I have read at least one other blogger (totally inappropriate mom) refer to early the adolescence/pre-teen years as “The Promised Land” of parenting. It’s the stage when your kids become mostly independent little beings but are not yet embarrassed to hang out with you. They can dress themselves, wipe their own butts, put themselves to bed, etc. My husband and I talk a lot about reaching “The Promised Land,” about friends and aquaintences already there, and friends getting close.
We talk about “The Promised Land” because we feel so very far from that coveted place. We have a just turned three-year-old and four-month-old twins. We are all about butt wiping and putting other people to bed in this house.
Because we are basically on the opposite end of the parenting spectrum, I thought we needed a equally colorful descriptor for our own situation. I decided, some what facetiously, on “The Worst Hard Time”(which is actually the title of a fabulous book about the Great Depression by Timothy Egan that you should all go read, as soon as you finish reading this post and all of my archives you may have missed).
On a side note, I can’t believe there was a time in my life, not so long ago actually, that I could free read books on the Great Depression.
For ease of reference, you know you’re living through “The Worst Hard Time” when:
- You experience sleep interruption anywhere from one to six times a night;
- You have a changing station complete with diaper genie on every level of your house;
- You own more bottles and sippy cups than you do wine glasses (by a lot; and the former get a hell of a lot more use than the latter);
- You plan outings with adult friends who also have children and then hardly talk to each other the entire time except to say hello and goodbye because you’re too busy chasing your kids and/or feeding and changing and your kids;
- You own a great deal of hand sanitizer and yet never remember or have time to use it;
- All you want to do by the end of the day is lay on your back on the hard, hard floor and think about the day when you will never have to pick anyone up again;
- The only classical music you recognize comes from your children’s baby Einstein toys;
- You’ve seen one, maybe two, Oscar contenders in the last few years but you’ve seen every damn episode of Paw Patrol since the beginning of time in the last two weeks;
- You only shower out of necessity (for instance, when you go to put your hair into a ponytail in the morning and realize that it is caked with spit up) or as a means of hiding from your children for a blessed five minutes while someone else deals with them;
- There is laundry to be done, so much laundry every damn day;
- You become so adept at communicating baby-related breakdowns via text that your significant other knows to stop to pick up dinner on the way home from work without being directly asked to do so;
- Your in-laws, who are good with babies and live nearby, are your new squad;
- Your oldest child is getting a boatload more screen time than he ever could’ve wished for, while you’re younger ones live in those bouncy-jumper things until they either start screaming or fall asleep;
- You save the one pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that you can finally fit back into for special occasions only (otherwise, sweatpants);
- Your hair stylist compliments you on how fabulous your ends look even though you haven’t been able to get in for a cut in 10 months (you explain it’s because you no longer blow dry or otherwise style your hair – ever);
- You could not survive without Amazon prime (seriously, household necessities cannot be obtained by any other reasonable means);
- You can’t take a step in your basement without tripping over some sort of toy, fort, or train set;
- You are generally in bed well before 9 pm because you’re so incredibly exhausted, yet manage to stay awake another two to three hours wasting time on your phone (say, writing yet another “mom” blog).
So yeah, we are definitely living in “The Worst Hard Time” and will be for (gulp) years to come. But some blessed day we too shall reach “The Promised Land” and have only our own butts to wipe.