One day I will miss the sounds that come with children filling my house. Laughter, singing, pretending, squeals of delight, screaming, sassy replies, crying. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss hearing little feet follow me into the bathroom. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss having my lap and arms full. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss seeing toys scattered across our floors. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss midnight nursings and snuggles. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss seeing sticky fingerprints across table tops. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss seeing sippy cups cluttering the sink. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss seeing little hands dropping toys into the shower. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss hearing, “Mooommmyyy can you wipe me?!” yelled from across the house. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss hearing the sassy replies from toddlers. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will miss muddy footprints mapping out Littles adventures. But today, I’m tired.
One day I will sit quietly and write about the days gone by. My children will be grown and there will be no interrupted sentences or thoughts. There will be no little fingers reaching for my keyboard as I type up documents for work. No “quiet” voices asking questions or big voices screaming demands while I’m trying to get babies to nap.
There will be no noses to wipe, no boo-boos to kiss, no meltdowns to traverse. No little ones to bounce on my knees and sway in my arms. I can already imagine the emptiness, the solitude and I grieve for the days not yet passed. It increases my mom guilt a million fold on the days the exhaustion of motherhood feels like it outweighs the joy.
I know I will so sorely miss these days, but even the strongest, most patient mothers become tired. It is okay to want a break. To want a magic easy button to hit in times of desperation. To want to pee by yourself, shower by yourself, sleep by yourself, eat by yourself. Do anything and everything by yourself, if only for a moment to regroup. To catch your breath.
I was inspired to write this after seeing a mother reach out for help in a motherhood support group. She shared how overwhelmed and desperate for suggestions she was to help smooth out her day with her children. Some mom’s gave wonderful, heartfelt advice. BUT. There is always a but with social media. So many mother’s admonished her, telling her to suck it up because “one day you will miss this”.
This mother’s response to these “advice givers” was beautiful. She said something like, “I acknowledge I will miss these days, but that is not helping me get through TODAY“. Some days, when we are in the trenches of young children, that’s all you can focus on. Today. Today feels overwhelming, it seems like you will never be able to crawl your way out to the other side.
We will all miss the crazy days of young ones running around our feet. Some days, I look down at my children and I know in my soul, these are the best days of my life. The days that start before the sun with a baby snuggled into my chest. The days of laughing at the irony of arguing with a mini version of myself. The days of sticky kisses, backwards pants and mismatched outfits chosen with pride. Days of cocomelon songs constantly being sung at nauseum. I. Love. It. All.
This does not mean I am immune to the overwhelm. Some days I imagine checking myself into a hotel room for just 12 hours. Twelve hours of no questions, no hands grabbing at me, oh and sleep. I would sleep the entire time.
If a mother (or father), feels comfortable enough to share their anxieties or frustrations about parenting, just listen. Most of us recognize there is no quick fix. There is no easy button. We know what we, “signed up for.” We do not want to change our life. We love our children more than you can even imagine. Today, we are probably just extra tired.