I feel like there's this exclusive (or not so exclusive, given its members are generally covered in vomit and/or any manner of food stains within two minutes of getting dressed each day) club of people who have children close together.
Whether you have two under one year of age (you crazy people), two under 18 months or two, or two under three or even four, there's no doubt that having children close together in age takes its toll.
Today I was reflecting on how a single and child free friend of mine just doesn't get what I have to deal with on a daily basis (something which I don't blame her for at all, it's just frustrating at times - no, I can't pick up the phone at a drop of a hat, I have two pooey nappies in my hands and a babe on each hip - actually, the nappies are between my teeth so I can actually carry said babes down the stairs #kidding). I was thinking how this time where you life is entirely dominated by little tiny people could be called 'the lost years'...
From when your first babe comes along till your last goes to pre school, or even school, your entire life is changed and dominated by those little people. Yeh yeh, I hear you saying "but I haven't lost ME!". I know you haven't. You are still the kick ass cool human you once were. But don't sit there trying to tell me that you are as free (and carefree, for that matter) as you once were. Every little thing just got ten times harder.
'The lost years' are characterised by these...:
1. You own more maternity bras than lacy underwear. And you probably still wear it after you've given up breastfeeding. Cause it's just comfy, ya know?!
2. If you get to enjoy your coffee while it's actually hot, or get to blow dry your hair, your day is already AMAZING.
3. 'Parent sex' is most likely squeezed in during nap time, with a babe inevitably crying half way through ("just ignore it", "I can't, finish already"...)
4. Outings have to be planned, with precision. Or if they're impromptu, you generally forget to take something vital with you. Or the babe does not appreciate your 'fly by the seat of your pants-ness' and let's you know about it. Loudly.
5. Your day can go from good to bad in a split second based on your toddler tantrum to caffeination ratio - if the latter is high, chances are you can cope with the first more easily.
6. On the above, coffee and wine are life. Literally. You spend most of the day wondering if it's too late for coffee or too early for wine.
7. You smile and laugh as many times as you sigh and discipline. i.e. A GODDAMN LOT.
8. When you see others out and about with kids of a similar age, you share a knowing and sympathetic smile. "We've got this" you say silently, while clutching your coffee cup for dear life and trying to remember where the hell you parked the car.
9. It takes a good 2 hours to get ready to leave the house in the mornings, even just for a simple park outing. If you have to look half decent, make that 3. Or more. And there's always last minute "oh I'll just have to nip back into the house for XYZ" or "who's done a poo?! Sigh...."
10. You can't remember the last time you got to go to the toilet in peace. Or watched a movie uninterrupted. Or spoke to your single child-free friends (we're sorry, we don't mean it, but we don't even have time to scratch ourselves people...).
11. You flat out CAN'T do some things that other people can't. I.e fancy a swim at the beach with 2 under 2? No chance. Not unless your toddler is super well behaved and actually stays put!
I'm sure a few years from now I'll look back on this crazy time and it will all be a blur. Even now, I don't remember yesterday, let alone 2014!
But that's right, that's where the years have gone. I lost them to at least two loads of washing and a zillion nappy changes/feeds/park trips per day...
I don't mean this post to be negative. Far from it. Having your babes close together is hard yes. The logistics are a nightmare sometimes. But, despite it all, it's still the best thing ever.
At the end of the day you sit there reflecting on your gorgeous babes, and the bond that they have, and can't help but smile - YOU did that. You're amazing.