When I was a teenager, some of the girls in my class would ooh and ahh over babies. They'd say, "Oh, I want a baby so much!" I'd balk and ask them if they knew what they were getting into. My go-to illustration was a trip to the grocery store. Without kids, a trip to the grocery store is grabbing your phone, keys, and wallet and running in and out. If you only need a few things, you can be in and out in ten minutes, easily. But with kids? Wrangle the kids, change a diaper, feed someone, wipe a poopy butt, drag the older one out of their room where they're hiding in the closet - now they're screaming and kicking you. You drag them down the stairs, and begin to load your pack-mule-self with the child accoutrements. Extra diapers, change of clothes, a sippy cup, a snack.
It's been twenty minutes and you haven't even made it out the door.
I've always been aware that children can complicate simple tasks. It's not until now, when I'm in the thick of it, that I realize how much they can complicate those larger, more consequential decisions. We're house-hunting and our two kids are coming with us to open houses and tours. Of course, just having two kids means we need more space than we would otherwise. Then there's the question of play area and the outdoors. We have to avoid busy streets and unfenced yards. And in this market? The inventory is moving fast.
I guess the upside is that realtors take us more seriously - they know we're definitely going to buy a house and we're not casually looking. But even that is a double-edge sword, because they see me saddled with snack bags of Cheerios and baby wipes. I'm a slow-moving target for their overly friendly smiles and coffees. I can't turn down the caffeine and they know it, those bastards.
Even with my own Pinterest minimalist mom thing, we still don't travel lightly as a family. I'm working on it, but today - when we're trying to head out the door to make an open house on time - I feel like we have a thousand bags and they all need to come.
When I was younger, I knew children would mean that even simple things became harder. Unfortunately, I also thought that being an adult meant that I would have the answers to hard questions, or things would somehow be easier. If the last five years of my life have taught me anything, it's that I don't have all the answers. Life is tough, and we parents have to make big decisions that impact our kids, while still caring for them in the moment. It's not easy to balance "what they need right now" with "what they will need in a few years". But that's our burden. This is what we signed up for. It's not easy and I'm just trying to figure it out without messing up my kids too much. I hope that's enough.
Househunting is so stressful! Have you ever bought a house? What should we be considering for our kids? Help! Come babysit my kids for me so I can zip in and out of these open houses! @pi3sugarpi3