They say children change everything, and while they aren’t wrong it would seem the explanation of what it really means sort of ends there. Well, it is a nice general statement, but it is also a huge understatement. It isn’t so much that they change everything- of course they do, duh its another human in your life- it is more that they Influence everything. Everything I do, say, think, feel, or act upon is influenced by how it will effect the little people I chose to have in my life. It isn’t that I have given up me, but more so the me I would have been if I hadn’t brought other people into the world. From major things of staying at a job you loath because you need money to support your children, to minor things like being unable to get a quick candy bar at 7-11 because you don’t want to bother unbuckling two kids from car seats, dragging them inside, telling then no a hundred times as they ask for things they can’t have (no you can’t buy a condom, no you don’t need motor oil) or explaining why that man looks like that (maybe he forgot to shower?). They influence every decision you’ll make for the rest of my life.
Now add on top of that this thought- in the car, driving, is pretty much the only time of day I don’t have a child at my feet pulling off my pants, or asking for more water, or telling me they have to pee, or asking to see my poop. So driving is my escape. Sure, I can hear them back there in the back seat. Yes, they often fight and throw things or spit -that’s what boys do- but I can choose to ignore it all knowing they can’t kill themselves, really hurt one another, or start a small fire- god I hope not anyway. So I can turn the music up, make a phone call, eat M&M’s secretly stored in my lap, or just breathe when I am in the car. Whew!
A wonderful soul and dear friend, Jannell, said to me once that the only time she felt like a real person outside her children was in the car. Alone or with them, it was the only time she felt like the her before motherhood. I chose the name to honor that, because I know we aren’t the only moms who feel this way. I chose the name because my original plan had been a blog about motherhood and connecting and normalizing the ridiculous pressure of parenting. But alas, I have a greater calling so the intention and the back story has morphed into this Creating a Better Life a life that clearly, without a doubt, will be influenced by my kids and the drive we take together on the road of life. So in essence, I’m driving under the influence, because there is no more powerful drug or outside stimulant than a screaming toddler. No high like the high of seeing the world new and mysterious through the eyes of a child. So it might be less dangerous-arguably- to drive under the influence of kids, but it is no less risky. So the next time you see a mom driving with car seats in the back, I’d give that woman a wide berth for her day is hard enough. Show some respect, throw a long distance high five, because you never know what a woman driving under the influence might do.