Having kids does weird things to you.
The gravity of being the one responsible for the care and development of another human being can be overwhelming. The role of responsible â€œgrown-upâ€ can make you terribly paranoid, overly strict, and endlessly stressed-out.
In other words, completely Adultitis-ridden.
A woman named Johanna recently described this transformation on her blog:
I realized I had Adultitis when our second child was born 6 years ago. Bugs were icky, mud was too dirty and craft projects too messy. I thought to myself, when did this happen? I used to love playing with bugs and especially, my all time favorite childhood past time, making mud pies. That same day I took my then one and three year old out into the backyard to play in the mud. The process to heal myself of Adultitis has been at a standstill. This year my resolution is to find something more exciting to do with the dear husband than walk around Costco on date night.
Iâ€™m sure that many parents can relate to this turn of events. One day weâ€™re free spirits enjoying life, and the next day weâ€™ve turned into our parents. When youâ€™re the one responsible for laundry, mud pies donâ€™t seem so appetizing anymore.
Too often we resign ourselves to a life that is void of fun and adventure.
But that is not your only choice! It is not an all-or-nothing proposition.
Having kids gives you permission to be goofy, and to do things you probably wouldnâ€™t have felt as comfortable doing before you had them. Building snow forts in your front yard. Dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating. Demonstrating â€œproper techniqueâ€ when using a Slip â€™n Slide.
One of the most important responsibilities of any parent is to keep their children safe, teach them how to function in society, and discipline them when necessary.
But the truly fortunate kids are the ones who also have parents who take the time to get down and dirty with them, to teach them not to take themselves too seriously, and to treat life as the adventure it is meant to be.
Sometimes it seems like that person is long gone.
If so, have no fear. Youâ€™ve got some pint-sized teachers living in your house that Iâ€™m sure would be happy to show you how to make a proper mud pie. All you have to do is let them lead and have some fun.
After all, I’m pretty sure thatâ€™s why God invented washing machines and laundry detergent.
Jason Kotecki is a dad who also moonlights as an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Escape Adulthood — stop by www.KimandJason.com and follow them on Twitter @kimandjason