Thursday, March 16, 2017

My Kids Ruined My Life

I sound like a horrible parent and a horrible person, don't I?

Before you start trolling me, let me explain. Maybe it would help if I told you what my life was like before my wife and I adopted our kids.

I used to sleep in until the last possible second. On weekends, I might sleep in until ten or eleven o'clock in the morning. I'd wake up with the sunlight streaming between the slats of my window shades. I'd get up, wander into the living room, flicking on the coffee pot on the way through, and turn on the TV. I might watch some Doctor Who or Spongebob or something while my wife showered and got dolled up.

Later in the afternoon, my wife and I might go drive around town just to get out of the apartment, take an afternoon nap, go out for lunch and dinner, and then go hang out at Target or something until ten or eleven o'clock. We'd get calls from our church friends at nine o'clock on Friday nights to hang out or meet at the local bar, and we'd drop whatever we were doing and head wherever to meet up with them for a cold drink, staying out until midnight or one o'clock.

We'd go where we wanted, when we wanted, whenever we felt like it. We could be selfish, swear without consequence, watch PG13 or R rated movies in our living room at 7:00 in the evening, and practically walk around our apartment naked if we wanted.

No big deal.

And then, on February 9, 2015, we welcomed two little boys into our life, and four months later, their teenage sister (read more about our adoption journey here  and here).

Because the boys were only three years old, I could no longer sleep in.
Instead, I got up early to make the boys breakfast and see their faces light up at the prospect of eating "dinosaur oatmeal."

I could not get a restful sleep through the night.
Instead, they would cry out in the middle of the night, not knowing where they were, calling for "mommy" and "daddy" and would fall asleep in my arms as I rocked them on the edge of their beds, fully putting their trust in me to keep them safe, provided for, and loved.

I could not stay out late with our friends or meet up at all hours of the night.
Instead, we spent more of our time at home, teaching our boys how to read or playing Uno as a family of five, the three kids being goofy with each other.

Instead of my house being peacefully silent, it became filled with laughter.

Instead of being immaculately clean all the time, the house became full of Lego creations and works of "art" plastered to my fridge.

Instead of being able to sit and watch my television shows or play video games on my Wii, I get the opportunity to do more laundry, cooking, and cleaning. This gives me an excuse to serve my wife, to help her out and show her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Instead of spending all our free time with friends who are single or newly married, we instead are able to spend our time with other couples who are either starting a family of their own or already have kids the same age as ours, creating some amazing relationships.

Instead of spending a quiet evening at home with my wife after the boys go to bed, I've been given an amazing opportunity of supporting our teenage daughter at her tennis matches, swim meets, BETA Club induction, and her winter sports court ceremony.

Instead of sitting in bed and watching our shows on Netflix or taking an hour reading before bed, my wife and I get to pour into and invest our time talking to our daughter about her school day, to support her in her endeavors, to watch Prom videos and makeup tutorials and show her how amazing and special of a young lady she is and how much she is loved by her mother and I.

So, yes. Becoming a parent absolutely ruined my life.

But I wouldn't have it any other way.

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