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Who Has It Worse?

The other day, James posed the question, "who has it worse right (with five kids ages 5-12), or someone with two college students?" My knee jerk reaction was a landslide. But then I stopped to think and remembered my college years. Coming home was strange - and what was home, really? On the cusp of complete independence, returning to my parents' house (drink*) felt like stepping backwards in life. Sure, there was comfort in knowing someone was watching out for me and there was a washing machine and free food and if I needed shampoo, I didn't have to shell out for it. But being mandated to miss out on the college experience would have been tough on me and more likely than not, tougher on my parents.

His question made me take a step back and think about all the different situations in which people find themselves during these very unusual circumstances. I've seen so many people posting about boredom - binge watching Netflix, reading book after book, taking up knitting, (drink) clocking 20,000 steps a day...when all I can seem to accomplish is keeping up with the laundry and snack demands. BCV, I actually had a couple hours a day to breath. Even if it was while folding a basket of laundry, it was without noise or interruption. Now, there isn't a moment of silence. As I type this, Eleanor is playing Polly Pockets right beside me making up songs with words that aren't even words and singing completely off key, courtesy of my tone deaf gene. It's adorable, but I can't focus. Obviously. This post is all over the place.

Back to my point...what I wouldn't do for a few hours of peace. James knows me well and sensed an impending meltdown the other day, so he granted my wish. He sent me to my mom's house which sits empty six months of the year, but is stocked with all sorts of luxuries. Like toilet paper. So yesterday afternoon, I packed a bag, and peeled the twins off me as they begged me not to go. I almost caved, but my guilt wasn't as strong as my longing for solitude.

From 4pm to 11am, I found myself in an entirely different world. I took a long walk, painted my nails, fixed myself a smorgasbord dinner with cocktails, watched TV, called my brother, slept for 11 hours, WASHED MY HAIR, and drank a cup of tea without needing to nuke it fifteen times. 'I could get used to this,' I thought, but in the back of my mind, I knew the quiet would get to me. Eventually. Like in two weeks. Or three. Maybe a month. In any case, I get why single people are going slightly crazy. We all are, and everyone's situation is intense and challenging because it is so much of the same with the same people (or not), OH MY GOD ELEANOR I CANNOT FOCUS!!!!

You know what I think is probably the most challenging? Aside from the obvious like abusive relationships or substance abuse - those situations I can't even imagine. I think having an only child would be really difficult. Sure it's only one child to contend with, but you'd have to do so much more entertaining than I do. One thing I can say about having five kids is that during this whole ordeal, I never really felt sorry for them. They have built in playmates and aren't lacking for social interaction. They squabble and they're loud and they make messes and eat unbelievable amounts of food (drink - actually just got interrupted for food). But if we're playing who has it worse....I can make the argument that parents with only children, parents with college students, and singletons put up a pretty good fight.

The grass is always greener. I lived in single shoes for less than 24 hours and will gladly welcome the respite if offered again (hint hint). Just as I'm sure many would trade places with me for a dose of activity. Be careful what you wish for just might find yourself perpetually cooking Annie's mac 'n cheese in the purple box or chasing pantless kids down the driveway. Just sayin.

*Why do you see the word "drink" peppered throughout this post? For further explanation please read the facts on my home page. If you find it distracting....I can relate. Cheers!

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