I don’t have kids, but my brother G has three. His youngest daughter is just a month old, and last night I saw him for the first time since she got home from the hospital. Let me tell you: G is barely handling life right now. Like, the poor dude is doing his very best, but he’s hanging on by a thread.
Today I went for a walk with one of my best friends, who is himself a father of two. He laughed when I described G falling asleep at the dinner table, and spontaneously launched into the most apt metaphor I’ve ever heard for parenthood:
“When you have your first kid, it’s like a snow day. You get to play in the snow, and build forts, and go sledding, and whenever you get cold you just head inside for a break. You warm up, drink some hot chocolate, and you’re ready for more fun. You think, ‘This is awesome! I want it to snow every day!’
Then you have your second kid, and now it’s like you’re on an extended camping trip in the snow. You’re still stoked to be outside, but there’s always something that needs your attention. The tent is collapsing under the weight of the snow. Your gear is getting wet. You have to cook dinner, but you’re so cold! And there’s no ‘inside’ to escape to anymore.”
“So D,” I asked, “…what do you imagine three kids would feel like?”
“Three?! I can only guess that having three would feel like getting dumped naked at the South Pole. You’re freezing to death, you’re scrabbling in the snow with one hand to try and make a lousy igloo, and with the other hand you’re fending off a rabid penguin. Three… yeah, with three, you’re just fighting to survive the next five minutes.”
So… any thoughts from my WordPress parent-friends? ‘Cause right now, this is the vision of parenthood I have in my head: