Hell, taking a shower is considered “time to yourself” when before you were outnumbered it was just basic hygiene. Even the most basic, mundane tasks like grocery shopping take on a whole new meaning. So as a handy reference, for those of you thinking of becoming outnumbered (or not thinking about it but it inevitably happened) I have compiled a list of activities that take on a whole new meaning after having three (or more) children.
Before: Maybe you searched leisurely online for a new recipe, shopped for ingredients THAT DAY, cooked while having a glass (or five) of wine. You then serve a perfectly balanced dinner with real napkins.
After: Cook pasta with crappy jarred tomato sauce (if you’re lucky) while holding the baby, doing homework, lunches and a dish for teacher appreciation day at the same time. Use paper towels as napkins (if you have any in the house, otherwise use toilet paper). How things go down: baby throws whole dinner off tray; you want to throttle the kids when they say, “pasta AGAIN?” and you eat whatever is left over. Luckily for him/her, your significant other says everything is delicious.
Getting a haircut
Before: You go for color and a haircut AT THE SAME TIME. You get a nice, relaxing head massage and shampoo. Perhaps you are offered a coffee/tea while reading a magazine. You spend anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours in the salon.
After: First things first, let’s get this out of the way: The main goal of today’s appointment is to get a haircut so you don’t look like Chewbacca. The pace of this haircut is psychotic; you probably only have 2 hours in between feedings if you have a newborn. Forget colour or anything extra. You walk out and if you’re lucky and live in Canada like me, its -30 and your hair freezes to your scalp because you didn’t have time for a blow-dry.
Before: I used to love shopping for food. You leisurely stroll down the aisles, looking at nutritional values, calories, sodium, new products, etc. thinking of new recipes you’d like to try.
After: You are either (a) screaming at someone to sit in the cart or to STOP bashing the cart into the food on the shelves and/or people (b)trying desperately to keep the baby from licking the cart (c) trying to put veggies/fruits in those small plastic bags while holding a baby or (d) like me, all of the above. Sometimes I shop at 10 o’clock at night so I can avoid all of this. You’ll know me if you see me, I’m the one with the HUGE smile on her face.