One of the biggest differences post parenthood is kids change how we define things and what things mean. Pre-kids at two hour delay at work meant something different. Snow days, Daylight Savings, hangovers, election day, sick day, my birthday; no matter how much I try to let these days be relaxing or be about me they aren’t.
But that’s okay, because in exchange for the forced freedom from selfishness, comes Halloween and the first day of school and reading The Night Before Christmas in front of the fire.
I’ve never understood people who’ve either only complained about parenthood or only touted the blessings of it. Children change everything. They change the way in which we are able to see a holiday or a family tradition. They also change how often we get exposed to the common cold and how long it takes to recover from it. Having children will always be the most complicated of my human experiences. It will always be both awful and awesome at the very same time.
I hope to never be the type of person who could only see the bad or only see the good in this experience. The richness of parenthood is not a virtue of how Martha Stewarty it all is. It’s also not a result of that sense that we are all fighting an uphill battle. It’s because, unlike Sisyphus, as we roll that boulder up the hill again and again we get to admire the view and celebrate the glory of our achievements -even if that does mean that when we raise our arms above our head in victory we have to let that boulder roll away from us again.
In my opinion that is the epitome of parenthood -just when we think we have it figured out, just when we think we can kick back and relish in our achievement that’s when everything changes and we have to start all over again.