I became a mother. And it's true what they say. When you become a mother, it's like part of your heart living outside of your body. It's phenomenal, monumental, and overwhelming. What they don't tell you is that when you become a mother, you will wake up one day and it will look as if Toys R Us has exploded all over your house.
It starts innocently enough. A swing here, a bouncy seat there. Then one small little blanket with a few toys on it. Sweet. Simple. Easily folded up and put away. But then, faster than you can say exersaucer, and it multiplies. And soon your entire house is accented in Playskool. Your bedroom has a toy basket in it so that you can get ready or fold laundry in peace. Your tub, even though they have their own bathroom, becomes the home of rubber ducks and Barbie mermaids. And your living room, once a place for you and your spouse to cuddle up and watch movies and eat take out, becomes the place you sit while your children play around you. A clean living room is one in which all the toys are in the toy basket and there are no legos/play doh/Barbie shoes on the floor.
Now some lucky parents have playrooms. And it is the rule that the toys stay in the playroom. And the children play nice and quietly in the playroom and clean it up each night before they go to bed. (It can be said that these same parents are disciplined and probably never say, "Hon, let's please just skip clean up time and put them to bed.")
Well, nineteen years after I first became a mother, I become one of those lucky parents. For the first time in almost twenty years, I have a living room free of toy baskets, pillow pets, and puzzle pieces. And it feels....it feels...empty, unnatural even.