When you're expecting or even thinking about having children one of the quesitons you'd like a concrete answer to is "no, but really, how is my life going to change?" For me, my relationship to advance planning has changed in a way i would not have anticipated.

Conventional wisdom (or a google search) teaches you that with children comes the shift from free-wheeling sprite to scheduling and planning commander. Laments about the inability to go out without advance planning abound. Maybe because i couldn't possibly make any more spreadsheets, i went the other direction once the bambinos showed up.

Whereas pre-children i enjoyed and was slightly frantic about having "plans" i now find entire weekends unscripted and they manage to pass enjoyably. Pre-children i enjoyed my share of downtime, but sitting around the house with just JT (no offense of course) got boring. I needed a weekend to have some solo-outings for me, shared stuff for the both of us and connecting with a friend or two along the way. If at least some of those didn't happen i felt unhappy and restless.

Because children demand a lot of work and also spontaneously produce entertainment, amusement and amazement, staying home all weekend might not be a cakewalk but i'm certainly not bored.

We are lucky and smart enough to schedule a babysitter every other week and this helps ensure we always have planned time for the two of us. Although i still love a good spreadsheet, scripted weekends and advance plans have slowly been replaced by impromptu painting sessions, wagon rides, tromps to the park and chores.

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