The Chaos Increases

Jill Duke

As I just walked down my stairs after taking a quick shower before getting my work day started to find dog poop all over my living room, I was reminded how chaotic life is.  Always something to do.  Always unexpected junk to deal with (like cleaning up dog crap).  How silly of me to think I could take a five minute shower without the dog deciding to do his business in my house.  Life is craziness.

When I was in my 20s and my kids were small, I didn’t wish that time away, but always in the back of my mind I thought it sure will be nice when the kids are a little older.  Life will be calmer.  I won’t have to constantly be changing diapers, feeding babies at all hours of the night, chasing toddlers around making sure they don’t get into something and hurt themselves.  I’ll save so much money when I won’t have to buy diapers and formula.  Things will be less stressful when I don’t have to worry about who is going to watch my kids while I work.  It sure will be nice when I can leave the house without having to pack a bag of snacks, drinks, change of clothes, toys, pacifiers.  My house won’t be a total mess with toys everywhere.

Boys was I wrong.  Life in my 40s is as chaotic as ever!  All of the craziness that comes with being the mom of small children is traded for new craziness of being the mom of big children.  Save money?  Ha!  Big kids are sooooooo expensive.  They never stop eating.  Little boy size clothing has been traded for man size clothing.  I used to want to vomit if I had to pay more than $20 or $30 for a pair of shoes for my preschooler.  Now I’m thrilled if I find a pair for under $120.  I just got school textbook bills in the mail.  Over $500 for books and fees, and it was worse when my oldest was still in school.  If they want to participate in sports or some other extracurricular activity?  Forget about it!  Those fees are crazy – and then they charge you to even walk in the door to watch your own kid play!

Now instead of worrying about who will watch my kids while I’m at work, now I have to organize how to get them back and forth to school, how to get them back and forth from sports practices, and driving them to do activities with their friends.  I am a mom Uber service.  Thank goodness I have a flexible job and get to work from home, because if I had to clock in at a certain time I would be in a pickle. 

Clean house?  Not a chance.  Toys are trading for shoes kicked off anywhere and clothes thrown all over the place.  For some reason my family thinks they can’t reuse a dish, so there is constantly a sink (or counter or table) full of dirty dishes.  If you have never lived in a home with boys, then you haven’t had to see the disgusting grossness that is their bathroom.  You would think grown boys would know how to aim better.  I have literally removed the toilet seat in my sons’ bathroom before and made them live without it because I was so tired cleaning the toilet seat.  Boys are just gross.

Instead of worrying about my toddlers getting into everything, now I have to worry about my kids driving (my oldest was recently in a car accident – thank God he wasn’t hurt).  I have to worry and hope they’re not vaping or drinking or doing God knows what with their friends.  I have to worry about whether I’ve done a good job raising them.  Are they kind or bullies?  Are they hard workers or lazy?  Will they make the right choices?

So, I say all that to say if you have little babies, enjoy them while you can because the craziness doesn’t get any better, it just gets different.  Maybe when I reach retirement, life will be calmer then, but I doubt it.  The chaos will just be different then too.  Adulting stinks.

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