Before kids, I rarely skipped a workout. I ran a lot and thought about things like speedwork and personal records. I often worked out twice a day.
After kids, I have no problem skipping a workout if I’m dragging and I have the option to sleep for an extra hour. I still work out, but twice-a-days are rare.
Before kids, I planned meals carefully and spent hours on the weekends cooking and preparing healthy foods to eat during the week.
After kids, I prep much less and we rely on things like chicken nuggets, boxed mac and cheese, and frozen veggies. We still eat decently but I’m more concerned with making food that won’t result in a meltdown.
Before kids, I worried about my weight and about whether my belly stuck out too much in the outfits I wore.
After kids, I have come to love my body for what it’s done, for the lives it grew. Sometimes I remember what it was like to have a fairly flat belly and feel nostalgic, but then I remember what my belly has been through (and I also like beer and tacos).
Before kids, weekends consisted of long group runs at 6 a.m., leisurely breakfasts, and maybe a beer or two at a local brewery in the afternoon.
After kids, weekends consist of taking it in turns to run, attempting to get everyone fed and dressed and ready to go grocery shopping, trips to the playground, and watching Frozen for the 25th time.
Before kids, life was pretty easy. But while I sometimes long for a few minutes or even a day of quiet and easiness, I love life with kids. When I tickle Liam’s belly and make him laugh, or color pictures with Rose, I feel happy.
It’s amazing to watch kids grow. And someday, sooner than I think, my kids won’t want to hang out with me anymore, and then they will grow up and leave home. The days will be simple once again. So right now, I am going to soak up this busy and chaotic time with my babies, knowing that one day life will calm down, and I will be nostalgic for when the house was busy, messy, and noisy.