I’m not sure how it’s possible that the sweet baby days are behind me and here we go, onto the toddler and preschool years. Wasn’t my daughter just born – not about to turn four years old in two weeks? How is it that when I look back at pictures from even just one year ago I can barely remember those times?
The saying “the days are long but the years are short” keeps running through my head – it certainly rings true being a stay-at-home mom. Some days – they just drag on. And when they do, I find myself dividing my day into smaller increments in order to push through. Once I hit around 3pm, I think ‘okay, I can do this.’ I’ve made it to the home stretch.
Don’t get me wrong – I feel fortunate to be home with my children, but some days are just not easy. So many older moms love to say to me, “Enjoy every moment because it goes by too quickly.” But as a girlfriend so aptly pointed out – no one says that to the person heading out the door to their 40-hour a week job. Why do they feel the need to say it to mothers, especially those who stay at home? No one can enjoy every second of any job. And this particular job offers virtually no breaks. And this job physically and emotionally wears on you arguably more than most others. There are days when I feel all I did was harp on them and ask for listening ears. Some days I am so tired of hearing myself talk. Some days every single thing feels hard. Some days I don’t go to the bathroom alone all day – not even once. My shower yesterday entailed four or five minutes with my screaming toddler on the other side of the shower door, mad I couldn’t hold him for that short amount of time.
The days are long, just like the quote says.
I find myself wanting to freeze time in some ways but I want to fast forward in others. Being a mother can bring such a strange dichotomy of emotions. There are joyous moments, for sure. Seeing my two laugh at each other throughout the day. Noticing my daughter’s amazement at her brother’s ever-increasing vocabulary. Witnessing first steps, first foods, and being there for every scraped knee and disappointment. I wouldn’t take back any of it. But I am certainly not enjoying every single moment. And the person who says they are has to be fooling themselves – at least in my opinion. This job is hard. It offers no accolades, no annual review and no raises.
But it does offer payment in another form – hugs, kisses and beautiful little words of wisdom that only children can offer. The good is good and makes up for the challenging times in so many ways.
And, sure, I grieve the fact that there will be no more babies in my arms and that those days are gone. But I can’t say I am not ready for our next stage of life. So as I look back at old pictures, I am reminded that every new season brings its own set of challenges as well as its own beauty.
The times, they definitely are a changing. Bring them on.