Recently, I have read SO MANY awesome posts from people who have put my thoughts into just the right words. Two posts that I LOVE this week are one from The Actual Pastor and one from Bad Parenting Moments.
They so effectively shared the same general message. That message is that parents of young children KNOW that time flies. We KNOW that we should enjoy every second. But the cold hard truth is that we won't enjoy every moment. We just won't. I will not enjoy when the kids are fighting. I will not enjoy when my 2 year old has an epic tantrum in Target because I won't open a yogurt for her right then and there.
I LOVE all of my kids more than life itself. I chose to have 3 children and I have no regrets.
I can't get enough of my 2 year old right now. Her voice is the cutest little mousy voice ever and she is talking more and more every day. I LOVE IT!
But when she wakes up at 3 am and wants to eat a pack of Keebler Toast and Peanut Butter Crackers on the sofa, I don't love it. Not even close. And I HAVE to let her come downstairs and get a little snack on those 2 to 3 nights a week that she gets up and does that...because if I don't, she will wake the WHOLE HOUSE. And please...don't tell me what I should do. I am not afraid to say no. I say no all the time. I let her cry and I don't give in. But when it is 3 am and I have 2 other girls sound asleep, I can't risk it. So I say yes.
This leads me to another thing I KNOW. Having multiple children is very hard. I am not saying having one child is not, so please don't get your grannies in a bunch. I was the parent to an only child for over 3 years. I thought it was hard at times. But when she woke up in the middle of the night (which she rarely did), it was just her. There was no one else to wake or disturb. When she was sick, it lasted 2 days. We didn't have to worry about it going through all the kids and becoming the epic stomach bug that lasted 12 days.
When she was 15 months, my husband and I went to Mexico for a week. A WHOLE WEEK. Since we have had our second daughter, we have only had 2 nights aways as a couple. 2 nights in almost 5 years.
Going back to that whole We went to Mexico for a week thing. We did that. We really did that...it seems like a dream. But it was reality. We also took our daughter to Disney World for the first time 8 months later. See, we had money for 2 vacations. I still worked as a teacher and we had one child in daycare. We could splurge on ourselves and on her. Not that money wasn't tight at times. It was.
But with each child (YES, each child that I CHOSE to have and I wouldn't have it any other way), it became harder. Harder to make plans. Harder to go out to dinner. Harder to run errands. Harder to make the money stretch. With each child came maternity leaves, career changes, and thinner wallets.
It's all good. I wouldn't change a thing. Not a single thing.
That doesn't mean it's not HARD.
That doesn't mean that there aren't days when I want to sit and cry. Or days when I need a break more than words can express. Or days when the door breaks and it costs $200 for a new one...$200 we DON'T have and I don't know what to do. Or days when bills come in and I just put them to the side and pray they can wait until next month. Or days when I yell or tell the kids that they will have to live apart if they can't get along. Or days when I feel like I am failing.
But then there are those other days...or even just those moments. Those moments when the kids are so sweet and innocent. When they say, "You are the best mommy ever". Those moments when they share with each other or give an unprompted hug. When they come home from school excited about a new library book and read 100 pages in a single day with such pride...and you are so amazed that this child is learning so much and growing so quickly. Those moments when you hear them playing and they don't know you are listening and they say that they are each other's best friend. Those moments when you are all cuddled together on the sofa, watching a movie and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else on the planet.
Those are the moments that make it worth it.
Those are the moments when you know that you will gladly take all the good with the bad, all the smiles and the tears, and all the laughter and the tantrums.
Those are the moments when you can finally say to yourself...yes, time flies. I wish I could slow it down just a bit. Because I know someday I WILL, in fact, miss this.