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Relaxing looks pretty non-relaxing when you are a parent

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This is what relaxing looks like when you are a parent; it looks pretty non-relaxing.

I mean nothing says "calm down, lady" and gives you that "wooozzaaaahhhh" feeling more than cramming your sore, aging, stretch-marked decorated body into a small tub and rubbing elbows with a black, plastic Halloween rat, Disney princesses, and few random fish.

This is what relaxing looked like for me this Saturday morning, for about five minutes, before my tiniest tyke ran into the bathroom, peed on herself (and the white bathroom rug) because she couldn't get her dress off fast enough, and then hopped into the tub with me so that I could clean her off.

This is what relaxing looks like when you don't really have much time to get a good wash in, but you need be sure to shave your legs and underarms before the world sees them at your kids' soccer practice.

This is what relaxing looks like when you are a parent; it looks pretty non-relaxing because, and this should come as no surprise, parenthood is anything but relaxing.

Monday through Sunday parenthood keeps you on your callus-bearing, unpedicured toes from the minute those boisterous angels wake you from your slumber at 6:00 am -- even on a Saturday -- until the minute they go to bed, only to wake throughout the night for water, cuddles or reassurance that they are safe and loved.

But, if my lack of "chill time" ensures that I am raising little people whose needs are being met, who feel loved and taken care of, then I'd volunatily, still maybe slightly frustratingly, but semi-happily and willingly give up relaxing now for the chance to relax later on.

You see, though the phase of parenthood I am in now -- with parenting three under the age of 8 -- is non-stop and exhausting, it won't always be like this.

And, if I put in the effort and time now -- and yes, give up some of those frequently sought and direly needed relaxing moments -- then in the very near future I will be able to feel at ease knowing that my well-treated and well-guided kids will turn into adults who are willing to give the same of themselves to others, especially those they love.

This is what relaxing looks like when you are a parent; it looks pretty non-relaxing.

But, guess what?

I'm out of the tub, and I'm feeling pretty relaxed as I depart for soccer practice with my three clean, happy, and excited kiddos ready to take on the day's adventures.

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