Single versus Married versus Small Children

If you’re single and have a  crappy day, you can sit on the couch and eat food from a bag while watching TV if you want. No cleaning, no cooking, no talking, no moving. Early bed, late bed, it’s all the same. In short, you can totally abdicate responsibilities. Shrug, announce “I give up,” and actually do it.

If you’re married and have a crappy day, you can sit on the couch and eat food from a carton while watching TV if you want. Or have someone else spoon feed you. Read a book, watch a movie, paint your toenails. Alone or with someone. No cleaning, no cooking, no talking, no moving. In short, you can totally abdicate responsibilities, and quit for the night. Or have someone do everything for you. Leave dishes in the sink. Ignore the laundry. Shrug, announce, “I give up,” and either get help or ignored. Either way, you can actually give up.

If you have small children, there is no quitting. You can’t just sit on the couch and refuse to move. Other people, who cannot feed themselves, need to eat. Have a tendency to become agitated when ignored, and by agitated, I mean smearing feces and shaving cats. They need freaking stories and songs and negotiations and sometimes a bath and always discipline and attention before bed. And often for a while after  bed. If you have a crappy day and have small kids, too bad for you. Pick up all the spilled food or someone will fall, sweep up all the dumped flour or the cats will eat it and puke and then someone will fall, calm the terrified cats or they will claw you at night, eye the tricycle-d wall, put away the scattered toys, discuss the hitting and kicking, find the shards of glass, clean the various things painted on the walls. Or one of those small people will find the evidence tomorrow and try it all again. At the end of the day with small children, even after you’ve been working all day and haven’t been allowed to freaking sit down let alone veg, someone has to recork the bottle. Because you’re gonna need it, again, tomorrow.