Lately I’ve read a couple of rage filled pieces written by moms of small children. I’ve been schooled by those posts or at least I think I was supposed to be. These moms don’t like to hear “oh those days go so fast” or “enjoy ’em they don’t last for long”. Words I myself have uttered, yes I AM one of those and I just can’t be ashamed of it. I won’t be. And sorry, not sorry.
I know those days are long, often on top of nights that are liberally sprinkled with potty runs, diaper changes, bed thieves, night nursings and a myriad of other bothersome problems. I’ve been there before, right there in the thick of things. Dried breast milk on my best shirt, barf down my back, unwashed hair that you’re too tired to care about. A dog who needs food, a teenager who needs a ride, a two year old who needs a walk and a baby slung because there just aren’t enough arms all the time. And somehow they want dinner every single night and of course other meals too. And the laundry. The cleaning. The damned bills that never quit. And I’m sure so much more. Oh yes sharing the bathroom with a child trying to either get in or get out depends on where you started them off.
Any mom who stays home with kids has been there, and what you don’t realize until you come out the other side of all that is that every mom since the history of forever has been there. It is the quintessential worst of times best of times situation. What more could a mom want that to have people need, love and depend on her, only maybe they could do it a little less? But with kids it’s all or all, there is no break, no less than double full time. Even if you get a break, the work to catch up from that break, can make you wonder if it was worth it.
And then as it happens suddenly those warm little bodies, they’re mobile, they’re independent, maybe they go to school and you get a break. Or if you’re lucky lots of breaks but the other side of kids growing up, is that they grow up. And no more hand holding, warm breath on your face at the crack of 5 am. No more banzai jumps from three steps up. No kisses in front of friends. Soon they’ll act like you don’t exist. Where did they go? Where did YOU go?
So forgive an old lady her seeming stupidity when she dares to utter those damn awful words like “enjoy it while you got it” because she knows. She’s probably not even thinking about you at all, she’s thinking of herself, she speaks from experience and maybe with a hint of regret or remorse for days gone by. Those days when everyone depended on her, when she was the one and a kiss solved everything.