As I’ve previously stated, and the one thing that all moms across the board can agree on, is that motherhood is hard. I’d go out on a limb to say that it’s the hardest work you’ll ever do. Yes, it is also the most rewarding. But there are some days when those rewards feel few and far between, right?
Last week, my husband was out of town all week, so it was just me and the boys. All day, every day. It was exhausting and stressful. Thankfully, I have some amazing friends and family that came by to let me get a shower, bring me food, and generally just make sure I was staying sane.
This week, my best friend is in the same situation. Her husband is out of town all week, so she’s solely responsible for their two kiddos. Although these weeks seem like the longest weeks of our lives, in the grand scheme of things, they go by quickly, and for the most part, we all come out unscathed.
While Alex was gone, I spent most of the week counting down the days and hours until he returned. But I find myself doing that even during normal weeks. I’ll look at the clock and think “oh my gosh. It’s only 1 in the afternoon.” Or Jack will be having a meltdown while I’m trying to make dinner and I think “Lord help me, there’s still 2 and a half hours until bedtime.” When Gabe wakes me up at 3 AM to eat, I think “ugh, how much longer until you can sleep through the night?”
I need to stop doing that. I saw a quote online the other day that said “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m not sure who said it, but they were right. Although sometimes the days seem never-ending, in the long run, time flies by. I cannot believe that my first son will be 2 years old in just over 6 months. And my second son is 2 months old today, already! I feel like it was just a few months ago that we were bringing Jack home from the hospital. Now he’s gone from a baby to a little boy, and his little brother is growing just as quickly.
When Jack was a newborn, I remember trying to get him to go to sleep one night. I was still full of postpartum hormones, and I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. I stood next to his pack & play, bouncing him up and down, and I thought “I’m going to have to bounce him all night for him to stay asleep. I’m not going to get any sleep tonight. I’m never going to get to sleep again.” And I just burst into tears.
Yes, it was a very dramatic thing to think, but in that moment, I was dead serious. You think some crazy things in your new baby, exhausted, hormone-riddled state of mind. But the point is, we got through it. I also remember talking to Becky one day, and I was so frustrated because Jack could not keep his binky in his mouth to save his life, and every time it fell out, he would wake up. So I was constantly up and down at night and during naps to put it back in. Desperate, I asked “When will he finally be old enough to pick up his binky and put it back in his mouth by himself?” She kind of laughed and said “Um….not for many months.”
And then one day, I stopped, and I realized: he could put his binky in his mouth by himself now. Yeah, it did take awhile. I mean, they don’t really have the dexterity and coordination needed for that task for awhile. But it happened. I wasn’t putting his binky in his mouth forever, like I thought I would be. Every season passes, and it passes faster than you expect it to.
Someday, sooner than I think, Gabe will be sitting up, and crawling, and not so dependent on me all day every day. And Jack will be able to feed himself with a spoon without making as big of a mess as he does now (hopefully), and dress himself, and communicate more with his words. And then they’ll be in school someday. And then someday they’ll be teenagers. And I don’t really like thinking past that.
Because as long as the difficult days seem to be, they’re really passing by in the blink of an eye. And as hard as it is to have babies and toddlers, I feel sad when I think of the day that they don’t want to snuggle with me to read a book or take a nap. Or when they don’t need me to kiss their boo-boos. Or when they think that they’re too cool to hang out with their old, un-cool mom. Or when they get married and a new woman enters their life. So I’ll stop checking the clock every 20 minutes, and wishing that time would speed up so that I don’t feel so stressed and sleep deprived anymore (although I don’t believe that’ll ever fully go away, anyway). I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that this moment will pass, quicker than I’d like, and I’ll cherish the time I’ve been given with these precious boys.