I read something today that was too fitting for me not to share as soon as I could. I have been feeling this way for MONTHS, but could never quite put into words what I was going through. So many people would tell me to “enjoy every minute” because the babies will grow so fast. I’ll “blink and then they’ll be in college.” Just “be patient because they’re only little for so long…” I understand the intent behind these words. I truly know not only in my head, but in my heart, that even though the days are long, the years are short. It’s just that sometimes I needed to hear something else. Something that made me feel less like I was drowning. Something that pushed me out of the dark and closer to seeing the light. Something that didn’t just pat me on the head and told me to not worry because I’ll be alright. Well, I know things will be alright. I have an amazing husband and family and support team. I have this village that is just willing to do anything and everything for my babies. It’s just incredibly hard, however, to keep it all together all the time. To suck up all the fatigue and frustration, tears and pain. I would never trade what I have for anything in the world. In fact, the mommy guilt is so real that I feel it just writing this post. But I would give something just to have some of the pressures of motherhood lifted to the point that they are realistic and practical.
Maybe this vision of a perfect mother is all in my head. Maybe it’s just portrayed in books, websites, and movies all too much, but I should know better than to compare myself to her or feel like I need to match up to her. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not completely hopeless. I’ve gained a lot of confidence and feel so proud of how far we’ve made it and how well the babies are doing. It’s just that mothers need to know they are not alone in what feels like a never-ending, uphill battle of raising children. They need to be encouraged to stop taking on more than they can handle, to be told it’s OK to say “no” sometimes, and to know that even though they truly are “supermoms,” they are still human and it’s OK to make mistakes and let down their guards.
Anyway, here’s that read I first mentioned. If you’re a mother out there, I hope this brings you some peace. If you’re not, I hope you can understand where this is coming from.
Source: Scary Mommy
I was in a public parking lot, trying to get my starving, exhausted, tantrum-throwing kids into the car when a little old lady tottered up to me and said, “Enjoy it while they’re little! It goes by so fast!”
I looked up at her as I was karate chopping my son’s stiff-as-a-board body into his car seat and gave her a smile. A smile that said, “I want to strangle you.”
I wanted to strangle her because it’s true. It does go by so fast. And I know I should be enjoying every minute of it.
BUT I CAN’T.
I can’t because raising young kids isn’t always enjoyable. Sometimes it is—there are precious moments of absolute parental bliss. Moments when my son places a chubby hand over my larger, dishwash-weary hand and asks me to play with him. Moments when my daughter blows me a kiss that I catch and tuck into my heart under my shirt. Moments when the three of us snuggle head-to-head-to-head reading a book.
But a lot of the time having young kids sucks.
It’s relentless and boring and exhausting and infuriating. And the fact that I’m not loving every tantrum-filled, pooped-smeared, yogurt-coated, sleep-deprived moment makes me panic. Because it’s going by so fast.
The days of my children’s childhoods are slipping through my hands faster than E. coli-infested sand and I know I’m not enjoying it enough, lady in the parking lot, so please don’t remind me.
When I creep into my kids’ rooms at night and watch them sleep, my heart fills with love and peace … and regret. Regret that we didn’t all enjoy the day that just ended more.
I know one day the pain of it all will fade and I’ll look back with a rosy tinge and think to myself, “I really enjoyed when my kids were little. It all went by so fast.”
But the one thing I promise to never do, is stop a young mom in a parking lot and tell her to enjoy it. Tell her it that all goes so fast.
Instead I’ll tell her that I know raising young kids is hard.
I’ll tell her it’s OK to cry. It’s OK to scream. It’s OK to fall to pieces at 5pm when the kids are pushing her every last button. I’ll tell her to breathe. I’ll tell her to hide in the bathroom if she needs to. I’ll tell her to laugh at the insanity that is her life. And I’ll tell her to kiss her baby’s toes, not because they won’t be little forever, but because it will bring her a moment of joy in her otherwise insane, chaotic day.