Remember when I was a kid and you would tell me not to be in a hurry to grow up? Man, were you right.
This whole being a grown-up thing sucks. Taking care of me and being responsible for kids is way over rated. As a child I remember thinking that when I grow up it would be so much better, that I would be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.
I don’t think I could have been more wrong.
I worked hard, got a degree and a good job with the hopes that I wouldn’t be rolling quarters 2 days before payday to fill my gas tank up enough to get to work and back. I mean, I have come a long way and can usually make it to pay day with a few $$ left over, but not without having to be careful, like Ramen-Noodle-Thursday careful. It isn’t because I don’t have a decent income; it is because I cannot afford to be an adult. Mortgages, utilities, insurance, groceries…and that’s only about 25% of what drains my wallet dryer than a lizard’s nipple.
And freedom? Ha!! Sure I am free. Free to go to work 40+ hours a week where I reside in a dark cubicle chained to my chair looking at paperwork and listening to the sound of dreams dying all around me. Sometimes I day dream about getting a paper-cut that is so bad I have to go out on medical leave for an extended period of time.
I used to desire owning my own home as much as I now desire to pee alone. I wanted to move out and not have to answer to anybody. I think I report to more people now than ever before. If I don’t feel like working or cleaning bills don’t get paid and the mess just gets worse! What is up with that? Aren’t there magical elves that can do these things for you?
Now after working 9 torturous hours I get to go straight home, “cook” dinner (what I do barely counts as cooking), clean up, bathe sticky peanut butter-and-dirt covered body parts and tuck said bodies in after reading 3 books, getting 2 cups of water, and a multitude of other rituals that must be completed for the little ones to be able to go to sleep. On good nights I have enough time to watch one show on Netflix before my eyes shut for the 25 minutes of uninterrupted slumber I have grown accustomed to before I am woken by a snoring husband or a crying child.
You made it look so easy. I never knew that it was you that kept the floors so clean or the counters uncluttered. I just figured they stayed that way. Who knew windows had to be washed and toilets scrubbed more than once in a while? You never seemed so tired you just wanted to lie on the couch all day watching T.V. (although DVR’s had not come into existence so that may be a reason). You NEVER took naps or complained about being sleepy at 2 in the afternoon.
You cooked dinner…. Every. Single. Night. Going through the drive through for a meal was a rare treat, and going to a sit-down restaurant even more unusual. We had every meal at the table together as a family. How did you do this? Can you bend time or something? My super power is telling you where every McDonalds is within a 50 mile radius and which toy is being given out this week.
I don’t remember you washing 2 weeks of laundry on a single day because we were out of clean underwear, or doing the “smell test” on the shirt you plucked out of the hamper to wear. Febreze and Downy Wrinkle Remover hadn’t been invented at that time so it isn’t like you were able to fake it. Your clothes were always stain-free, your bed always made and your kitchen counters always clean. Hell, I remember you doing your hair everyday – even Saturdays.
The only task I remember you loathing was ironing. You would pull it out once a week and iron Dad’s shirts all the while complaining. But you did it anyway. Are you a masochist or something?
You made being a grown-up seem fun and carefree, so wonderful that I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. You did such a good job and I now that I am an adult, a working mother and wife like you; I have one question for you.