I think just about every parent has had someone tell them, “Enjoy this time, they grow up so fast.” While this is true, it doesn’t make your most challenging days with your little ones easier. It doesn’t make it any less frustrating when someone says this to you while you’re immensely sleep deprived or dealing with an independent toddler. Life with kids doesn’t get easier, it just becomes different and more complicated.
Right now I’m in the middle of juggling my four-month-old getting acclimated to all of her mental and physical leaps, while keeping my 2-year-old busy and happy. In another five years I’ll be dealing with my children coming home to do homework, or heaven forbid, being teased or bullied. See, it doesn’t get easier, it just evolves.
I’ve thought a lot about these types of things since my youngest, Viviana, has entered the world. Becoming a mom for the second time has made me even more patient and accepting. It has also taught me to slow down and put my phone down, despite how many photo opportunities my kids give me. Just when I think I’m at the end of my rope, one of my girls will do something to remind me how beautiful motherhood is.
Just the other day I was up for much of the night with Viv, replacing her pacifier every time she realized it had fallen out of her little mouth during the night. Although I had maybe gotten only two consecutive hours of sleep I was so happy. I was happy that she finally took the pacifier. I was so anti pacifier when Gia was her age, but Viv is a sucker and really needed one. It just took us forever to find one she liked and could learn how to use. For Viv, the paci means falling asleep with ease, and being much less needy through the night.
If I were in this situation as a first time mom, I’d be less inclined to find the positive in that situation. I’d be focused more on how tired I was, what I was seemingly doing wrong, and why my child wouldn’t do what others do. Sounds silly, I’m sure, but that’s kind of how I work.
Now I’m easily able to find the little joys in my challenging days home alone with my two babes. It used to be hard to not immediately think I wasn’t doing things well enough. (Sometimes I still think I’m not doing enough, but that’s a mom for you.) I’m so much more accepting and realistic about only being able to do so much. I truly know I’m always doing my best, so that is enough. Sometimes my best means giving in when Gia is asking for something I’d rather she not have, or maybe it means an extra episode of Paw Patrol. Other times I feel like superwoman – I’ve meal prepped for a few days, I’ve been able to wash my hair, give both girls equal amounts of attention, keep the house tidy and make sure most things run smoothly.
Now, four months into being a mommy to two girls, I finally feel like I’m getting my footing. I can go out alone with the two of them with confidence (and a lot of preparing ahead of time). I’m sure now that I’m more comfortable, things will change, because that’s just how it goes with kids. They are ever changing. Knowing that, I’m able to refer back to what I was saying earlier – it goes so fast.
They are only this little for such a short amount of time. Acknowledge your struggles and the tough days, but don’t let your frustrations and exhaustion rob you of your precious moments with your kids. Let the little things lift you up.
The other day I was feeling a little down and frustrated and then Gia randomly came up to me and said, “Mommy, you my best friend. I love you soooo much.” If that can’t give someone a boost of energy and a burst of happiness, I don’t know what can.