We did it. We traded in our mid-sized vehicle for a van. A van that seats 7 people comfortably! I think I swore to the powers that be that I would never purchase a van. I would never be the parent who lets their house turn into a huge toy room. I would never adjust our daily life for our children; they would have to fit into our schedule.
Even as I write that, the Mommy in me wants to laugh at myself for even having those thoughts. Yes, I am sure that there are some of you out there who have been able to achieve this, and my breast pump is tipped to you. For those mere mortals, like me, who find it easier (and even empowering) to just roll with the path of least resistance, can I get a “H.E. double hockey sticks yeah?!?!”
If I were able to have a conversation with my LBK self (live before kids) I imagine it would go something like this.
LBK Tena – “Wow, you bought a van. I thought you were way to cool for that. Aren’t you embarrassed driving around in such a huge soccer mom mobile?”
Now Self – “My van rocks – we have enough cup holds for water, pop, energy drinks and bottles! Milk wipes so easily off of the leather interior and the dual climate control for the second row of seating keeps everyone comfortable and happy. You should envy this van.”
LBK Tena – “You sure do have a lot of toys for Myles.”
Now Self – “It may look like he has a lot of toys but they are just strategically placed throughout the house. The box in the kitchen, those are the toys that distract Myles while he is eating. He loves to figure things out and I can get him to eat a full container of yogurt in about 2 minutes while he is pulling the hippo out of the ball that we shoved into that box. We are creative. Aren’t you impressed with my creativity?”
LBK Tena – “I cannot imagine why you are always late.”
Now Self – “You should be amazed that I made it at all. Myles slept in 30 minutes longer than normal and that threw the entire day off. We had to put his shoes on about 3 times before he actually kept them on and I had to make four trips back into the house because I forgot things that we needed. You try getting ready 2 hours before you leave to ensure you make it out the door and still show up with a pony tail for your hair do.”
Before having a family I only thought of all of things I would have to give up; my car, my time, my space, my life. The truth is that I have so much more now it doesn’t feel like I’ve given anything up. Don’t get me wrong, some days I miss staying in bed as long as I want, making dinner plans hours in advance instead of weeks in advance, or having walls that don’t need to be scrubbed every day from flying food. The reality is I wouldn’t trade one minute of my life now for one second of my LBK.
So, for all of you who rock your swagger wagon, adore your messy toy filled house, and are impressed by your ability to put a little mascara and lip gloss on and make it out the door with your child fed, napped, bathed and clothes, this clip is for you (it’s an oldie but a goodie).
Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011. Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work. She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.