I read this paragraph on the Momastery blog the other day and it captured so well how I feel about mommying little kids--toddlers, babies, pre-schoolers. It's a feeling that is still fresh in my mind and in my heart even though we've made it through that phase. Even though my children are now mostly lots of fun to spend time with, I can still remember the days and nights of exhaustion; the feelings of demand. From everyone. Everyone just wanted, wanted, wanted.
And I'm posting the Momastery quote here. And I hope that's okay. I don't know Momastery and haven't asked her permission to repost (probably should do that, but I'm just a small-time nothing blog and I hope this thorough attribution, plus fan-praise is enough).You can click through to the actual blog post titled, "Save Your Relationships: Ask the Right Questions," to read it for yourself.
So here it is, Momastery's description of a day in the life of a mommy-to-toddler/babies. I couldn't have said it better:
"How was my day? Today has been a lifetime. It was the best of times and the worst of times. There were moments when my heart was so full I thought I might explode, and there were other moments when my senses were under such intense assault that I was CERTAIN I’d explode. I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone. I was saturated- just BOMBARDED with touch and then the second I put down this baby I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed with so much to do. Today was too much and not enough. It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. I was at my very best today and then, just a moment later, at my very worst. At 3:30 today I decided that we should adopt four more children, and then at 3:35 I decided that we should give up the kids we already have for adoption. Husband – when your day is completely and totally dependent upon the moods and needs and schedules of tiny, messy, beautiful rug rats your day is ALL OF THE THINGS and NONE OF THE THINGS, sometimes within the same three minute period. But I’m not complaining. This is not a complaint, so don’t try to FIX IT. I wouldn’t have my day Any.Other.Way. I’m just saying- it’s a hell of a hard thing to explain- an entire day with lots of babies."
And this is why, when I see a young lady, ready to have baby number one, I'm filled with so many emotions. Mostly I'm excited for her. But a part of me wants to hug her and say, "You'll be okay. You'll make it."
It's beautiful on the other end of that mommy-of-toddler world. It really, really is. Just hang in there.
And I hope I never forget this. I hope that when I have daughters-in-law, I'm sensitive, and helpful and cognizant of what it is really like. Not that fluffy diaper commercial moment where the baby never screams and kicks, or pees on you while you're trying to wrap up a diaper full of poo so it doesn't smear all over everything.
I hope I never say, "enjoy every moment. It goes so fast." Yes, it goes fast, but only in hindsight. When you're in the moment, those years go incredibly slow. Painfully slow. And you're sleep deprived for most of them.
I hope I don't give advice like, "sleep when the baby sleeps," as if it were that easy. Why do we say stupid things like this?
And I want my sons to know this paragraph from Momastery as well. I want them to understand and to empathize. I don't want them to come home at the end of the day and complain about traffic or a bad phone call and not acknowledge the emotional, physical, psychological strain of raising babies their wives are experiencing.
It's so hard.
But it's so worth it.