There is only one thing I miss about S. and my life before kids. I don't miss going out with friends, I don't miss "me-time" (I have a rant saved for that obnoxious term another day), I don't miss doing my own thing when I want to do it. All I miss is a spotless house. I recall cleaning windowsills with q-tips before Darla was born and I now can't imagine ever getting to a point in my week where that would be a priority. I still nearly laugh whenever I wipe the kitchen floor down. What a weeks worth of crumbs was for S. and me is now an hour worth of crumbs with 3 small children.
Instead of lamenting about what was, I have found delight in teaching my kids the joy of shiny clean! They are getting the idea. Now after picking up toys in their bedroom they throw themselves dramatically on the floor proclaiming, "It's so refreshing! It's the best room ever now!" (Note: this is trained, not naturally ingrained in my preschoolers) Once a week we go through our routine: Hudson empties garbages, both he and Darla help dust, Everett runs the motor on the vacuum, and everyone picks up. Then the reward is a 20 min episode of Berenstain Bears while I wipe the floors clean on hands & knees. Ahh...I love these days. By the time dinner is done it's looking like the whole house could use a deep clean all over again but I have the peace of mind that it was done.
As I was switching laundry I heard Darla come inside and say in her best concerned-big-sister voice, "Mom! The boys are playing outside without shoes! I told them they have to wear them but they won't!" I assured her I'd come see in a few minutes...it is October after all. When I discovered them in the backyard my boys were in pants & sweatshirts...barefoot. But my daughter? Sure enough, she remembered shoes. However, she was riding her bike in shorts and a tank top. (I let them all play exactly like that until naps)
Just throwing myself out there a bit...