Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So. It's Not A Hobby Anymore?

Before we had the second kid, my sister came over for a visit.  She warned us that having two kids was going to be way more work than we thought.  People seem to think that having two kids will be twice as much work at *most*.  But if you factor in economies of scale, logically we would assume you might be able to get away with like 178% of the work, if you were good.

Not true, she warned.  Two kids is like three or four times as much work.  Because now you're doing twice as much work, but you're trying to do it all at the same time.

Now, if you had come to me three years ago and imparted this piece of wisdom, my reaction would be "yeah, yeah" and I would tuck it away with all the other cliched pieces of advice that I've received in my life.  But then I had the kid.  And all of the cliched things came true.  ( Why, yes.  I *do* love the little bugger so much it hurts, and even though he is soooo much work, he *is* totally worth it.  I'm just taking it day by day, trying to see the forest for the trees.  After all, I believe the children are the future and that we should teach them well and let them lead the way.  Show them all the beauty they possess inside.  Y'know?)  

So now I listen.  And she was right.  6 diapers a day is a chore, but 12 diapers a day is a lifestyle.  Chasing a two year old is infinitely more difficult with 15 wobbly-necked pounds strapped to your chest in a Bjorn.  And we won't even get into the time spent "guarding" the little one from the big one.

But there was also something else my sister said that day that resonated.  She mentioned that with one kid, you could still pull off a semblance of being young and fun, whereas with two kids, you were firmly ensconced in parenthood.  And it seems true.  To the point where when you see multi-infant/toddler parents, you feel that little bond.  They understand.  They won't judge you if you're wearing two different shoes or you don't know what day it is or you missed the Obama/McCain thing because Backyardigans was on.

They know.  

After all, we decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows.  That the greatest love was happening to me.  And you can't take away my dignity.

Geez, I could use some sleep.


Kate said...

You folks amaze me. The business seems to be booming and then you throw two little ones in the mix and, well, it just blows my mind that you're able to function. I struggle enough with my own business and keeping myself together, and I can't even begin to imagine having kids to care for too. Yikes! Big props to you both.

Carol said...

Kate, you're awesome. The reality is that we're both very tired. And sometimes irritable.