It's an instant bond-er.
One mom said, "Having kids is just so...humbling."
And we all groaned in deep resonance.
I may have groaned the loudest.
I used to run at a hundred miles per hour, but now I can barely crawl at 5.
Everything, EVERYTHING, is an ordeal.
Getting out the door requires advanced logistical planning and the patience of Mother Theresa.
- gotta make sure there are sippy cups, snacks, changes of clothing, backpacks, sunglasses, gum,...and that's not even any of MY own things...no wonder I'm constantly forgetting my wallet at home!
-cajoling, lots of cajoling and countdowns, and gentle to severe prodding, and more cajoling, and sometimes, when I'm really desperate, bribing, of which I am thoroughly not proud
-wrangling socks on feet, jackets on twitchy arms, jumpy feet in shoes...
-and once everyone is out the door, one person announces they have to poop, followed inevitably by the other person's suddenly loosed bowels.
So yeah, it takes about 30 minutes to do what I used to do in literally 30 seconds.
Eating is an ordeal. Snacking is an ordeal. Getting in and out of the car is an ordeal. Going anywhere more than 15 minutes away is an ordeal. And bedtimes. Bedtimes are probably the worst ordeal of all.
But the hardest hit area of my life is professional. I had a pedal to the metal, be-all-you-can-be attitude toward academic and professional achievement. It was the cultural norm and I more or less enjoyed it.
And now? Reluctant stay-at-home mom.
I've come to terms with the end of my career as I've known it.
I've let go of all career options that would require more than 30 hours of week of work for the next 15 years.
I've accepted the role as the primary caregiver, which means being relegated to jobs that allow me to pick up my kids at 2:30 pm every day and at noon on a random handful of days.
I could outsource it, but that comes with its own set of problems and pain. Ultimately, I choose to be with them more often than not. And in order to be with them, I have to slow down. In every single aspect of my life.
And not just slow down, it's more like slowwwwwww wayyyyyyyyyy the heck down.
I remember when Judah first started to walk around. I thought it would be great to take a stroll through our neighborhood. It turned out to be one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.
I had not yet realized that for a one year old, walking means meandering in concentric circles, picking up leaves and sticks every 30 seconds, and trying to touch dog poop as much as possible. On our 10 minute walk, we maybe covered 3 feet of path.
But that's what I have to do if I want to be with them.
Condescend. Lower. Abase. Be humbled.
And it is the most unexpected gift.