My youngest is almost 6, and my oldest is 13. I’m not in the trenches of diaper changes, temper tantrums, schedules, naps and cutting up baby food. Gone are the days of monotonous schedules broken up by the big event — grocery shopping which turns into how quickly can I navigate the store before we destroy the place venture!
I had forgotten that life. Those older moms who come up to you and so kindly remind you to “enjoy every minute” — they mean well, they are waxing in nostalgia. Time really does move that fast. You will blink and the diapers will be gone, I promise.
For now, I get how you want to slug them one across the face when you hear “enjoy every minute” because all you want to enjoy is going to the bathroom by yourself, a hot shower and maybe a 5 hour stretch of sleep.
I had forgotten the mundane drudgery of each day repeating itself; living life in 3 hour stretches between feedings. For your educated, free loving self, the boredom can seem endless. There are only so many episodes of PBS Kids you can watch before you’ve gone braindead.
The moments you look forward to the most–nap time. I’ve forgotten how I’d endure 1 hour of pure tantrum, overtired hell in order to get all three kids down for a nap at the same time. If it worked I was in heaven.
You know what I also forgot? The sweet little newborn noises as they eat blissfully. The tender hugs and kisses from a toddler’s chubby lips. I’d forgotten the joy of playdough and the excitement over seeing a pile of blocks stack.
Please know that this stage of life is such a rich state of hard and amazing all at the same time. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting it perfect. Take great pride in getting the kids up, dressed and just one accident in the big boy pants, not 4. Don’t worry about perfectly folded clothes or beds made.
Those days of teaching will come. Those times of doing will happen. But give yourself a break–cut yourself some slack. Have that glass of wine at noon and that cup of coffee while nursing. Don’t worry about dieting and fitting into your prematernity jeans right away.
You know why? (and you’re welcome to slap me across the face) Because you’ll blink and it will be over. You’ll wake up one day and say, My God, how much I miss that stage!
You are a woman who created life in you! Now go and enjoy those babies–breath in and out and take one mundane moment at a time. Time will travel at warp speed and you’ll be glad you did!
PS Thank you my dear Liz for opening your home so I could be part of the Littles lives for a brief moment. You are a gift!