Before I Had Kids I Thought I’d Never…Stefanie Wilder Taylor
Before I had kids I swore I’d never become a soccer mom, especially a soccer mom who drives a minivan with a half-empty McDonald’s Diet Coke in the cup holder and Skittles all over the floor while wearing a visor. Here’s the good news: I’ve never worn a visor. I have the minivan. What the hell other choice did I have with three kids, all of whom need car seats? I could either go for the van or get a big ass SUV, the kind of SUV that makes people automatically think you’re a gas guzzling road hog who couldn’t afford a Hummer.
I got the minivan but I didn’t go down without a fight. Let me set the scene: my husband Jon and I are driving home from an ultrasound that happened on a Memorial Day weekend night. I’d originally thought I was having a miscarriage but after heading straight to the emergency room and then waiting two hours for an ultrasound tech while watching poker on television, we found out we were having twins. Upon hearing the news of the end of my life as I know it, I immediately burst into tears which continued for…the next two years.
The car ride is quiet because we are in a state of shock. Each of us in our own world thinking about how going from one kid to three will implode the state of our finances, marriage and day to day survival. Jon breaks the silence to say, “I think this means we are going to need a minivan.”
This makes me cry even harder.
I want to be stoic about this. I’m wishing I had a more serene outlook on life but I can’t help how I feel. With one kid I could still pretend that my old life wasn’t completely shattered to bits. I could tell myself that once Elby was about eight years-old, things would be almost back to our normal, pre-kid state, just with one more person at the dinner table (read: coffee table in front of the TV). I feel strongly that that’s the goal. But, let’s face it, with three kids there will be no chance of that. I’m screwed.
Months later, on the way to the Honda dealership I am like a dog on its way to the vet to get neutered; sad, anxious and sniffing a lot. I’m scared to lose all sense of who I was before I was a “mommy.” I feel that pulling up in the momobile can only be one step behind wearing polyester pants, sporting a sensible wash n’ wear hairdo that only involves blow drying my bangs, frowning ever so slightly at people who swear, and losing all interest in activities that don’t involve children.
Cut to…well, this year actually. The minivan went back at the end of its three year lease and we got another one. Oh yeah. This one is pimped out with the back-up camera —love! And the Sirius radio —love love love -oh and it has Blue Tooth. I love my van, bitches!
It’s actually a good thing I have the van anyway because the thing is, I’m a soccer mom.
Elby started playing soccer this year and my cross over to the dark side was completed. In fact, last week I volunteered to sell bagels, coffee and donuts on the field for the entire league. I didn’t have to do it. I could’ve let someone else from the team step up. I could’ve pretended I was too busy doing other much more important things, like updating my Babble blog, but the problem is, as much as I like to complain, I also am quite crazy about motherhood. Don’t tell anyone. I feel a not-so-secret thrill when my kids call me “mommy,” when they ask me to do a puzzle with them and when they look for me on the sidelines of their soccer game because they scored a goal. Yes, you read that last part right, Elby scored a goal. Twice.
I’ve lost the desire to have back my old life because the truth of it is that my old life is incredibly unappealing. Do I wish I had a little more free time? Yes. Do I wish I could go out to dinner a little more often? Yes. Do I wish I could shower whenever I damn well please? Yes. Do I wish my brain didn’t feel like it was filled with utter chaos eighteen hours a day? Yes. But would I want to go back to a time when my life wasn’t filled with all things mom? Not a motherfucking chance. And yeah, I still like to swear. Just like before I had kids.