By Annah Matthews, Author of Things Momma Told Me
“Cherish every minute with them. It will be over before you know it and you’ll miss it.”
I totally get it! I really do understand that life does go by so quickly. That I need to embrace the moments with my children when they’re little. That they will grow up and that I will miss cleaning little handprints off of the dishwasher.
But if you tell me that you loved every minute of having your children at home with you, then I tell you that you have flat out forgotten. Thank God that He allows us to forget many parts of motherhood, or else we would have all been extinct by now.
I will not miss taking a road trip while the three of you are simultaneously yelling at each other to scoot over, don’t touch me, I don’t like this video, and Mommy I have to go to the potty (when three minutes ago we stopped to get you a snack.)
But I will miss taking road trips with you to the beach, Disney, and the mountains and hearing you laugh, giggle, and sing songs from the back seat. I will miss a time when you still thought that taking a vacation with your parents was still the coolest thing ever.
I will not miss putting you in time out because you have smacked each other upside the head, pulled a pigtail, wrestled each other to the ground to get a pack of markers back, or simply refused to get along.
But I will miss hearing you run and chase each other in circles around the house until you fall on the carpet giggling from exhaustion. And I will miss overhearing you sweetly read a story to your little sister and think, for just a moment, that maybe I am doing something right in this world.
I will not miss the days when you all get the stomach virus within a few hours of each other and I spend most of the day and night helping one of you make it the bathroom, washing and drying sheets, bedspreads, and lovies, disinfecting every room in the house, and praying for this to pass quickly.
But I will miss rocking with you when you are curled up, sick, feverish and laying against me as I rub your little backs. I will miss being the one to take care of you when you are sick.
I will not miss temper tantrums because 1) you cannot get the chocolate bar in the check out line so I drag you out of the store by your elbow, 2) you didn’t get the blue cup at breakfast, 3) you cannot get your baby doll stroller around the corner, 4) you can’t figure out how to open the door all by yourself. I won’t miss temper tantrums of any kind not even a little bit. They are just as exhausting for me as they are for you.
But I will miss helping you learn how to navigate your baby stroller around the corner. Because immediately the tears dry up, you turn to me in delight and say “dank you mommy” as you happily push your buggy on your merry little way.
I will not miss the pure difficulty that always ensues when we attempt to go out to eat at a nice restaurant. Because right now we have to make sure we have a game to play or a movie to watch while we wait for the food (thank you God for smart phones). We pay way too much money for a bowl of mac and cheese that you only eat four bites of because we loaded you up on the bread and cracker basket to keep you quiet and busy until the food arrived. And forget trying to have an adult conversation because we usually have to take a walk around the parking lot, we need to check out the bathroom just to see what it looks like, and when the food does arrive we try to eat as fast as possible and expedite the bill because you have an attention span of exactly four minutes.
But I will miss making your meals at home, cooking for a family of five, and I know that I will one day be eating at Chick-Fil-A and feel incredibly sad that I don’t have anyone small enough to get excited to play in the indoor playground anymore.
I will not miss being awakened at 3:00 in the morning to an arm that has just smacked me across the face or a foot dug into my back because you have found your way into my bed in the middle of the night.
But I will miss the fact that the reason you are in my bed at 3:00 a.m. is because you are still afraid of monsters under your bed and, in your world, laying between Mommy and Daddy is the safest place to be.
I will not miss stinky diaper pails. But I will miss cute little tushies running around after bath time.
I will not miss washing and folding unbelievable stacks of laundry each week.
But I will miss seeing your favorite blankie or football jersey in my laundry loads.
I will not miss the fact that it takes me four times as long to get my errands done in town when I have little people with me.
But I will miss looking in the rear view mirror and seeing you in the backseat when I am running errands by myself.
I will miss your baby fine hair, the dimples on your knuckles and toes, and your sweet, sweaty smell after you come in from playing outside.
I will miss the fact that you still like to hang around us, that you still think we have most of the answers to life’s problems, and that life is still pretty simple for you.
I love you three little munchkins to pieces and there are lots of things that I look forward to in the next stage of life. For now, I try to cherish who you are today and remind myself, it’s okay if I don’t love every second of being a mom because I know that I wouldn’t trade one second of being your mama.