Ok can we have a real moment? Motherhood is so insanely hard and not at all a bundle of roses and moonbeams. It’s challenging, daunting and seemingly never ending. But that’s the key word- seemingly. As a mom with young kids I totally get trapped in the perspective of believing that this time of my life will last forever. I believe my kids will always be needy, always asking for snacks and extra drinks before bed time. I groan when I have to be awoken from my dead sleep multiple times in the night. I don’t know how my mom always seemed so content and willing to be awake with me when I was a kid with troubles of my own. I just don’t have the patience she had.
But I digress- last night I read this incredible book:
And it changed my heart. I think these heart changing moments have to happen MANY times in motherhood. We have to be reminded about how fleeting this time is. And in spite of the fact that I am constantly interviewing amazing moms who remind me and tell me how fast it’s going and how cherished these moments should be- I still forget. When I’m picking up yet another mess or cleaning up another cup of spilled water, the only thing I can think is, ” When is this day over and when do I get a bubble bath?”
I found this book on a recent trip to the library- an unsuspecting mother who just thought it was great artwork and a sweet title. I had no idea what I was in for. Nobody was home but the kids and I- which is very rare since most of the time Ben is home with us. It was almost like a moment that had been predestined, a moment the angels stood waiting for. My kids weren’t even all sitting right next to me as I started reading. But a few pages in I couldn’t choke down tears anymore. They flowed down my cheeks, I struggled to get the words out and tried to keep myself level. But I just couldn’t. Within minutes all three children were either in my lap or sitting with their arms wrapped around me. They were comforting me and asking why I was so sad. I tried to explain to them how sad it made me that they wouldn’t be my little children forever. That they were going to grow up and leave me. That there would undoubtedly be “lasts”. Their sweet voices offered comforts like “It’s ok I’ll just be older” and “I’ll live with you forever mommy”. Connor even tried to tell me that he’d stay with me with his wife and kids. Felicity wiped my tears and rubbed her wet hands on her pajama top. They all kissed me and loved on me as I tried to collect myself. This has happened a few other times- like in the picture I have for this post. But this was just different. I told them that even though they drive me absolutely bonkers every day, I would never be able to explain to them how much I loved them and never wanted these days to end. I tried to convey the deepest feelings of my heart to these little people, to memorize their tiny faces and I am determined to remember that moment for the rest of eternity. It was a spectacular moment.
I think whether you feel the same thing reading this book or not, the message is still the same and I am here to remind you- it isn’t going to last forever. They will grow up, they will stop needing you the same way. They will always need you emotionally, or maybe even monetarily at times. You will never stop being their mom. But the days of wiping noses, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts taken off, and comforting croupy coughs at night will someday end. And I for one never want to look back with regret that I didn’t relish in the moments-good and bad. I want to remember every single moment. And I know I won’t. Pretty soon these days that are my norm will be nothing but a memory.
So hold your kids tighter, memorize the moments, smell the smells and make every single moment special. Love those kids as much as you have the power to love them. I know I’m going to.