I am WRECKED. I wish I meant that in the sense of having been out drinking and being fabulous, but in reality, I’m a mom who has recently survived a major holiday with two kids. The crazy thing is that we basically had a really lovely time! There were ten of us at my brother’s house in upstate New York. We all have similar taste in movies and political candidates, and we all ACTUALLY like each other. And I was only in charge of bringing wine and a vegetable. It should have been the least stressful Thanksgiving in history! But, like I said, I’m wrecked. Holidays are just so different now that I have two little ones to worry about.
Pre-Kids: Pack a couple of outfits and some toiletries in my small rolling suitcase, and it’s still half empty.
Post-Kids: We end up with one large duffel/tote per person, and each inexplicably weighs about 85 lbs. God forbid we leave behind the white noise machine, our special coffee maker, or 17 of the toddler’s best stuffed animal friends.
Pre-Kids: Make a playlist for the drive, stop at Starbucks to grab some goodies. Have some deep, philosophical conversation with my husband on the way. Sip coffee in silence. Doze off.
Post-Kids: Make a playlist for the drive, stop at Starbucks to grab some goodies. Toddler has a tantrum because Papa got her a snowman cookie instead of a cake pop. Turn up said playlist to drown out the crying. Listen to: “Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama,” until the kids fall asleep. BASK in the silence until both girls wake up and the screaming phase of the trip begins.
Pre-Kids: Arrive at our destination, do a round of hugs, catch up with my family members over drinks. Watch funny movies and do meal prep until it’s time for bed.
Post-Kids: Arrive at our destination, scurry past my family members’ open arms to do a round of bathroom trips. Change the kids’ clothes because they both peed on themselves. Down mulled wine while I catch up with family members. We watch our kids be weirdos together until they all have tantrums and have to go to bed. Collapse.
Pre-Kids: Stay in the guest room. Toss and turn a little because it’s an unfamiliar bed. Wake up at 7:00 am (EARLY!) to start cooking.
Post-Kids: Stay in the guest room and sleep like I’m dead until my 10-month-old wakes up wanting three sips of breastmilk and an hour of flipping around on the bed like a Cirque du Soleil performer. I finally surrender and am up for the day at 5:08 am.
Pre-Kids: It’s a holiday! Put on a cute outfit!
Post-Kids: It’s a holiday! Great excuse to stay in pajamas until 1:00 pm! Put on jeans and mascara for mealtime just in case someone takes pictures.
Pre-Kids: The Thanksgiving Day schedule revolves around food and football.
Post-Kids: The Thanksgiving Day schedule revolves around children wanting/not wanting to eat and children wanting/not wanting to sleep. Also Dora the Explorer.
Pre-Kids: Everyone enjoyed the meal – success!
Post-Kids: No one puked – success!
Any kind of big event with kids is just plain HARD! And exhausting. But hey, at least I can laugh at the situation, right?? Seriously, though, the kids really make it all worth it. I love my little weirdos, and it makes me happy to make memories with them. I just look forward to future holidays with more sleep and less bodily fluids.