest of my life…just with a few different daily job requirements. Love this. xo

  • Julie Goode says:

    Wow. How timely this blog was. And, how lucky I am that my friend sent me this link. My baby boys are now, almost 16 and 14. I was ok…Until the 14 year old started growing hair in odd places, and he started speaking in a voice that wasn’t his sweet little voice any more. When your baby morphs in to a young adult, it is painful. At least it has been for me. I guess I am excited for what’s to come. But, I am still mourning the deaths of their baby selves. I just wrote a not to my older and wiser cousin. Her babies are now starting to get married and have babies of their own! Gasp! But, some sage advice she gave me many years ago. She said, Julie, the laundry will always be there for you, and the dishes that need cleaning will never change. If you have the choice of reading to your baby, or cuddling with them, or getting the laundry folded…Always choose spending time with your baby. I did. And, am so happy I did. Because yesterday morning, I was having coffee in my quiet house, alone. And, I was staring at a pile of laundry thinking damn…Now I have no choice. Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog with us!

  • Oh I really hope there is more than mourning and that there will be excitement. I really really do. My babies are still small (3 and 1) but a close friend divorcing at 44 with a 14yo and a 16yo makes me worry about marriages falling apart when the kids aren’t so needy. I can’t imagine it because I feel like you describe – that we’d be excited for what’s next.

    So cheers to that and cheers to a post that can make you smile, laugh, nod and tear up all at once.

  • {sue} says:

    I’m just at the stage where I’m an ATM and I’m stalking them. And yes. It goes so fast. And also so damn slow. This is beautiful. (And not just because I’ve had a glass or two of wine.)

  • Loukia says:

    I told my mom the other day that the only time I will be relaxed and without massive, panicky worry, will be when I am dead, and I admitted that the idea of fast forwarding time to the point where I see my children’s children’s grown up so I could finally die was almost a nice idea. I hope you know sort of what I am talking about? I love being a mom, and I love everything you’ve said here, because word for word, my thoughts, too – especially those hours, 4-6, man oh man… time stands still! And I know on the flip side, how fast time goes by, so that’s why I soak up every second I can with my kids, that’s why I’m okay with their messes, and their need to sleep with me at night, and the days and evenings at the park. I enjoy every second, even though the worry is always there…

  • Marta says:

    If it wasn’t closed I would honestly vote for this post for VOTY. I loved it because despite it was simple, and honest, and just so right. I’m at the cusp where my son is starting to get independent. And while I love it because he can help me with his sister and sometimes I treat him as a mini me I know it just means that hes going to keep getting bigger and needing me less and less. And I kind of like being needed except when I have to go the bathroom, or eat, or want to just sit down and watch Mad Men!

  • Megan says:

    Brought tears to my eyes, as I was just thinking about how big my girls are getting. Kindergarten orientation just around the corner for my youngest! Treasure the moments!

  • Leigh says:

    After I read this I put down my phone and went to play hangman with my 7 year old. He was thrilled. Great post.

  • Evan says:

    Love this Kelcey. So right on. Of course, I also (sheepishly) connected far too well to “You YELL at your children, “Stop YELLING!” It’s not effective.” I really have to learn that one and practice what I preach! Not sure if the kids will ever get it, but at least Lanie will appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Emily says:

    Made me tear up. It is so true. I always try to go to the bathroom to be alone and it never works. Maybe I should embrace the audience now because I think I will be missing it one day. I know I will be.

  • aisyah says:

    hi. i found your blog from The Bloggess.

    my eldest is only 6 but i am all teared up reading this! it is soo true. and such a nice reminder of whats to come!

    love your posts!

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kelcey kintner