All parents agree, once their first child came into their lives, everything changed. Our life routine changed, some of our friends changed, our clean house no longer stayed clean, the term “empty laundry basket” became an abstract thing, our plans for the future changed…even some of our dreams. We no longer sleep, we no longer eat, we no longer have the time to take care of ourselves as much as we wish. Eating at a dining table is a privilege, at least in my house, because most of my meals are consumed on the run, and my kids are not even in school yet!
I go to mom’s groups, family gatherings, coffee with friends, and I hear the same thing over, and over again: “It will all pass faster than you expect, and you’ll become free again.” No more dirty diapers, no more wiping floors and ceilings after each meal, no more sleepless nights, no more this, and no more that…
And I’m thinking, is it really all that bad…having young children around? Is it really that hard? Yes, it is hard, but it will become harder. Sleepless nights, because the baby is hungry, or because she needs a new diaper will change to sleepless nights because my daughters are out on a date, or on a road trip across the country, and I’m left with all the visions in my head about what may go wrong out there.
This kid who makes me exhausted asking so many questions per minute, and having to say so much about everything and everybody, might become the silent teenager who thinks I don’t know anything about life, so why bother to talk to me at all?
These days, as sick and tired I am of the playgrounds I take the kids to, I am well aware that someday I will be passing a playground full of kids, and I will remember how excited my kids would get when I had taken them there, so many times, day after day, in bad and good weather. And I will want those moments back.
In the future they will have their own activities, and they will not want me to be involved in any of them.
So yes, when the life gets hard with small children around, I just need to think about how it’s going to be when they grow up. Freedom comes with a price.
Life with small kids is exhausting. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy, and more, no less, I agree with Bill Cosby who says: kids are brain damaged. To be honest, I sometimes find myself talking to my husband about how much I can’t wait when the kids start doing this, or stop doing that.
There is no “me” time. From the moment I get up I have kids all over me, trying to help, trying to play, trying to communicate, trying to learn, NEEDING ME. Every time they learn something new, and they don’t need me to help them, I breath deeper and think, “one thing less for me to take care of”. And I’m happy. Happy for me, happy for them.
We all want to raise our children to become successful in being independent. This is a very important skill to be able to survive. I just think, I should cherish more of the moments I am given with my children when they are young. I shouldn’t be so focused on: “it will become easier with time”, because it might, but it might not. While I am waiting for the times to get easier, I am not living the “every day is a new adventure” life that I have the privilege to experience as a parent. When our home is empty and silent, then I will realize how much I would give to have those moments with my small children back.
How about you? Do you have those moments when want your kids to be a little older than they are right now, when you just can’t wait for them to be potty trained, or to be able to use a spoon properly, etc.?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer Ewa Samples “Mom Photographer” from California.
Photo and movie credits to the author.
I do! I do! I am waiting for Ed (4.5yo) to be able to do his own seat-belt up and it’s not the first thing I have wished for him to be able to do more independently. I have a horrid feeling that most of his life will be wished away by me, in just the same way.
I try to keep mindful of two things told to me when we had Joe (12 yo):
1. Parenting is long days and short years.
2. Little children, little problems; big children, big problems.
These are the good old days.
(Love the video.)
Ufff, good to hear I’m not alone in having those thoughts, Karyn!
My parents used to say the same things about “small children, small problems…” and I didn’t get that, but now I do ! 🙂
I also wish things will get easier. And since I have three children in different ages, some things actually do get easier with time. I am however enjoying the different phases of their development: my eldest daughter’s independence and her cuddles. My little girl;s talking. My baby son’s smiles and his smell. Mhm, am one lucky mom!
I don’t think I’ve reached that place yet. .. I still wish for mine to grow up and leave me free to do things I want to do.
Why don’t we ever listen? Like you mentioned, Ewa, I don’t think there’s any mom who hasn’t been told by an older mom to cherish the time spent with small babies and children because they grow up so fast!
I’m there – my 21 year old son is moving to Germany in 2 days’ time! He’s flying off on a one-way ticket to live with his girlfriend and her family and plans to attend University there.
I’m lucky because I do have a really good relationship with him and my “baby” (who is turning 18 in May). Even so, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to missing the days when I got to pick their outfits, or all the nights of just “one more” bedtime story with their sweet smelling little bodies cuddled up close.
I love your post. While it can be so exhausting at times, I also realize my 2 young sons will someday grow up to be men and no longer require my constant attention and assistance. I want to just wrap them up now and put them in my pocket. My older son told me recently that he wanted to try to go to college someday in state to stay close by. I told him that he could go wherever he wanted to, and we would still come see him, but it knocked the wind out of me. I’m off to hug them now 😉
I was one of those children who wanted to go as far from home as I could for college. I can’t imagine how that must had felt to my parents, now that I have my own kids, I know it was so hard on them!
Ewa, I’m so with you…thanks for the reminder to slow down and live in the now! I loved your video 🙂