Mom-Stuff Blog Tour is visiting Better Way Moms this week. They are here to provide a source of honesty and humor about the true trials and emotions of being a mom. Nothing on their site is shunned, nothing is taboo, and all of it is true. There has to be a Better Way, and they are here to find it.
I hope you are having as much fun following Mom-Stuff Blog Tour as we are.
Today we want to share an Article by Shari Dabby posted at Better Way Moms. She gives a real look at how we miss the present by living in the future. This is something I need to be reminded of often. I love her story about a day at the beach. She helps remind us to soak up every minute. Our children grow up FAST.
It Goes So Fast!
I always say that before I had kids I was a great parent, I had it all figured out. When I was pregnant and mothers who had small children would say to me “enjoy sleeping now” I would think, what is wrong with all these people and the sleep now thing? Like I’m not going to sleep after my kids are here, enough already with the get sleep now advice?!? Eight years, it’s been eight years since I’ve slept through the night! And when I had a newborn and talked to moms of older children about my ideological parenting ideas which, for example, included my children not watching TV and they would say things like “well, a little time in front of the TV never hurt anyone.” And I would think to myself, “Justify letting the TV be your babysitter however you need to so you’ll feel better. Not my kids, they won’t need it because I’ll be engaging them in fascinating stimuli at all times.” In the Guinness Book of World Records under the category “Most Hours of TV Watched By a Toddler” would be a picture of my daughter.
So I might have been clueless, but somewhere along the way, I at least realized that I was clueless about this parenting thing. I’d like to think of it as a 3 Step Program for Parents (there easily could be a 12 Step Program for Parents, but this is the abridged version because parents have no time for 12 Steps). The 1st step is Denial (examples like the ones above of this stage are endless I’m embarrassed to admit and everyone has versions of the same). The 2nd step is the most important one…Realizing I Am a Clueless Jerk. Sometimes the Realizing stage doesn’t happen for years and unfortunately for others it never happens at all. But you can’t get to the 3rd step in any way, shape or form until you land on Step 2. As a result of Step 2, I’ve tried to be open to things that parents of older kids say to me that if I was still in Step 1, I would continue to disregard completely.Step 2 ushers you to Step 3…Learning From Other Parents With Regrets Who Were Once Clueless Jerks.
While my family andI were on vacation on Long Beach Island this summer we spent endless time at the beach. I have an eight-year-old daughter, and 3 ½ year old and2 ½ year old boys. My daughter was completely content to make sand castles or walk along the beach looking for shells. My two other little rugrats would do that for about four minutes and they’d be on to something more interesting. One day I looked up andthey were at the top of the highest sanddune they could find andpreparing to roll their wet bodies parallel, like a jellyroll, down to the bottom. Their dad was supervising this event. The voices in my head were screaming "stop them, they’re going to get sand in their eyes, notto mention that I’ll never get all the sandoff of them, etc…." For some reason, I hesitated and surprisingly neither of them was bleeding or crying yet and they were hysterically laughing. The voices in my head wouldn’t stop though and about the time I was going to put the kibosh on this genius display, I noticed a group of couples next to me who were watching my boys andtalking. I figured they were annoyed because the boys were being loud so I said, "I’m sorry, I’ll get them to stop. I was just heading that way." One man spoke up for the group saying "Oh, no, please don’t! We are having such a good time watching them andtalking about how much we wished we had soaked in every moment like this one with our own when they were little. Mine are in college now. It goes so fast."
IT GOES SO FAST!
It goes so fast has been ringing in my ears since the minute he said it. But unlike the infamous sleep now mantra that sounded so silly to me at that time, this one has stopped me in my tracks. Most of my parenting time, I have spent thinking how much easier my life will be when all of my kids will be finished with bottles, be out of diapers, be eating solid food, be able to dress themselves, be out of car seats, be all in school, be…fill in the blank. Most of us are moving so fast to get to the next page that we skim right over the one we’re on. Wow, you clueless jerk, sit down and watch your little rocket scientists roll their bodies down the sand dune and enjoy it, enjoy them. Imprint that day into your memory so when you’re 80 you will have some great memories of them to pass your time while you’re waiting in the lobby of the third doctor’s office you’ve been to this week (it’s reality people, have you asked your grandparents how they spend their time?).
So have I been wishing their lives away for an easier existence for myself? Sure, it will be easier when I change my last diaper, but it marks the passing of another stage that you don’t get back. Another year that you swear you’ll never forget the details of. Yes, it will be easier when the’re older and don’t need me as much. I will be able to finish a book. I will be able to eat a hot meal. I will be able to watch something on TV other than the Disney Channel. But watch what we wish for, the bad comes with the good and when you wish away the diapers, you wish away the time that holds the whole package.
It’s just dawning on me that I’m going to miss a lot of this stuff when they’re in high school and gone to college, so maybe I need to savor the page I’m on. I’m going to miss their little voices that will turn into grown up voices one day. I’m going to miss being able to pick them up and carry them around. I’m going to miss their wide eyed amazement when I tell them a story that they find interesting. I’m going to miss asking for a hug and kiss and them stopping on a dime and gladly planting one on me. I’m going to miss remembering what it feels like to hold their little hand in mine when we walk across the street. I’m going to miss being asked to read a bedtime story. I’m going to miss them wanting to hang out with me more than anyone else. I’m going to miss when they get a boo-boo and my kiss magically makes it feel better.
My guinea pig first child is now eight and I realize I have let many of these moments pass me by. She still lets me hold her hand in front of her friends (but she just cut her daddy off, he’s feeling sad about it) so I still have that. Although eight years have passed, at least I didn’t hit Step 3 when she was 17, so it could be worse. She’s a little older now, but she’s still my first, the one who stole my heart so unexpectedly, my only daughter. I will start taking the time to enjoy her more and make some new memories. Undoubtedly now that she’s “older” this will eventually wear on her and she will start hiding in her room from me every chance she gets so I will stay out of her business and stop hovering.
The child who will bear the brunt of my awakening is my third child, the baby. He’s two and he’s the third child. He and I have not lost much time andI should focus most of my energy on him I think. Unfortunately, now he will never be allowed to grow up. I will surely carry him until his feet are dragging the ground and not allow him to feed himself until he is in middle school and is begging me to leave him alone. It’s highly likely he will turn into a nightmare momma’s boy who will end up friendless and need years of therapy to straighten him out someday. Sorry Eli, if not this, you’d end up being the totally forgotten about third child. Hard to say which is worse?
Since I will be so busy with my oldest and youngest children, my middle boy, who will ultimately fall through the cracks in this scenario, seems to be the big winner! Somehow he will get just the right amount of attention and therefore might end up speaking to me as an adult. Yea for Wyatt!
Moderation does not seem to be my strongest quality. I’m going to put that on my To Do List.
We want to thank Sarah at Better Way Moms for sharing her site with other moms. We love learning from each other. Follow along with us on our Mom-Stuff Blog Tour. You will find great information and make some new friends. Make sure to leave comments. Remember mom-Stuff will be giving away gifts to our followers that make the most comments. So welcome to the party. Let the moms know what you think by commenting and tweeting about their blog. Visit www.mom-stuff.com for ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, kids crafts and classmate Valentines.
See you tomorrow, dianne@mom-stuff
Spring will come
2 years ago