These past three years have been a whirlwind. Having one baby and then another one right on top of the other stretched me in ways that weren’t always comfortable. I used to be so sentimental about my time with my firstborn. The time seemed so much slower then. As the pace has picked up and blurred together into a crazy ride, I feel like I’ve allowed myself to forget some of the most important things.
My children’s ages are 2.9 years and 13 months. Both of them are boys and while I’m being completely transparent, they don’t stop. Like, ever. I know they are so ripe for learning new things. And I know I should be excited to use each moment as a teaching opportunity, but I’ve felt burnt out lately.
Is it possible to want to enjoy them being little while still wishing they had a little more independence?
Without having an outlet like the gym, getting my hair done, or having a girl’s night, it’s been hard. I’ve wanted to be more of a Pinterest mom making cauliflower tater tots and butterflies out of recycled material, but it’s looked more like frozen chicken tenders and handing my toddler the hose for the seventeenth day in a row.
We started potty training my oldest the other day when something hit me hard. It was the light bulb kind of moment that those old cartoons always seem to use. The book I have been following to make this potty training thing more successful said that I needed to focus my full attention on my child for the first three days. “Easy,” I thought. Don’t check emails, don’t clean, in part, don’t take my eyes off of him for a second.
Gaining a new appreciation
Having those moments for us to slow down, play games, sing songs, be silly, and bond made me realize just how amazing his sweet little mind is. How much I adore spending time with him and his little brother. The time has gone by so fast.
In so many wonderful ways I’m thankful they’re gaining more independence, but at the same time, they’re my babies.
I felt like we bonded within those three days unlike we ever had before. He was relying on me and I was relying on him as well. It put so many things into perspective. Being there to tell him I’m proud of him and that I’ll be right here if he needed me made me wonder if I should go back to work like I’ve been planning. What is the most important thing after all?
My sons won’t always need me the way that they do now. Caring for their needs is more work than I ever imagined possible. The sleepless nights, nursing, bottles, tantrums, pacifiers (or lack thereof), snacks, etc. are constant. The saying that a mother’s work is never done is so incredibly true. It seems like just when I tend to one, the other one is lighting the house on fire.
Even with all the craziness, I often wonder if my need to have them close by me will ever fade. My mom has said it never does. Even through all the things that make motherhood so tiring and messy, I still wouldn’t change a thing. Having those two daredevil boys has changed me in so many amazing ways.
I think about the times before I was pregnant or toting toddlers around. I worked around young children all day and all I wanted was to have a family. God’s timing was better than mine. And while I know it’s not all bliss, in the broad spectrum of things, it’s been pretty close. Those little diaper bums toting around their favorite stuffed animals are sweeter than any watermelon margarita out there.
My kids don’t need a fancy house, all the latest toys, and games, or even the most expensive clothes to be happy. They do need their mom though. They need my support and appreciation for all they are and all they’re going to be. They need me to never forget how adorable and amazing they are. And how incredibly blessed I am to have them. They need my perspective to change often.
And they need me to be me.