Monday, August 27, 2012

Tradeoffs

Many of you already know this.  But let me tell you a secret:

Two kids is hard. 

It donned on me today, as I strolled through Target to buy some diapers, (Greta has a wicked rash that is not going away, so I've had to stash the cloth) that if we were worse parents we wouldn't be so tired. 

Which is not to suggest that we're amazing parents.  Or that those who don't adhere to some of the things we do are bad parents.  Simply that letting some things go would make life easier.  Specifically, giving into conveniences.  I rarely buy groceries at Target, I usually buy them at the local co-op.  This is a source of tension between hubs and I, because he points out, rightly so, that buying organic is much more expensive.  I maintain that it's important.  Furthermore, I have found that shopping at the co-op has changed my food habits.  I don't really buy convenience foods.  I don't buy much meat.  I cook most things from scratch, or close to it.  I think that establishing good food habits is incredibly important, so I try not to keep a lot of junk food in the house.  I try to cook nutritious foods most nights.  If I let these things go?  My life would be easier.

MJ rarely watches TV.  I think TV has some great aspects to it, I just see what she does when she's not glued to the TV and it seems so much better for her.  She runs.  She plays.  She colors.  She imagines.  It's harder on me, and sometimes I want to stick her in front of the TV.  But I so rarely let her she doesn't even ask me to watch TV anymore, she just plays as, I think, a 3 year old should.  It requires a lot more supervision.  I like to think it's a lot better for her.

These are two big ones in which I feel we are probably not in the norm.  At least not based on what I read on blogs and hear from others.  I was thinking today that I should make a list of priorities, and then cut off the latter half.  Just accept that they will not get done.  Would this make me more sane?  I'm not sure where a lot of things would land.  Showers.  Exercise (for me, MJ gets a lot).  This blog.  It would be hard to rank it all.

As for Greta, babies are pretty easy.  Priority:  keep them from crying.  Breastfeeding.  That's all there really is.  I'm not sure that I think breastfeeding is as important as all the time it takes suggests it should be.  What if I gave up breastfeeding and instead insured all the non-infants get nutritious home made meals?  Which is more important? 

Get ready for an extended metaphor.

Having our first kid was hard.  It was as though, after years of an economy that was gangbusters, a recession hit and we had to cut the budget.  It was painful.  We had to decide what was truly necessary.  But a lot of what was difficult was adjusting to a new normal, where freewheeling spending was not the norm.  Having a second kid, though, is a deepening recession.  We feel as though we've already made the cuts that could be made.  So then what do you cut?  When everything is important, what do you decide is less worthwhile?

Some day my kids may be offended that I compared them to an economic recession.  Which is why my next post will be my birth story, maybe the horror of all that vag talk will distract them.

2 comments:

  1. I'm with you on both of those things - we did start to make some EASIER meals though, not necessarily convenience foods, but just realizing that every single meal we make does not have to be this elaborate production was good for us. So we've been doing a lot of salads, breakfast for dinner, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, homemade pizza, etc.

    I have a REALLY hard time letting Annie watch TV, because when I DO, even just for 10 minutes, she's asking about it basically for the rest of the night and the next day. I really think she's watched less than 10 actual complete shows outside of when she's been very sick in her entire life at home (daycare is another story, sigh, but I know they limit it there as well) but yet she still asks about it and gets more tantrum-y after she does watch. Just not worth it for me. Plus, when it's on, Luke inevitably tries to watch it as well and I definitely don't want that.

    I agree with your metaphor. Basically for me what has been cut is any sort of hobbies. I'm sure they will return someday, but it seems like it'll take awhile.

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  2. I meant to mention to you that 2 kids are not TWICE as hard but the amount of effort grows exponentially.... so they are FOUR TIMES as much work. But it sounds like MJ is adapting to Greta way better than Sarah adapted to Amy. Sarah bit her the first day at home and would carry her around if I turned my back.....but we all survived! Congrats, you have two healthy, beautiful kids! Phyllis

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