Thursday, January 26, 2017

9 Ways Our Life is Real Life

Occasionally, I'll get a comment (compliment, really) from friends or acquaintances about our seemingly put-together family and life. Two kids (one of each gender!), husband, career. To be fair, life is pretty dang good on the whole, and I'm flattered by the observations.

I happened to be thinking, though, that there are plenty of behind-the-scenes aspects of our life that are not so put-together. I thought I'd make a list of some of those things because . . . #reallife!

9 Ways Our Life is Real Life | shirley shirley bo birley Blog | Kacy Hughes Photography, family photography
(The family photo on our holiday new year's cards)

  1. I was so busy with work that our holiday cards became new year's cards that I only got out last week. Just in time for Lunar New Year!
  2. I value my "me" time after the kids go to bed more than keeping my kitchen clean during the work week (assuming that time doesn't become work time). So by the time the weekend rolls around, the kitchen is quite a piece of work.
  3. It's not uncommon that we eat dinner during the work week on paper plates, so I don't have to worry about as many dishes.
  4. There was a long stretch when I was younger that my mom stayed home, which meant that most nights, she did home-cooked Chinese food for dinner. Not only do I not do home-cooked meals, our dinners aren't typically Chinese food, so I occasionally feel pangs of guilt that my kids miss out on the home-cooked Chinese food that I got for dinner as the norm when I was growing up.
  5. My kids don't shower as often as is generally accepted that people do. (Daily, right? Because I certainly shower daily). If they pass the look and smell test, I call it good for that night and move on, which usually comes out to about every other day.
  6. I don't read to my kids as often as I should.
  7. I sometimes don't put away clean laundry the entire week, and then the weekend rolls around again and more clean laundry gets added to the pile to be put away.
  8. I'm consistently one of the last parents to pick up Evelyn from after school care, which closes at 6:00 pm, and more than once I have been nervous during my commute home that I wouldn't make it on time. This leaves only a couple of hours of home time during the work week before they go to bed, and yet I find it hard to leave work any sooner than 5:15 pm, not because anyone has told me I can't leave earlier, but because I can't bring myself to leave earlier since I'm worried of how it looks to leave "so early."
  9. My kids get more screen time than the current guideline of 1 hour per day for children 2 to 5 years old (per the Media and Young Minds publication from the American Academy of Pediatrics), especially on the weekends when I'm keen to sleep in until 8:00 am or 8:30 am (which I would not have considered "sleeping in" before I had kids). I was also recently relieved to find that Evie has learned how to operate the remote control herself so that she can pick what kids' shows she wants to watch, which is also not in line with the "high-quality programming, coview with your children, help children understand what they are seeing, and help them apply what they learn to the world around them" part of the publication.

I think at the end of the day, in spite of the things that aren't ideal, my kids are pretty well-adjusted, and I'd find it hard to believe that we don't all do some things to stay sane as a parent of young kids!

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