Thank goodness Mother’s Day came when it did. I mean, just in the nick of time for me. There’s nothing like some TLC on Mother’s Day to help refresh and renew your love and commitment to your little people. Especially at the end of a week, where I haven’t felt like the best mom. I wouldn’t have this life any other way, but I’ve been in a bit of a bad space lately about time going by, kids growing up and the attitudes, oh my! I’m so thankful for this life of mine and each of my three babies. They really do complete my life, but let’s be honest here, motherhood is not a smooth journey. It’s amazing and fun, full of moments of joy and pride, but it is also comes with tough days which sometimes turn into rough seasons like the one i’ve been walking in recently.
I miss my kids when they were little. I said it. I’ve been in a bit of mourning over it actually. I find myself thinking, Will this part ever get easier? Will I miss those early years this much when they are in high school, college, or parents themselves? I’ve been thinking about this a lot this past year. About how my role as a mother has changed and my relationships with each of my kids is changing. And the truth is, I’m not so sure how I feel about it. It may just be I miss the mother I was when my kids were little, less hurried and softer, where holding hands reigned and sighs were few.
Sure there are lots of upsides to not having infants or toddlers in the house anymore. I haven’t changed a diaper in years, we can pretty much expect a good night sleep on any given day, and I can’t remember the last carseat I wrangled someone into. BUT, I yearn for the days when life moved more slowly. When I would drink up the smell of my new babies necks, or take long walks to playgrounds and have adorable quote worthy conversations with my littles about the world just between us. When a trip to Target and a little bag of teddy grahams was all we needed for a good time. When Saturday and Sunday mornings were lazy and free and we could stay in our pjs, play in the yard, or go for a bike ride at any given moment. We had family nap time and family dinners regularly and endless hours at parks with friends.
I was out the other day running around alone (as I do now that all my kids are in school) when I came across two different women in very different stages of their lives. The first was a young mom with a 2 year old sitting in the front of shopping cart and an infant in a carseat carrier in the large part of the cart. I was alone. Trust me, there were plenty of days when I was in her shoes when I wished I were alone! But that day, and many days recently, I’ve been wishing I had a little one in my cart playing eye spy or singing their latest and greatest for me as I shop. I could not have explained this to myself 5 years ago. I wouldn’t have listen or understood. If I had the chance to know how much I’d miss those sweet days back then would anything have changed? I doubt it honestly. Moms get tired, no matter how much they intend to seize each day. I wanted to be the mom that gave yet ‘one more snuggle’ but some nights, I just couldn’t.
The second was an older woman perhaps in her early 80s. She was helping her husband who was walking slowly alongside her with a cane and clogging up the aisle. I felt myself beginning to grow impatient inside when she looked at me and I looked at her and for a split moment, I could see myself in her and saw her in me. She was once me, just as I was once the young mom of an infant. She recognized the sense of haste when finishing up that one last errand before the school bell rings. She remembered what it was like to run through long lists to be sure uniforms were clean, forms filled, lunches made, appointments cancelled, broken hearts mended. I’m sure to her, it seems like yesterday just as the birth of my first born does to me. And I ask myself, will this part of motherhood ever get easier?