Yes, Things Will Change

place setting

For the longest time, I resisted the idea that having children meant things would change in our family.  Everything would be the same, but with a baby.

And after my firstborn arrived, it was true.  We still did stuff.  We went places.  We ate in restaurants.  We drove long distances.  We took airplanes.  We camped.  And, sure enough, there was a little more work involved (and I was definitely more tired!) but our lifestyle didn’t change much.

We attributed our son’s easygoing personality and flexibility to the fact that we toted him around everywhere (hahahahaha) and didn’t allow our world to become child-centric.  He was simply this little person who joined our family and came along for the ride.

And then he grew and things got busier.  And then his sister arrived and I got tired.  Instead of just jumping in and doing stuff we started thinking, Is this worth all the effort to pack up the kids in the car and leave the house?  And most of the time, the answer was still “yes.”

But as time has gone on, activity has snowballed.  Jobs, projects, housekeeping activities, friends, sports, kids’ friends, hobbies, school stuff, family activities, scheduling…the list goes on.

Actually, the list keeps getting longer.

So much of the working motherhood discussion refers to “having it all” and “doing it all.”  Thankfully, by this time many have rejected that ridiculous notion, but I know that there are still some women out there trying to figure out how to make it all work.

So today I’ll tell you why you can’t.

It’s because after children, life has to change, and there’s no getting around it.  It might not happen right away, but it sneaks up on you over time and eventually there are things that must be given up.

And sometimes that sucks, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Think about it.  You know the proverbial plate that gets full?  Envision that for a second.  Your plate, it is full.

And then you add a baby and your laundry duties get a little bit bigger.  A teeny bit gets added to your plate. 

And then they start eating solids and your cooking duties get a little more complicated.  Another small addition.

And then you get to stop washing bottles, but that activity is replaced by reorganizing the cabinet your toddler loves to tear apart every night.  Another addition.

And you still have your hobbies, and your workouts, and your projects, and your marriage, and all those other truly good things.

And you still have your job.

Things keep getting added to your plate, but nothing comes off.  Envision your plate again.  It was full to begin with, but now it’s fuller.  {Is that a word?  I don’t care.  You get the idea.}

Mama, you can’t keep this up.  Your plate needs more room.

So, it’s with regret that I finally admit to you that life must change after children.  But here’s the good news:

You get to choose how!

It’s time to take control over your plate and your portions.  You get to choose what to take off and what to keep on.  Some things might be no-brainers or non-negotiable.  But other things might be harder to hold on to or relinquish.  It might not be easy, but it’s something you have to do in order to keep from getting burned out and overwhelmed with life.

Whatever you do, make it intentional.  Check your plate every now and then.  Otherwise you’ll look up in a few years and find your plate overflowing.

Change is unavoidable, and that includes your life after children.

Is your plate too full, or about to be?  What do you plan to take off your plate?  Or what things are you ready to add?